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Trump and National Neoliberalism


#1

Trump and National Neoliberalism

Sasha Breger Bush

Many writers and pundits are currently framing Trump’s election in terms of a dispossessed and disenfranchised white, male working class, unsatisfied with neoliberal globalization and the insecurity and hardship it has unleashed—particularly across regions of the United States that were formerly manufacturing powerhouses (like the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, four states believed to have cost Hillary Clinton the election).


#2

"Unmasking of the corporate state" indeed. Other than Bloomberg, until 2017 billionaires just owned politicians, they didn't become politicians.


#3

This is an interesting article. Many blame Republicans and not Democrats for the melding of state and business. The finger pointing is exhausting, but clearly both have been pushing this country in the same direction.
Neoliberal policies helped to doom Clinton's run and here we see that Trump is proceeding in Neoliberal ideology but with a twist.
We have to conclude that in this country we have no party or force strong enough to oppose the two party push into as Bush explains here, an inverted totalitarianism.
If the people don't create a VERY strong opposition, this president will finalize the hidden motives of both parties. The mask is off, take it or leave it.


#4

The name "rust belt" is very revealing. It shows the effect of corporations exploiting an area of the world and when they are done with the area, how they walk away from the area to let it fall into ruins.


#5

I of course agree with her calls for resistance. But, since what we are witnessing is the culmination of both parties' neoliberalism (Trump's version not differing substantially in kind or probably even in degree from Clinton's), I can't help but wonder, if HRC had been elected, would we be talking resistance or burying our heads deeper into the sand?


#6

"In electing Trump, American voters are reproducing this narrative, creating an ideological cover for the closer connections between business and the state that are in store moving forward (indeed, Trump is already using the apparatus of the U.S. federal government to promote his own business interests)."

In electing Trump, many American voters are rejecting neoliberal Hillary and the Washington consensus. Although some believe Trump's promises, I think the lot are giving the Democrat establishment the finger, as saying, "if you think you are going to keep ramming these lousy candidates down our throats, we've got news for you".


#8

Yep.....Now what does resistence look like?
.......It goes without saying...but that the business of America is business has been true for centuries...Hudsons Bay Company....Dutch East India Company... Anybody believe these entities went out and committed hara-kiri when we won the American Revolution? Noooooot.......Their ilk is who wanted to cut the ties from ol' crazy King George. They asked themselves why should we continue paying tribute to him when we can juryrig a system that sends that much and more directly to ourselves (themselves).
And thus it is ever so......Until the great unwashed learned to read stuff like Common Sense and give them no end of grief about human rights and quoting scriptures like A workman is worthy of his hire and forming unions. We're still just the fly in their ointment. It'll stay that way if we sit back on our cans and don't out-think them. And it's gonna be worse than ever now because they're destroying the planet this round.


#10

You're right about the companies I named not necessarily being North American ...that's why I elided them with the term "ilk"...I just wanted to make the point that business has been in charge of laws and banks since very early on. To dis-entrench them once and for all and finally live up to our democratic promise is a pretty tall order...which I strongly endorse. On the other hand, it goes hand in hand with their sense if entitled grip on governance....While nursing their wrong-headed sense of superiority, they look askance at the general public's continuing belief in true democracy. They consider us simply gullible. I'm sure that's Trump's mindset...but he and his ilk are in the wrong. Ethics and sound civil, social psychology are on our side. Living as if what you do everyday matters to other people is the big picture. Pretending that it doesn't is insane.


#11

Based on the previous 8 years I would expect we would be reading articles telling us why neoliberalism is actually good for us or that it is only some temporary "correction".


#12

Great article. Of course Corporations have been driving people into U.S. cities since the 1950s. What better way to industrialize the food supply, capturing market share along the way. And, soon enough, we'll be beyond war as we simply starve our enemies into death's waiting arms. The refugees in Chad, Syria or Iraq are easy targets when they're starving or scrounging in landfills, etc. And, I doubt the Koreans, Japanese or SE Asian countries will put up a fight, when selling into U.S.-controlled spheres of interest, is their lifeline.
Trump is not afraid of using any tool in this corporate arsenal of sorts. That's his greatest skill and his voter's like him and respect him for it. Fear of loss was his American chorus line's best hook. It worked so well the big spoon of Corporate sugar coming will make the Corporate handouts and looting of our commons; the medicine of bailouts and all that, taste like victory to many desperate citizens. Until they get the bill from his sides' credit line. Indentured citizenship to a place where your wallet, and a resigned nod, is always required. Like knowing all the words to the Pledge of Allegiance.


#13

Through this lengthy disquisition, Sasha Bush attempts to situate Trump in the context of a decades-long process, suggesting a certain inevitability to his ascent to power. I don't quite see it that way. Trump is much more the classic demagogue, uniquely adapted to take advantage of the weaknesses of the present historical moment in our democracy. The gradual move toward primaries as almost the sole means to gain the nomination of either of the only two political parties created opportunities for someone who could suck up all the attention by some variety of showmanship. Add the proliferation of televised debates and 24/7 news channels hungry for cheap filler. Then, the appearance in this cycle of 16 standard and very dull Republican candidates vs. one reality show star gave him an overwhelming advantage. Even that would not have won Trump the general election (which he lost in a democratic sense by 3 million votes) were it not for the development of the Internet which allowed a hostile foreign power to wage a disinformation campaign with the aid of useful idiots in the media, the Republican Party and the FBI.

And now this series of events has given us a potential dictator comparable to Caesar, Napoleon, Lenin, Hitler, Putin or Chavez in his willingness to destroy a republic simply in order to feed his narcissism. Like them, Trump was not inevitable and his taking power has no more meaning than the unexpected arrival of any of those other monsters who demanded universal adulation.