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We Need an Alternative to Trump's Nationalism. It Isn't the Status Quo


We Need an Alternative to Trump's Nationalism. It Isn't the Status Quo

Yanis Varoufakis

A clash of two insurgencies is now shaping the west. Progressives on both sides of the Atlantic are on the sidelines, unable to comprehend what they are observing. Donald Trump’s inauguration marks its pinnacle.

One of the two insurgencies shaping our world today has been analysed ad nauseum. Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and the broad Nationalist International that they are loosely connected to have received much attention, as has their success at impressing upon the multitudes that nation-states, borders, citizens and communities matter.


Mr. Varoufakis makes some good points here such as " billions of people in the “third” world were pulled out of poverty." In the end, however, he proposes a "New Deal" for America and Europe, leaving out the rest of the world. As I see it, we need trade deals that have something for everyone in the world, but naturally very difficult to accomplish. With the now certain demise of the TPP, China will move in and make their own deals with those nations. This is not in America's best interest, but perhaps that is OK.


Insurgent (online etymology dictionary):
"one who rises in revolt" against a government or its laws, 1745, from Latin insurgentem (nominative insurgens), present participle of insurgere "rise up, lift oneself; rise against; stand high, gather force," from in- "against," or here perhaps merely intensive, + surgere "to rise" (see surge (n.)).

An obsolete verb insurge (from French insurger) "to rise in opposition or insurrection" was common 16c. For verb forms 19c. writers sometimes turned to insurrectionize or insurrect.

The term ' insurgent' in Greece, as utilized by Yanis Varoufakis, probably has an active vernacular meaning less sullied than that of its use in the US. I don't think there is any doubt that the vast majority of the diverse self-identified politics of the peoples in the US would and will address the problems that are intensifying with pragmatic community wellbeing.

The MIC has for decades worked assiduously to tarnish, conflate and demonize the lexicons historically used and needed to address popular uprisings against tyranny. Funny to think of the conceptual starvation that mirror world has created.

Wikipedia on Insugency. Of particular note is the role of "belligerents" and interesting to consider the existing establishment AND the age old practice of intentionally 'planting' precisely violent (belligerent) "subversives". Why?

"(...) If there is a rebellion against the authority (for example the United Nations) and those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents, the rebellion is an insurgency.(...)"

Standing Rock is emblematic in terms of a private for profit entity subverting federal law, for profit, while claiming an ersatz public good while at the same time abusing the very social contract from which it claims legitimacy, and the violent "belligerent" methods used - with the impunity derived from sheer power abuse.


“After the events of 2008 something remarkable happened. For the first time in modern times the establishment no longer cared to persuade the masses that its way was socially optimal… Instead, they concentrated on clamping down.

The answer to neoliberalism’s Waterloo cannot be the retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of “our” people against “others” fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences.

The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic.”

... Now this is a voice I can stand with. And it is no mystery that their struggle is ours as well... No rest for the weary... :-p


I believe people have wrongly attacked trade and globalization. The failure, or worse, of the Clinton moves was to take no steps to recover much of the resulting wealth to support national needs such as worker displacement, infrastructure, education, etc. Protectionism is not progressive. Lifting a billion people out of poverty is progressive.


Progressive internationalism is a chicken phrase. Fearful of the word socialist.


I'm not sure why you came down on me in another post as you and I are on the same page.


Get accustomed to troll strategy.

Do you really agree that "progressive internationalism is a chicken phrase" ?

Now that Trump is in we are getting a full frontal attack by the forces that will give now life to TPP and other regulatory capture schemes disguised as trade deals. TPP opponents have never "wrongly attacked trade and globalization", we simply want agreements that are 100% trade focused, not the TPP's 24 chapters ceding judicial authority to corporations and 6 chapters addressing trade.

Note that no politician has been more zealous in promoting TPP and its ilk than Eddie Munster, who will be pushing harder than ever to revive these "deals" as soon as he gets the Social Security and Medicare cuts that he has been pushing for ever since he arrived in DC in 1999.


We're a shining example of a people who disregarded their own history. This isn't the first time that the richest few gained control of our politics and policies, to the harm of the country. Each time in the past, the "masses" ultimately came together, poor and middle class, for the common good. This time, years of work went into pitting us against each other, ensuring that no push-back can be strong enough to impede the agenda of the hard right.

Without finally facing these deep divisions, discussing what to do about them, there is no chance of building the mass, sustained People's movement that our collective survival depends upon.


"Years of work went into pitting us against each other" starting with the failed attempt by Prescott Bush, Henry Ford and other US fascists to assassinate FDR, long before the concept of wedge issues was refined.

The 1% never forgave FDR for creating the middle class as we know it and is hell bent on making sure they destroy it.


"... Progressive internationalism is a chicken phrase. Fearful of the word socialist..."

… I’m pretty sure most democratic leadership -as well as many of their members- are ‘veeery’ afraid of the ‘liberal’ association, and are equally nervous about anything even remotely hinting of socialists -not to mention communists- which is where that meme ‘International’ comes into play. All in all, this is a fairly intellectual crowd, and they can easily break down their own particular reasoning for this peculiar aversion into some very intellectual justifications for their apprehensions. Their protagonists however, are quite rabidly emotional -and even irrational- in their own deep-seated hatred for all things communist, socialist, internationalist -and even ‘liberal’ (which really scares the hell out of those ‘progressive’ democrats even more)...
… I read a recent update which indicated that during the 2008 election, something like 31% of eligible voters participated. It went on to state that the numbers had dropped to 28% for the 2012 election. And finally, for this last 2016 event, only 25% of those eligible voted. In essence, 12.6% of the voting population voted for Hillary, and 12.4% voted for ‘the Donald...’
… I don’t know if you had a dog in this latest hunt, which has now brought Donald to the fore. But many folks all over the planet seem to think this was not a good outcome. Basically, it would seem, 12.5% of the eligible U.S. electorate has help to set the course of civilization for the next four years. 12.5 %!
… I have been trying for decades, as a political activist, and as an intellectual observer, to win over these fellow Americans who see themselves through the conservative lens, to no avail. No amount of facts -or discourse- has ever, or will ever, change their minds or opinions about what they believe. It is in their DNA. Now, my ‘progressive’ friends; I can actually change their minds -on a number of issues- and in fact I indeed have. I could actually present them with some very sound, rational, and even factual reasons why we should indeed adopt -and even ‘embrace’- the meme referred to as ‘International.’ The only thing that would completely prevent them from actually taking it to the next level, would be their own deep seated fear of losing their protagonists to their cause… If there is one thing that Barack Obama has finally learned (and it took him a long time in office to learn it) -these folks are never coming over to our side, even if we wrapped it in God, Country, and Mom’s Apple Pie (which is what Obama did during his first four years in office -and they were still not buying it)…
… To make a short story long, I’m going to go into 2017 and beyond, and I’m going to stop worrying about what 12.5% of the population has to say on anything -and I mean ‘anything.’
… I’m going to start ‘intellectualizing’ (ohhhh, ‘they’ don’t like that word either, do they?) with all of my fact based reality friends on this side of the Atlantic -as well as the other side. I’m going to give them all the information they require to make sound, intellectual decisions, and then I’m even going to give them additional tools which will show them that there is not in fact two paths, or three paths, or even more -that there is only ‘one path.’ I will share with this audience, quite capable of understanding, that not only has our own willful ignorance prevented us from acknowledging that ‘one path,’ but that it has been our own ‘fear’ of our protagonists response that has been the real culprit, for all these many decades...
… Will my progressive friends buy it -on this side of the Atlantic, as well as the other? There is only one, true hurdle to that one path. The facts will be present, so that will not be the issue. The issue will be ‘are we too afraid’ to act upon them, for fear of losing the completely unwinnable -which is 'our protagonists' to our side? One thing I am certain of; this is not an American problem, or even a European problem… This is a ‘collective’ problem… and they don’t like that word either, now do they?… :slight_smile:


The New Deal saved capitalism from itself

Don't we need to save ourselves from capitalism?


Lifting living standards of others is a great goal. Destroying the living standards of one group to lift the living standards of others is an entirely different and disastrous story, one we are living through right now. A guaranteed minimum income would be a good step in promoting humane internationalism.

Nationalism and protectionism, at this point, engenders nationalism in other countries and puts the US in grave danger of military conflict with large countries armed with nuclear weapons, i.e. China.


I would say yes, but it will take a catastrophic disaster for us to be saved from it. Civilized man has done everything it can to destroy how humans use to live. For the first time when we settled areas, man was able to accumulate wealth. From that day on, capitalism ruled and thus the old ways had to be completely discredited.
That is why many people have this visceral dislike when they hear socialism or communism. It's almost like it is bred into us to hate how the hunter-gatherers lived. We insult them, they are primitives, savages, pagans, whatever.
Instead of one man having power over only one tribe, now one man could rule many tribes by using wealth to buy support. That kind of power has ruled the world since. Defeating that would take a major revolution. Far more than the ones we have had in the past. The labor movement fought for decades for rights by a minority. They won, but the rich have fought back since then. Now the labor movement is suffering defeats.
Victories such as the labor movement don't last long as the powerful fight back to regain their control.


Representative government is designed to fail.

Online Direct Democracy.


Mr. Varoufakis:

Are you afraid of the word: "S o c i a l i s m"? Einstein wasn't.

Please fight the good fight, the many will be with you.

Thank you.


Billions in the third world were pulled out of poverty.

Just who were these billions?


No annihilation without representation!


No; that's how y'all started.


From the article:
"Progressives on both sides of the Atlantic are on the sidelines, unable to comprehend what they are observing."

I have to disagree with this. Progressives have understood what was happening for some time now, it is the neoliberals who seem unable to comprehend.