Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Trump and his government of the superrich

In view of Trump about to set up his government of billionaires or superrich, the following article does draw some very preturbing similarities with previous forms of power exploitation by supermanagers:

An initial reflection

That is quite an interesting article, indeed by associating clearly neo liberalism with Fascism as known to us through Hitler's Germany 1933-45, it is even breathtaking. Yet by all clear analysis, I end up wondering why he does not conclude the most obvious: Trump is ushering into government the superrich and thereby verifies his main thesis that Neo Liberalism and German Fascism are equally based on a kind of governance in a non state.

This applies especially to the concept of law and therefore to the notion as to what is legal. For Trump that does not exist. Instead there shall be enforced only 'his will'. Enacted will be be what he believes to be politically expedient. It can be translated superficially at first sight into what his followers want when they wish to see blood or in terms of the recent election to see Hillary Clinton be imprisoned. These followers are not merely angry, for they fake to be upset over a civil servant confusing the public with the private i.e. Hillary's use of her private email account when in fact nothing is private. This was shown by what Wikileak revealed, and which outgoing President Obama has now taken to be proven, namely that Russian hackers were behind these cyber-invasions.

It is ironic when Trump pounced upon Hillary's use of her private email account when he wishes himself to do away with this difference between private and public. Already during the campaign he organised things in such a way that his private real estates profited e.g. meetings held in the Trump tower and even his Charity Foundation giving money for causes which had a clearly political purpose and therefore a violation of the law. Moreover it is not at all clear how the democratic institutions and laws will counter Trump making his private business becomes a public matter and vice versa governmental tasks his private interests.

I think the article delivers a good tool for further reflection even though the author neglects to take into account civic society and the strength of democratic values. I have always believed once you set certain measures, they can never be taken away. When the military Junta governed in Greece 1967-74, everyone joined the protest that in the birthplace of democracy there would rule dictatorship.

I would also not agree when the argumentation ignores real differences only for the sake of making some general statements e.g. Neo Liberalism has already deported so many people, put them in jail etc. For that feeds into the general criticism of Obama about whom is said, that he contributed so much to such deportations even though officially he was for the legalization of illegal immigrants who were already in the United States. Again a closer look as to what took place under the Presidency of Obama would be needed before drawing such sharp conclusions.

Here I would say a fair assessment of reality would have to come to terms with the contradiction in society and political institutions. It reflects that different forces are at work and you are never sure which side will be able to set the agenda and bring about the democratic legitimacy needed for the actions undertaken. Practically the article argues Fascism should not be reduced to a single person like Hitler. So why make a similar mistake by putting the blame upon Obama alone?

We will see how those who elected Trump and supported him, how they will deal with political reality once he is in office. Already the fact that they will not be asked to participate and to engage themselves but leave governance to the superrich can spell for Trump sooner or later big trouble. America is great if it upholds the democratic rule of the law, any deviation will harm all institutions and the diverse American society which is anyhow at the brink of a dangerous polarisation. So what will the supporters of Trump do when they are forced to accept the fact that the superrich shall govern by themselves and proceed to dismantle even further workers' rights, health care, public schools systems and many other services the state has provided for the poor and not privileged?

As for privatisation, another characteristic of both Neo Liberalism and Fascism, here the author refers to the European Union as if it would be undermining parliaments and nation states for the sake of a whole programme linked to privatization. The best example may be Greece and what is happening there, but I do not accept such a criticism of the European Union. That would come dangerously close to what Johnson said in the Brexit campaign that the European Union compares to Hitler's Germany. That ignores all the real differences between National Socialism and the European Union with its freedom to travel and rule by cultural consensus. It is not by accident that people in the UK are now worried without the EU that pollution will increase as environmental laws are no longer imposed or even Rights for Workers shall be undermined to an extent it would not be possible had Great Britain stayed within the EU set of rules.

Moreover the exception to the rule that the British side always sought is that the superrich there are linked to the Crown and to the inheritance law protecting the aristocracy. The latter is both a traditional and a progressive power class because of having property and which gives not only the British society (Heinrich Böll says about Germany it is still a feudal state due to much power resting on property owned by the aristocracy) much more a feudal character than that of an advanced economy.

The real question after reading such an analysis is if confidence in democratic measures and values is enough to face the encroachment by the superrich? With Trump and his billionaires in the cabinett this will prove to be most difficult and not only due to their own wish to reinforce their already available power gained through wealth, but because I do not see as of yet any serious challenge to their real desire to legitimize their wealth through using government for their own purpose.

I think they will crash due to not being able to resolve a conflict of interest. Their business practices will not work for politics does differ from economic matters, and as Kant said, businessmen tend to think only in crude terms. They cannot really think in terms of what is true policy deliberation and what is required for presenting society with wise choices rather than with mere short term gains.

The author of the article predicts already one wall they shall hit. It is linked to the environment for if Trump does not believe in climate change and wishes to promote again coal and oil (drilling, fracking, new oil pipes), he will burden the economy with unknown costs and society with an enviornment no one can survive in. His attitude reflects the refusal to see limits of nature as if everything can be solved if you apply only will power. That is a dangerous illusion but he showed that already as to where he had gulf courses be built i.e. exploiting rare ecological niches as in Scotland.

Still, if my point is taken seriously, then Trump's meak attempts at legitimization is already reaching its limits. Lately he has articulated himself in a heightened tension and with greater nervousness. He senses already that the fact of Hillary having gained nearly 3 million more popular votes, that this weakens his basis of legitimacy considerably. If he continues to divide the nation rather than build bridges, he will encounter very soon more serious problems. The fact that the FED has already contradicted his screwed up view of the economy indicates that there are forces with which you better not play with. He has not learned as of yet that there are forces in society which you cannot ignore or ridiculize them by undermining their reputation, a method he used in order to drive opponents and Hillary into a defensive position, in order to silence them.This silence will mean sooner or later he will be without any reality check as no one will tell him real facts and thus he will end up making seirous mistakes. It is a serious indication that he seems to think that he can ignore security briefings. He may want to question the CIA apparatus, but he also depends upon a working intelligence community which does guarantee the security of the country.

Most recently a lovely incidence was provoked by the criticism Vanity Fair magazine levelled against Trump once an article published called the food being served at the Trump Tower to be anything but acceptable. So the food is already spoiled and therefore the taste of Trump and by which decisions are made is no longer really a guarantee of quality. Yet you cannot do without aesthetical considerations and knowing what is a true quality of food. There has come up an interesting remark in the Greek newspaper Kathimerini which quotes a literary professor from Italy who says we have nowadays besides real poverty another kind of poverty to be called for lack of a better word 'cheapness'. It has the equivalent of not being genuine and far from any demand for truth. This may well be the Trump world soon to be presented as if all the glitter and glamour is enough to convince everyone, including the taxi driver no longer able to drive through 5th Avenue since that is blocked due to all the security hazzle.

The last incidence is even more telling. Author Rowling mocks Trump for the spelling mistake he made on Twitter. Someone with such public exposure showing a weakness in use of language may think twice the next time before being embarassed by the laughter in social media over such a clumsy fellow.

Still, the article reminds about the need to overcome the silence with which usually the problem of Fascism and Neo Liberalism has been covered up.

hatto fischer

Berlin 18.12.2016

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