Skip to main content

the trumpenproletariat

Yeah, it's rich coming from the national review, but that line about the trumpenproletariat liking him because he makes them feel good (like Oxycontin) has a lot of truth in it. You know this if you've ever met a core Trumpite.* If you work in a factory, or on a farm, or live outside the city, they're hard to avoid. And the core can't shut up about him. Yes, our ideology is ultimately informed by our material situation, but the trumpenproletariat are not giving us a decent critique of NAFTA. They've largely worked out that Trump is completely talking shit when he says he'll "bring the jobs back," like he's some sort of economic necromancer. It's building a wall that gives them a little poke in their pants. "Make the country great again" mostly means you don't wait but five minutes before you send the tanks in for people blocking a pipeline. Of course we still have our brutal crackdowns and state murders, streaming live, but every day one of these protests is tolerated, every football player who takes a knee, is another day where the real world disrupts the ideal one. You have to bring them back in line, so they know their place, like the good old days. Of course Trump could never do this, but it's enough that he isn't afraid to talk about it.

If you actually look at Trump's policy proposals, the ones you can make sense of anyway, they're the same old (bipartisan) anti-government nonsense. His idea to rebuild the country's infrastructure is to incentivize private industry to rebuild the nation through subsidizing them via tax cuts. Wow! What a populist vision! I'll admit I'm thoroughly enjoying watching the neocons squirm and embrace Clinton because of Trump's unwillingness to do what he's told, but this is more a reflection of how awful he is as a person rather than any sort of anti-interventionist ideology. The few times Trump accidentally says something reasonable regarding foreign policy he will ruin it by ranting on about carpet bombing or using nukes against some rag tag group of jihadists.

(That's not to say Clinton's ideas are much better. Clinton is a complete hawk, much more so than Obama, and has been nothing short of awful in regards to Syria. The Democrats are so goddamn tone deaf to the mood of the country right now I can't bring myself to do anything other than ignore them. I thought i'd never see a bigger wasted opportunity than when they pushed through the the ACA, but it appears they will do one better by making us sit through years of Clinton scandals, real and imagined, when they had a historic chance to basically nominate anyone and win.)

Trump is about identity, which is largely but not exclusively white. With that identity comes a romanticization of the past, "memberberries" as South Park puts it. A lot of that has to do with post-war economic security that is no longer here. (It is indeed the loss of that economic security that has allowed Trumpites, and identitarians of all sorts, to flourish.) It is tempting to think Trump ultimately represents a longing for that economic order, albeit in a nasty racist/nationalist rightwing way. That at least gives us hope that we could channel some of that anger for more positive purposes. I don't have that hope. Trump isn't populist enough to stray too from economic orthodoxy, and core Trumpites will openly laugh away Trump's repeated policy contradictions because they primarily care about what he represents, which isn't consciously about economics, and would almost certainly be there even with a more favorable class balance. The Trumpites will need to be put back in their place at some point regardless of whether or not someone is able to conjure up those "middle class" jobs.


*regarding the term "Trumpite" and/or "trumpenproletariat:" I do note a difference between someone who plugs their nose and votes for Trump and someone who is a core supporter. A small difference. It is extremely hard to imagine being able to plug your nose well enough to avoid that smell.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Austerity Ecology and The Collapse-Porn Addicts

I just finished Leigh Phillip’s left defense of humanity, “Austerity Ecology And The Collapse-Porn Addicts.” I think it’s important to frame it that way, as one of the main point he makes (and I fully agree) is that the earth doesn’t need us to survive. What we should focus on is our species. And not just surviving, but prospering, even conquering (I know people don’t like that word, but we ought not be scared of power). Phillips goes through every argument that I grew up with, from green austerity to that overpopulation nonsense, and convincingly does away with them. (I read Derrick Jensen was I was younger and had completely spaced out how truly terrible his arguments are. Embarrassingly bad. When I tried John Bellamy Foster I luckily found him too dense to get through. Just like George Ciccariello-Maher is a caricature of your “edgy” left wing professor, Foster is a caricature of what a Marxist is, tough to understand but you should know what he’s saying is super important!) 

Phill…

Hollywood Award Shows are Basically Advertisements for Trump

Given the “resistance” has grounded itself in moralism, it’s perfect Oprah Winfrey is the latest hope. She has trash politics, but gave a speech that sounded wonderful but would have only really mattered before #metoo had “startup” potential. Oprah Winfrey is a retired billionaire in charge of a media empire. She surely could have revealed that Weinstein was a predator, an open secret within Hollywood, without losing her livelihood. Instead she was giving him kisses on another one of those fancy Trump ads. Do we still wonder why calling Trump a hypocrite isn’t the devastating political argument many liberals imagine it to be?
I’m listening to Christopher Hitchens’ fine collection of essays, “arguably.” I’d read many of these years ago, but had forgotten how good of a writer he was. Listening to him take down JFK is pure poetry. However his post 9/11 theme, that fundamentalist Islam is the threat most comparable to 20th century fascism for the enlightenment influenced democracies, stands on even shakier ground today. His realpolitik version of Trotsky’s “permanent revolution” had our enlightenment influenced democracy with Puritan characteristics as some sort of revolutionary regime spreading the best we can do to some despotic areas. It’s quite a twist that Iraq ended up being a boon to Iran, which caused the gulf monarchies to freak out. Of course Trump and his goons are now trying to make amends by demonizing Iran to an absurd degree. I wonder if America allying itself with al-Qaeda in Syria would be enough to cause Hitchens to rethink some things? Maybe his weird hatred for the Baathists extended to the…