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

Putting North Dakota's Economy in Context...

"Revenge of the Squares"?

Brandishing the values of "yesteryears," some Mayberryish place that exists only in conservatives' minds, North Dakota is the nation's economic hot spot. Although it ironically has become hip to write little fluff pieces on how refreshing it is North Dakota, being so neglected by America's elite, has managed to stave off Capitalism's latest crisis, a few contextual points are in order.

First off, the oil. North Dakota has oil. Now this point is almost certainly mentioned by the glorymongerers, as it is in the above piece, but this key fact has little to do with culture and lots to do with luck and new technology that allows access to oil that was once unprofitable to be refined. A quick look through history tells us oil is, at most, a finite mixed blessing. Oil, unlike the infamous North Dakota weather, tends to keep the "riff-raff" in.

Next, we have the State bank. North Dakota is the only state in the…

Against Empire

It seems like no one outside of the “American Conservative” is thinking about the US as a declining empire. Contrary to what some thought, Trump has no interest in scaling back the US to a “normal” country. That wasn’t what MAGA meant. Quite the opposite, Trump and his goons think the post war international order isn’t US-centric enough. This is where Trump and the neoconservatives find common ground. 

What’s more interesting to me is the Democratic Party, and the liberal/left in general. The Dems are historically the war party, and they have renewed that patriotic passion in the Trump era. The shameful treatment of Ilhan Omar is a good example. This charge of her being “anti-Semitic” for questioning Israel’s influence in US foreign policy is disingenuous and disgraceful. (People are acting like we didn’t already go through this silly “debate” when Walt and Mearsheimer’s book came out over a decade ago. It’s infuriating. These are also the same people who can’t go a half an hour witho…

The Best a Man Can Get

Paralleling the socially conscious corporation is the conservative critique of capitalism. Tucker Carlson, an odious character to be sure, has gone as far as saying family values are being “crushed” by market forces. How is the left going to explain this, let alone fight it, when to your average person the left is indiscernible from a massive corporation like Gillette? The right has already taken a chunk of what it means to be transgressive, particularly in England as they pretty well own the counter-culture, now they are set to become the new anti-capitalists while we cheer on advertisements. This is going to be a rough year.