American Dream becomes everyone’s nightmare
President Donald Trump, his Cabinet, the White House, the Republican Party hierarchy, the Clinton/Obama-led Democratic Party and the mass media are combining to wreck America, the wealthiest and strongest power on earth.
Bit-by-bit, day-by-day, blow-by-blow they are taking it down. After just seven months into his four-year presidency, Trump is an international laughing stock. This translates into America has become a laughing stock.
Every day, sometimes every hour, a bizzarro message comes out of the Trump White House, Manhattan’s Trump Tower or Trump’s summer palace, his Mar-a-Lago golf club for millionaires in Florida.
Some of the missives are contradictory and often they are in conflict with what he said a week before. They are read, studied and analysed by governments, diplomats, politicians and journalists around the world – who all reach different conclusions.
In this maddening world of rule-by-twitter, people start to ask whether Trump is “psychologically fit” to be president (i.e. they believe he is quite mad). The result is that America’s world standing falls commensurately with having a lunatic in charge.
Trump: mad, bad or both?
Questions about the mental stability of rulers of failing empires are not new. Indeed, they are symptomatic of the decline and fall of empires since early Greek, Roman, Persian and Egyptian times.
It is even true of the transition from feudalist to capitalist societies in Europe. Think of England’s beheaded Charles I, France’s beheaded Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antionette, “mad” King George III, the drug-addicted and deluded Shah of Iran, the dypsomaniac Boris Yeltsin etc.
In short, when empires fall as the result of the bankruptcy of outmoded systems of democracy and bankrupt social development, corrupt rulers fall as well.
However, history shows that the fall of empires is not the fault of individuals, though they may be contributing factors. Our attention should be directed at the systemic failings of extreme capitalism as practised in the United States during the past century. It has brought great wealth and enormous power to the US, but at the expense of other countries – and their people – around the world.
Donald Trump is the pinnacle of this ferocious, vulgar, cruel and heartless era of exploitation. A billionaire real estate and mob-supported casino huckster from New York, he is the living embodiment of American capitalism’s remorseless drive for profits at the expense of nature, all life forms and the natural environment.
Light at the end of the tunnel
The good news is that Trumpery is opposed by a clear majority of people in America and around the world. But they are all asking the same questions: Can we win? Can we stop Trump and kick him out of office? How will we make America great again? What and who will follow the demise of The Donald?
At present, the whole world appears to be absorbed by the same fears. In particular, white middle class people are consumed by uncertainty and pessimism, whether they are American, Canadian, European, British, South African or Australian.
I differ from most of my colleagues because I don’t wish to make “America great again”. I’ll take their music, films and TV mini-series but everything else stamped “Made in the USA”, such as wars, coups, drones, nuclear weapons, petrol-driven cars, coal-fuelled power stations, spineless “intellectuals” and obsessively personalised politics, is putridly degenerate. I’m over it.
The two major parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, are both capitalist parties. They have no association whatsoever with the tradition of socialism or Marxism. Indeed, the Democrats were once a pro-slavery party based in the racist south. Now it is a party based on two constituencies: the very wealthy (in New York and California) and the very poor (mainly blacks and Hispanics). The Democrats pander to the super-rich while living off the super-poor.
America’s historical pursuit of private wealth over the past 100 years is coming to an end and the emerging power is Chinese.
We all hear the following comments in our daily lives: “I don’t read the newspapers any more”, “I can’t bear to watch the news on television”, “The whole world seems to have gone crazy”, “I can’t afford a house or a husband and I won’t be having kids either” or “We’ve been let down by the politicians and the system; I’ve had it with the lot of them”.
This nervous apprehension is itself an expression of the uncertainties surrounding the transition from US hegemony to China’s emergence: this is what the decline of one super power and the emergence of a new one feels like. The West is losing its security blanket and the only alternative is “communist” China.
What will the world be like in 50 years? That’s anyone’s guess.
The US won’t bow out peacefully
No empire has given away its wealth and power peacefully and US imperialism will be no different. The transglobal US corporations in oil, gas, minerals, chemicals, banking and arms won’t hand over their profits without a last-ditch stand.
The US establishment is taking advice from the British Foreign Office and its intelligence agencies which left minefields all around the world to impede the progress of others when the British empire was forced to shut up shop.
Those who believe that neoliberalism is dead are kidding themselves and blinding others to the serious challenges in front. The cut-throat capitalists may have abandoned the name “neo-con” but its practices are being rolled out every day right across the globe with mounting ferocity.
It will not be stopped by small groups of middle-class protesters forming knitting circles or growing organic food. Our victory over the capitalist class will not come through a parliamentary election, a referendum or a vote in parliament. Corporate boardrooms and the ruling class have never accepted democracy; they have merely tolerated it.
I’ll pose it another way with a simple question: did the abolition of the slave trade 200 years ago with an Act of Parliament in the House of Commons stop slavery? In fact, child slavery and human trafficking is alive and well in Britain, Europe, the US, Asia and even in Australia in the 21st century.
Rupert Murdoch continued
Rupert Murdoch, aka The Dirty Digger, is too old to change his tricks. Now he’s ordered his Australian editors to ridicule and terrorise the ABC.
When he took management control of the British pay TV network, BSkyB, in the 1990s, Murdoch, the Tories and Tony Blair’s New Labour tore into the BBC. One of their first campaigns was to print the salaries of top executives and star performers. Headlines were splashed across all Murdoch’s London titles – The Sun, The Times, the News of the World and the Sunday Times – expressing outrage that Britain’s public broadcaster was paying its executives top salaries.
The other media were too gutless to demand that the Murdoch family make public their own salaries or those of the phone-hackers on their payroll.
Now Murdoch’s flunkeys are waging a similar campaign against the ABC while not declaring the salaries of any of their lickspittles.
For the record, Murdoch’s own annual salary is around $20 million a year and his personal fortune is about $12 billion. No one knows the precise figure but Murdoch hides it across separate annual reports published in Adelaide, London and New York.
News you may have missed
Back in July, the Trump administration announced that the US would no longer give financial support and arms to militia groups in Syria.
The story did not make headlines in America or Australia because it let the mangy cat out of bag – that the CIA has been clandestinely supporting terrorist groups to wage its “regime change” war against President Bashar al-Assad.
That particular project is now dead and buried. Russian President Vladimir Putin won that argument!
When I first reported US backing for the terror groups in Syria commonly called the Free Syrian Army, I was derided by Washington’s apologists.
The normally war-spluttering US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said: “We cannot necessarily focus on Assad the way the previous administration maybe did [i.e. President Barrack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton]. Do we think he [Assad] is a hindrance? Yes. Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No.”
Quote of the Week
“Let’s get one thing straight. I am an African woman. I am not a ‘person of colour’. When I am called a ‘person of colour’, what I hear is being called a ‘coloured person’.”
– African-born London journalist Adebola Lamuye