By Ian Freeman
To update the words of Randolph Churchill anent playing the Orange Card in the 1880’s, the question, now he has won the election, is whether President-elect Donald will prove the Ace of Trumps or only the deuce. To wheel out a yuppie cliché, Mr Trump during his campaign has talked the talk. We now wait finding out if, in office, he will walk the walk.
Which in my view depends on two things. Which walk he wants to walk, and, if that walk is, as his campaign suggested, in the direction of anti-globalist radical populism, whether he will be able to walk it. What does Donald Trump want to achieve? Does he understand what achieving it entails? And will he be able to deliver what he wants?
In his campaign, Donald Trump made many welcome noises on Mexican and Muslim Immigration, on stepping back from the brink of a confrontation with Russia (in areas and on issues where Russia is mostly in the right, in my view), and on rolling back globalisation and the concomitant deindustrialisation of the West.
The question this now raises is how many and how much of these noises he actually meant, and whether he understands what meaning them itself means, in terms of how radical he actually needs to be to deliver on them.
So far the signs of his sincerity seem good to me. His appointments to his team seem in line with his pre-election position. A notable one to watch is that of Breitbart chief Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist. Bannon is not Don Black, and Breitbart isn’t Stormfront, but one would hardly know that from the wails of woe and howls of execration from the PC media. What is interesting, and heartening, is that Trump has – so far – not backed down over this. Furthermore his Attorney General-designate, Jeff Sessions, when asked by a local newspaper in Alabama what he thought of the Klan, answered that he used to like the Klan till he discovered that some Klansmen smoked weed! This was thirty years ago, and sounds like an off-the-cuff facetious remark to me, but even that makes him intolerable to the PC media elite. Again, Trump has stood by him so far. Thus standing up to the PC harpies and social enforcers, even if Trump achieves little else, will do much to restore freedom in America.
Trump has also just announced he will trash the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the planned next phase of globalisation whose demise is a massive setback for that project.
Good stuff so far, though I doubt Donald Trump has a logically-thought out, coherent world-view, an ideology. At least, not yet. But I think, or at least it seems so far, he does have a coherent policy platform from which he does not wish to back down. Trying to deliver on it will impart important lessons to him, us, and the US and Western public that backs him.
Because it will set him on a collision course with the Great Enemy of our time, the destroyer of nations and cultures and peoples, the importer of Immigrants and exporter of jobs across the West, the bankroller of Political Correctness.
Not a conspiracy of “internationalists”, “insiders”, Bilderbergers or, at its least sophisticated “The Jews”, but the inherent internal imperatives of a system of economic ownership and control which has evolved into globalising corporate transnational Capitalism, with its stock and money markets and its ownership of the economy by the many (if, like me, you have a pension fund you – very much in theory! – own a bit of the System, though a cosmopolitan global elite of the super-rich own an ever increasing share of global wealth) contrasting with control of it by the few, by an interlocking corpocratic elite.
A corpocratic elite who themselves are just as much employees reporting to other employees as the lowliest secretary or widget-assembler. Because the members of the boards of the transnationals are appointed by the institutions, pension funds, asset management companies etc., whose shareholdings are big enough to buy them a seat or few on the board. In turn these senior corpocrats are promoted, or otherwise, are given power in the machine or otherwise, depending on whether they are seen effectively to maximise return on shareholder investment. Therefore the global corpocratic machine acts to do so, as blindly and sometimes as oblivious of visibly unfortunate impending long term consequences of its short-termism if it were a computer program (which in fact much that controls the allocation of resources within the system, share and international currency trading, actually is, the so called “trading algos” – note the recent Sterling “Flash Crash” they caused).
It is thus this blind economic process, not a conscious human plot that now drives internationalism, immigration, offshoring etc., etc. It is in fact what an earlier generation called “The Money Power”.
It is this process, this power, that Trump will find himself, whether he understands it or not, confronting. Because his policies, and the popular will that elected him to implement them, directly contradict its inbuilt internal imperatives. Imperatives that seek to maximise the “free movement of Capital and Labour” – offshoring and Immigration – “international free trade” – NAFTA, TTP and over here the EU, and behind them all the WTO with which Trump must eventually also break – and “the removal of social and cultural barriers to a global borderless market” – Political Correctness, some of whose most fervent street acolytes, ironically, objectively therefore serve as the stormtroopers of a globalising corpocratic Capitalist system they subjectively genuinely themselves very much oppose.
The System will fight back. Partly through its media, whose liberal ideology reflects its ownership by international corporations embedded in that System. Trump so far has found he can beat that by appealing direct to the people – thanks to the Internet and Social Media, untended consequences of technology originally developed by and for the transnational corporations – the PC, first mass marketed by IBM – and the US military-industrial complex – whose ARPANET became the Internet.
Mainly however through the power it has bought within the political system, in the US as here. President Trump in theory has a majority in a Republican-dominated Congress. In practice, the Republicans in the US, like the Tories here, have traditionally been the party of Big Business. Originally national Big Business, but as the US companies founded by entrepreneurs like Ford and Rockefeller became US corporations run by corporate bureaucrats and then transnational corporations run by managers appointed by the interlocking international web of institutions, they became the party of internationalist global corporate Capitalism. Many Republican Senators and Representatives are funded by and beholden to Wall Street and the corpocrats, and they will defend “Free Trade”, the US “competing in world markets” etc. to the bitter end.
As their Tory counterparts are doing here with regard to Brexit, which they are determined to water down as much as they can. In which they appear to be succeeding. It is depressing, but not surprising, that Teresa May, who unlike Donald Trump was not elected on any sort of populist platform (or at all, in fact!) is now talking about “making globalisation work post-Brexit” (a bit like making turkeys work post-Christmas Dinner!).
Whilst she has reacted to threats from Nissan to pull out of carmaking in Britain by grovelling and giving the multinational combine “assurances” (of the nature of which we have been told nothing) rather than telling the corporate suits that if they did that their plant in Sunderland and other assets would be seized without compensation and handed over to its workforce, who would be free to make cars for the British market safe in the knowledge that competing foreign-made vehicles would be barred from being imported into our country. There will be more such transnational corporate threats – clearly there will in return be more secret assurances. Cf. Hinkley Point.
Indeed Mrs May has now abased herself before the collected corporate suits of the Confederation of British Industry (a parcel of rogues most of whom in my view should be rehoused on the end of a rope) and recanted her earlier plan to give the workforce elected seats on the boards of their employers. Parenthetically, it is ironic that whilst the Great British – and American – Public imagine they live in a democracy wherein they elect their rulers, very few of them have the least say in appointing the people who in their ordinary day-to-day lives exercise the greatest amount of direct power over them, can tell them what to do and indeed threaten to deprive them of the means of earning their livelihoods – their bosses at work! Which popular impotence indeed is at the root of the Capitalist System that will be their/our and our nations’ and, indeed in the end its own, undoing.
Meanwhile the internal imperatives of the global corporate System have already punished the British people for having the temerity to defy it by devaluing its currency by 16% and so pushing up, sooner or later, the prices we pay in the shops for the imported goods on which we have become dependent.
This may have the interesting unintended consequence of helping local producers and thus reducing imports. Thereby doing something about the unsustainable negative trade balance Britain, like the USA, has been running for years. Our trade deficit reached record levels in 2015 – BEFORE the Brexit vote – and in the second quarter of 2016, again pre-Referendum, a net sum of over £28 billion haemorrhaged out of the British economy because international trade costs, and long has cost, us more than we earn from it (then why do it, one may ask? – because those who do it, mostly transnationals, make vast profits, mostly banked outside our borders). Meanwhile the USA bled out in trade deficit thanks to its role in the Glorious Global Free Trade Economy to the tune of US $36 billion in September 2016 alone.
See for details
|Balance of payments – Office for National Statistics
Balance of payments. All economic transactions between residents of the UK and the rest of the world.
|United States Balance of Trade | 1950-2016 | Data | Chart …
United States Balance of Trade 1950-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar The US goods and services deficit decreased 9.9 percent mom to $36.44 billion in September of 2016 …
These ongoing deficits, and they have ongone for decades in both Britain and the US, are – like many features of the current world economic system – unsustainable in the long term for the nations thus economically bleeding to death, or being sucked to death by the corporate vampires of the Global Market. However profitable the trade that generates them may be for the transnational corporations engaged in it (though in the end they will bankrupt the countries concerned or collapse the system when they do a “Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay” to the holders of their debt, in either case suffering the fate of any parasite that kills its host or causes its host’s immune system to awaken and eject it). These figures above show in detail that we, and most other Western nations, are, and long have been, massively trading at a loss in the international global market. We do it because our economies are owned by a transnational corpocracy running the world economy at a big profit to themselves, regardless of the cost to us. Unless we stop them.
Put bluntly, International Trade is a Bad Thing. It costs us as a country, and the US as a country, a Lot of Money. For a few items – we will never grow much in the way of tea, coffee or bananas here – it is possibly a necessary evil. But mostly we should not do it. Our own people should make and grow what we need ourselves, as much as possible. For Donald Trump’s USA, that will be very easy. If he can rip the transnational corporate leeches off America’s back.
Whether he can do that depends on how deeply they have got their suckers in to the US Body Politic.
Trump can do much – he can end the liberal stranglehold on the US Supreme Court, with important legal and concomitant consequences, he can avoid the suicidal World War III with Russia Obama and Hillary seemed bent on provoking. He can impact the Zeitgeist more generally by openly defying Political Correctness and getting away with it.
Incidentally he could help others beyond the US here – were President Trump to observe that the American people, their right of free speech guarded by the First Amendment, are truly free in a way that the people of even supposed Western Democracies like Britain, Germany and Australia are not. Because in those other so-called Western Democracies expressing opinions – State-defined and Orwellishly-described “hate speech”, and even holding forbidden (even in my view probably largely wrong, but still meriting freely debating) views on recent history – can and do get their citizens thrown in jail. These remarks, unarguably true, would have a massive indirect impact in those countries. Pointing out that in this regard Britain and many other Western states are less free than Russia, let alone the US, would certainly sting our rulers!
However I fear what Trump can do may be limited by the fact that he is essentially a lone figure, who stood in spite of the Republican Party, not for it. There is no Trump Party, no legislators elected on a Trump Platform, to implement his policies in Congress.
Theresa May, who also does not have a Brexit Party but a “pro-business” (i.e. pro-transnational corpocrat) Tory Party and a pro-EU Parliament likewise to balk her even if she shared Trump’s principles, offers Trump a salutary lesson in the pressures he will face.
Whether he yet realises it, to paraphrase a Christian Bible in which I do not personally believe, Trump wars not against princes but against powers and principalities. Not against “liberal internationalists” but against the economic system and the transnationals and asset-management and currency trading commercial entities that comprise it, a system that drives forward liberal internationalism for its own short-term profit. Powers and principalities of which he may not yet be aware, but which, win or lose, will soon become very apparent not just to him, but to the American people who elected him. As they fight back not just with media and Congress-critters they own, but with the effects their system imposes – deliberately and simply through its own internal logic – on those who would buck it. The runs on the currency and the stock market, the shutting down of corporate tentacles in the dissident-controlled territory with concomitant loss of jobs and tax revenue, the reallocation elsewhere of corporate resources – the poison pill called “inward investment” – and the resulting bleating of “business leaders”.
If Trump is genuinely a man of principle determined to deliver on the policies which, despite the hostility not only of the media but most of supposedly his own party, got him elected, he may still fail. But his failure will inform and empower others, armed with a deeper understanding and a more coherent world view and organised around a Party rather than a person, to try again. And, just possibly, win, and save us all from being ground to deracinated dirt beneath a Global Greed Machine whose blind progress, driven by the clockwork of short term return on shareholder investment, will then lead it, and us all, over the lip of the abyss.