Published:  12:45 AM, 03 June 2019

The Donald Trump mythos (Part-1)


The overarching pretension of America is that it believes itself to be the final telomere of every human society. It believes, in the words of a US military officer in Stanley Kubrick's macabre masterpiece "Full Metal Jacket" that: "inside every gook is an American trying to get out." Gook here, of course, being a placeholder for any non-American Identity.

This pretension to being the universal destiny of human society is not an accidental facet of American Identity; rather it is the basis of it. Without this prime symbol with which to frame the American symbolic order, American Identity itself disappears. This much has been admitted by many.

Columnist Roger Cohen of TNYT has made this acute observation, "America is an idea. Strip freedom, human rights, democracy and the rule of law from what the United States represents to the world and America itself is gutted." But these are the ornaments of power with which they adorn their mythical being.

So it is down to America and it is down to everywhere. American White House is now an abode of neo-mythos under the presidency of Donald Trump with a newfangled government activity. It gibes in definite but not specified or identified paths. It has, rather, chartered a shape of authoritative political orientation of Germany and Italy of Hitler, Mussolini… which the world witnessed during their regimes, but with respect to history trenchant lineaments finicky to the governmental economic system and acculturation of America in this century.

This neo-mythos portrays the character or the qualities or peculiarities of the president and his snuggest advisors, and some of the principal corpuses in his cabinet.

From a fuller sociological point of view, it reflects the electoral bases, class constituencies and alignments, and racist, fraid doctrines that has brought Donald Trump into authority.

Neo-mythos dissertation and political praxis are now-a-days evident on regular basis in blistering assaults on the international affairs of other independent and sovereign states, at present in the internal affairs of Iran and more specifically Venezuela, a land of pride, of patriotism and the racially oppressed, immigrants, women, environmentalists, and workers in his own country.

These have been companioned by a corroborated crusade to bring the judicatory, governmental employees, the military, spy agencies, and the press into line with this novel mythos and political realism.

Some say the details of the Trump hagiography don't matter, that his policies may be up for discussion but his can-do bona fides are not-they are a given, unquestioned and unquestionable. They add that the foibles and quibbles have all been brought up in the past and they do not stick; he is a guy who knows how to get things done in a colossal way, and that's all that counts, forget the other stuff.

The fascists expect to find shortcuts around the chaos of humans acting freely together. But even in the autonomous council such ideologies recur, seeking always to restore some natural hierarchy.

The White House's "America First" policy, unfurled in Trump's inaugural address, with its characteristically fascist rebirth form of ultra-nationalism is not aimed at domination of Europe and its colonies, as in Nazi Germany, but in restoring US primacy over the entire world, leading to the potentially deadliest phase of imperialism.

If the White House is now best described, as neo-fascist in its leanings, this does not extend to the entire US state. Congress, the courts, the civil bureaucracy, the military, the state and local governments, and what is often called, after Louis Althusser, the "ideological state apparatus"-including the media and educational institutions-would need to be brought into line before a fully neo-fascist state could operate on its own violent terms.

There is no doubt that liberal or capitalist democracy in the United States is now endangered. At the level of the political system as a whole, as political scientist Richard Falk has put it, in a "pre-fascist moment."

It is vital to understand that fascism is not in any sense a mere political aberration or anomaly, but has historically been one of two major modes of political management adopted by ruling classes in the advanced capitalist states. Since the late nineteenth century, capitalist states, particularly those of the major imperial powers, have generally taken the form of liberal democracy-representing a kind of equilibrium between competing social sectors and tendencies, in which the capitalist class, by virtue of its control of the economy, and despite the relative autonomy accorded to the state, is able to assert its hegemony.

Far from being democratic in any egalitarian sense, liberal democracy has allowed considerable room for the rise of plutocracy, i.e., the rule of the rich; but it has at the same time been limited by democratic forms and rights that represent concessions to the larger population.

Indeed, while remaining within the boundaries of liberal democracy, the neoliberal era since the 1980s has been associated with the steepest increases in inequality in recorded history. Such a crisis of world hegemony, real or perceived, fosters ultra-nationalism, racism, xenophobia, extreme protectionism, and hyper-militarism, generating repression at home and geopolitical struggle abroad.

Liberal democracy, the rule of law, and the very existence of a viable political opposition are endangered. Fascism is one of the political forms which capitalism may assume in the monopoly-imperialist phase. The issue of fascism, whether in its classical or current form thus goes beyond right-wing politics. It raises the much more significant question of the jumping off place that marks the qualitative break between liberal democracy and fascism and today between neoliberalism and neo-mythos.

The complete development of a fascist state, understood as a historical process, requires a seizure of the state apparatus in its totality, and therefore, the elimination of any real separation of powers between the various parts, in the interest of a larger struggle for national as well as world dominance.

Hence, upon securing a beachhead in the government, particularly the executive, fascist interests have historically employed semi-legal means, brutality, propaganda, and intimidation as a means of integration, with big capital looking the other way or even providing direct support. In a complete fascist takeover, the already incomplete protections to individuals offered by liberal democracy are more or less eliminated, along with the forces of political opposition.

The political forces in power aim at what Nazi ideology called a "totalitarian state," organised around the executive, while the basic economic structure remains untouched. The fascist state in its ideal conception is thus totalitarian in itself, reducing the political and cultural apparatus to one unitary force, but leaving the economy and the capitalist class largely free from interference, even consolidating the dominance of its monopolistic fraction. The aim of the state in these circumstances is to repress and discipline the population, while protecting and promoting capitalist property relations, profits, and accumulation, and laying the basis for imperial expansion.

As Mussolini himself declared, "The fascist regime does not intend to nationalize or worse bureaucratize the entire national economy, it is enough to control it and discipline it through the corporations…. The corporations provide the discipline and the state will only take up the sectors related to defense, the existence and security of the homeland." Hitler likewise pronounced, "We stand for the maintenance of private property…. We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order." 

Many of these developments were specific to Europe in the 1930s, and are unlikely to recur in anything resembling the same form in our day. Nevertheless, neo-mythos today also has as its aim a shift in the management of the advanced capitalist system, requiring the effective dissolution of the liberal-democratic order and its replacement by the rule of representatives of what is now called the "alt-right," openly espousing racism, nationalism, anti-environmentalism, misogyny, homophobia, police violence, and extreme militarism in other independent and sovereign states across the world.

The deeper motive of all these forms of reaction, however, is the repression of the work force. Behind Trump's appeals to alt-right bigotry lie the increased privatisation of all state-economic functions, the reinforcement of the power of big business, and the shift to a more racially defined imperialist foreign policy.

The Trump White House is working to implement neo-fascist forms of capitalist state management, transgressing legal norms and abrogating liberal democratic protections. The fascist choice for managing a capitalist state in crisis is always based by definition even-on the categorical rejection of democracy.

    (To be continued...)

The writer is a senior citizen,writes on politics, political and human-centred figures, current and international affairs

Leave Your Comments



Latest News


More From OP-ED

Go to Home Page »

Site Index The Asian Age