Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Rise of Trum Authoritarianism



VERY interesting article which I have not finished but want to share. It is chilling for so many of us who are diametrically opposed to a Trumpian value system (if you want to call it values) and have much to lose.

http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

Robert Reich video: Donald Trump Isn't a Conservative, He is an Authoritarian


Robert Reisch Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration, Professor at Berkley and brilliant commentator has this to say:

Here or

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l96F1JVEm4&ebc=ANyPxKp0GQSFUz6r1eUwrW56pL58U1OV9i6wRCzfWjhIni764nZjfyCRVTxADSbEzsW1IonemnJb1T12uVQsgynhJSaK8gJfOw

Bulls-eye



My cousin wrote to me this below.  I think he hit the bulls-eye:

"Trump's attraction is largely attributable to how both parties have repeatedly attacked the poor and the middle class, emasculating us incrementally; all the while enriching and enshrining into law the continued protections for extreme wealth. SCOTUS and an incompetent Congress (regardless of majority party, it must be noted!) have insured that the top 1/10th of 1% can write their own bills that will be made law, and business can wantonly kill (alĂ  GM) and continually rob and cheat, facing at most a mild slap on the wrist. Companies can run the numbers and decide it is OK to murder because the settlements will be cheaper than fixing the problem. Banks can sell toxic assets to pension plans and the elderly because they can get Moody's to give CDSs sterling ratings. When they get caught, so what! They pay a tiny (by comparison) fine, but at least they got rid of their losses!! Meanwhile, the damage to those who bought those sick investments goes on, and they will never be made whole. But the banks get billions in loans, assured by the government.....that is, BOTH PARTIES,.....that they have no worries because the taxpayer will take care of them always!

I really felt this phrase of Chomsky's was resonate:
"...... is that the hopefulness of the ‘30s and the social struggles and achievements that inspired it have been largely supplanted by fear, despair, and isolation, opening the way to the Trump phenomenon, which should be cause for deep concern."

It is this anger and relentless frustration which draws people foolishly to the Donald. We, who for so long have been told how we live in the greatest country with the greatest democracy, are absolutely sick of the lies and rapaciousness of our politicians! They, who sit on the hill with a guaranteed and very comfortable paycheck, plus excellent healthcare and the best pensions extant, continue to tell us how they will fix things, just like they have been doing for more than a century. We have been alternatively hammered and lulled: the first is by our increasing tax bill and decreasing services, while the second is the occasional bone of hope we get, such as the affordable care act. The latter are increasingly rare because the wealthy feel these are too costly, therefore our political system must go through these four year gyrations to convince the bulk of the populace that we have the power (HA!) and hope still exists if we just vote the right way!"

Neo Liberalism -- a definition

Here or 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

My Question to an Intellect

When I am politically incredulous about the events of our time I turn to intellectual scholars who know much more than I.  This time I asked MIT Professor Noam Chomsky to provide an explanation to me of the Trumpian phenomena of our time.  He does so.

Yes, it is long but the events surrounding you, me and millions of others in our nation and its impact on the world should spur you to at least read it and stop being put off by intellectual arguments that take a little more time and effort to ingest.  In other words my suggestion: READ IT and learn!  Scroll down if your interest is peaked.




Professor Chomsky, I have been a life long progressive.  What is happening now in this country could not be predicted by many.  Trump does have some populism attached to his core message but the bigotry and the nativist slant reminds me of "Gangs of New York" in its fever pitch.  Can you explain so I can rationally explain this phenomenon.  The rudeness and lewdness of his message is staggering. 

I am ashamed for the world to see this not to mention the danger of it.  He makes ISIS job easy and is exactly what they think the US is all about.  The nation has made mistakes that is for sure but a Trump mistake of this magnitude is unthinkable.

Your views?


Below is something posted in a  discussion on Quora that tries to respond to your question.  You’re right about the danger.  IN fact, the world is looking on with astonishment and trepidation.
NC
Though we do not have detailed data, it appears that Trump is appealing primarily to less educated white sectors of the population, lower middle class and working class, people who are angry, frustrated, frightened, bitter about the fact – and it is a fact – that they have been in many ways cast by the wayside.  The neoliberal programs of the past generation have been harmful to affected populations almost everywhere, sometimes severely so.  Rising global inequality, which has reached extraordinary proportions, is one (and only one) of the many indications.  Oxfam produces annual reports of poverty and inequality.  In 2014, they found that about 90 individuals held half of total world wealth.  In 2015, the number was reduced to 62.  Meanwhile perhaps 5 million children are dying of starvation every year – more than 500 an hour, a tragedy that could easily be remedied by available resources. Among the developed (OECD) societies, inequality is particularly prominent in the Anglophone countries, with the US well in the lead.  Despite its unique advantages, by most measures of poverty and social justice the US ranks with the poorest OECD countries, alongside of Greece, Mexico, Turkey, facts heightened by lavish displays of concentrated wealth.  The disparities have increased since the latest crash, with some 90% of growth going to 1% of the population.  As widely reported, the global rich now live in a different world from the general population.
In the US, the neoliberal programs have led to stagnation or decline for much of the population, undermining of functioning democracy, reduction of benefits and social welfare.  People do not have to read academic studies to know that real wages for male workers are about what they were in the 1960s while wealth has concentrated in very few hands; that corporate strategies have shifted manufacturing abroad; that a considerable majority of the population is virtually disenfranchised in that their representatives disregard their attitudes; and much more.  Years ago, academic studies showed that the socioeconomic profile of abstention in the US matches those sectors in similar countries who vote for laborite or social democratic parties, lacking in our political system, which in some ways still reflects the Civil War.  We also cannot overlook the deeply rooted historical background of white supremacy and racism that has never been overcome, and the increasing atomization of the society that leaves people alone and isolated, feeling helpless against forces that are crushing them.  Under these circumstances it is not hard for demagogues to stir up anger against those who are even more victimized – immigrants, minorities, “welfare cheats” (demonized by Reaganite racist slurs) – and to stimulate highly exaggerated fears of threats ranging from the federal government to Islamic terrorists.
We should also remember that what we are witnessing is not entirely new.  A decade ago, the distinguished scholar of German history Fritz Stern, writing in the establishment journal Foreign Affairs, opened a review of “the descent in Germany from decency to Nazi barbarism” in the establishment journal Foreign Affairs by writing that “Today, I worry about the immediate future of the United States, the country that gave haven to German-speaking refugees in the 1930s,” himself included.  With implications for here and now that no reader can fail to discern, Stern reviewed Hitler’s demonic appeal to his “divine mission” as “Germany’s savior” in a “pseudoreligious transfiguration of politics” adapted to “traditional Christian forms,” ruling a government dedicated to “the basic principles” of the nation, with “Christianity as the foundation of our national morality and the family as the basis of national life.” Hitler’s hostility toward the “liberal secular state,” shared by much of the Protestant clergy, drove forward “a historic process in which resentment against a disenchanted secular world found deliverance in the ecstatic escape of unreason.”
That was ten years ago.  The words resonate more ominously today.
It is also useful to compare the current malaise with the Great Depression in the 1930s, which I’m old enough to remember.  Objectively, conditions were far worse than today.  Subjectively, they were quite different, as I could see even from my own extended family, many of them unemployed working class with limited education.  Despite the grim conditions, there was a sense of hopefulness, a belief that we’ll get out of this together.  The labor movement had been virtually crushed by the 1920s, largely by force, but reconstituted in the ‘30s with organization of the CIO and militant labor actions that helped induce a fairly sympathetic administration to institute significant social reforms.  The unions also provided crucial forms of association and interaction, including educational and cultural opportunities.  There were also lively political organizations – Communist, Socialist, others -- participating actively in labor and civil rights actions and general intellectual life in which much of the working class participated.  Business publications warned of “the hazard facing industrialists” in “the rising political power of the masses,” but were powerless to stem the tide, though reaction was building up by the late ‘30s and picked up forcefully when the war ended.  This is not the place to review what has happened since, but one consequence is that the hopefulness of the ‘30s and the social struggles and achievements that inspired it have been largely supplanted by fear, despair, and isolation, opening the way to the Trump phenomenon, which should be cause for deep concern.  Perhaps the most favorable observation that can be made about his candidacy is that Cruz is even more dangerous, and the other likely Republican prospect, Rubio, is hardly less of a threat to the country and the world, at least if he means a word he says.

Professor Chomsky, I have been a life long progressive.  What is happening now in this country could not be predicted by many.  Trump does have some populism attached to his core message but the bigotry and the nativist slant reminds me of "Gangs of New York" in its fever pitch.  Can you explain so I can rationally explain this phenomenon.  The rudeness and lewdness of his message is staggering. 

I am ashamed for the world to see this not to mention the danger of it.  He makes ISIS job easy and is exactly what they think the US is all about.  The nation has made mistakes that is for sure but a Trump mistake of this magnitude is unthinkable.

Your views?