Trump and Saving Capitalism

Published on Counterpunch, by Richard D. Wolff, March 6, 2017.

Capitalism, Thomas Piketty showed in his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century has a built-in tendency to worsen income and wealth inequalities. One consequence of this tendency are periodic political explosions of mass, popular anger. People push back against those inequalities and the political corruption and social divisions they always aggravate. Politicians who grasp these moments often succeed in taking advantage of them and win. Politicians who fail to see, admit, or accommodate these moments lose. Such losers have usually served as administrators and cheerleaders for capitalism – its sequential “establishments.” So busy (and well paid) celebrating the system, they are undone by their own defensive blindness to its failures and critical oppositions … //

… Yet there are, of course, also differences between Hitler and Trump. Hitler had to deal with a powerful, well-organized, deeply rooted, radical political opposition coming from German labor unions allied with strong socialist and communist parties. Thus massive internal repression eventually including mass murder was his way to achieve a top priority: removing criticism and opposition. Trump so far has faced nothing comparable. Hitler needed to identify “foreigners” inside Germany against whom his followers could vent their accumulated rage. Jews and other marginal groups served that purpose for Hitler. In contrast, Trump has what Hitler lacked: a sizable immigrant population. So far, it provides the inside group against which mass rage about capitalism can be concretely deflected. Trump has targeted immigrants but he may expand to the other traditional scapegoats if and as needed.

Another key difference is the extent and degree of globalized multi-national corporations whose investments and interests are far more internationally dispersed now than they were in the 1930s. Trump will encounter and have to either repress or accommodate their oppositions to his economic nationalism; either course may well prove his undoing.

Hitler had his own political party, a genuine mass national organization built explicitly against the major German parties of left and right. Trump has not (yet) done that and thus maintains an uneasy, contradiction laden relationship to the Republican Party. The latter may fold or be folded into a Trump party, but that will take time if it is even possible.

Trump has made large promises about recouped jobs, incomes, and security for millions. If he fails to deliver or if he simply improves one working class group’s situation at the expense of another, he will provoke massive hostility to himself and all he represents. Obama left office having disappointed millions about the hope and change he never delivered. That disappointment contributed significantly to Trump’s win. The same process could play out – and then likely more sharply – with Trump. His handlers either already know this or will soon figure it out.

(full text).

(Richard Wolff is the author of Capitalism Hits the Fan and Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens. He is founder of Democracy at Work. More articles on Richard D. Wolff).


International Womens Day, March 8, 2017:
on its website;
on Google Web-search;
on en.wikipedia;
on YouTube-search;
A Message from UN Women’s Executive Director, 3.45 min, uploaded by UN Women;

Genocide and the Philippines-American War, President Rodrigo Duterte and Neocolonialism, on Silent Crow News, March 04, 2016;

US, Russian, Turkish military chiefs meet in Antalya to discuss Syria, Iraq (PHOTOS), on RT, March 7, 2017;

Banking jobs denied to young people due to having wrong accent, March 7, 2017: finance industry executives admit ‘presentation’ at interview is biggest barrier to people from poorer backgrounds getting a job;

8,000 NATO troops launch exercise near Russian-Norwegian border (PHOTOS, VIDEO), on RT, March 6, 2017;

Ukrainian nationalists honor Nazi collaborator & other ‘fallen heroes’ with torch-lit march (VIDEO), on RT, March 6, 2017;

Mediterranean migrant rescues reach 3yr high as Italy prepares for summer influx, on RT, March 6, 2017;
(related: Migrants bring Italy nearly as much money as Fiat – research, on RT, Oct 12, 2016);

Retribution: Iraqi Army jails families of suspected ISIS members, destroys their homes – HRW, on RT, March 5, 2017;

bei STÖCKL, ORF 2 – Richard David Precht und Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, 57.57 min, hochgeladen von Kosake van Ze, März 2, 2017;

Andre Poggenburg (AfD) GEGEN ALLE, 69.29 min, hochgeladen von Timothée Buffet, am 28. Feb 2017;

Stimmen zum Bedienungslosem Grundeinkommen BGE:

… and this:

  • The Old Castle – Andre Rieu, 7.09 min, uploaded by Zdzisław D,, Dec 9, 2015 … from the DVD Love Around The World … more André Rieu in autoplay.

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