The election of Donald Trump and the degradation of the capitalist political apparatus

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jk1921
The election of Donald Trump and the degradation of the capitalist political apparatus
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jk1921
Here is a link to an article

Here is a link to an article decribing new research based on National Election Survey (NES) data that purports to definitvely show that the white working class voted for Trump out of "cultural anixety" rather than for economic reasons. In other words: the white working class is racist as hell. As one of the commenters said: "Cultural anxiety is just a politically correct way of saying racist."

One can always question the methodology of such studies. For example, using an affirmative response to the question, "Do you feel like a stranger in America?" as a metric for racial animus or cultural alienation is a little spurious as that could mean a number of things. Still, this study was major news in the US this week and it will certainly be a big factor in the media narrative going forward. In part, this narrative is a way for the Democratic establishment to make a counterattack against the Berniecrats--supposedly using empirical data to vaquish the idea that a broad social democratc platform and policies is the only thing that can vanquish Trumpism. Trumpism is about the privilege of the white working class, not its destitution. This, of course only reveals the utter dead end of bourgeois politics--if the white working class is so racist that not even appeals to broad redistributionist policies can break the spell of post-liberal authoritarianism over it, than we are just kind of fucked. What else is there? Moral condemnation of the white working class? Liberal "virtue signaling" and "call-out culture"? One commenter said this: "The white working class needs to be held accountable for its racism." But, what in the world does that mean? Does that mean that the white working class must be punished in some way? Punished how? By reducing its standard of living to that of minorities and immigrants? Maybe that is what was meant?

So where does this leave us as Marxists? Whatever one thinks of the study's methodology, it seems clear that this "cultural alienation" of the white working class is a very real phenomenon wrought by globalization and neo-liberalism, as is the utter disdain that the liberal professionals show to the white working class. But is this even something that Marxists can offer any insight into? Do we have the theoretical tools to illuminate this without either: 1.) justifying it in some way (as the Bernie wing has been accused of doing) or 2.) slipping into the morass of liberal moralism? How do we offer a material understanding of what is happening and show the way forward? Finally, is there any reflection of the liberal idea that the white working class must be punished for its racism in the long held assertion of Marxists that it is the economic crisis of capitalism that ultimately paves the way for broad proletarian solidarity? Must we all be reduced to the socio-economic conditions of the lowest rung in society before the subjective conditions for revolution are possible? How can the conditions for revolutionary solidarity of the working class be forged when there are still profound differences in its living conditions? Is this a problem captialist crisis solves or only exacerbates?

/https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/white-working-class-trump-cultural-anxiety/525771/

jk1921
Here is a link to another,

Here is a link to another, slightly more agressive, take on the same research:

https://www.thenation.com/article/economic-anxiety-didnt-make-people-vote-trump-racism-did/

jk1921
So, with the media

So, with the media universally panning Trump's trip abroad--with it being variously described as a "total disaster," "scripted by Putin," "a complete discredit of the US's reputation ofnthe world stage," etc.-he comes home and announces that he is pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord--aparrently against the wishes of Ivanka, Rex Tillerson and even many Republicans in Congress. Many analysts are suggesting that after weeks on the bench--the Bannon populist faction has asserted itself again with Trump making good on a campaign promise to tear up international agreements and see the US do what is in its own best interests. As Trump said in his much anticipated Rose Garden speech announcing his decision: "I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris." (Trump actually lost Alleghany County, Pa by like 16 points!)

Clearly, this reveals one of the central features of the Trump phenomenon--its sheer unpredictability--with Trump savoring every moment of playing the role of emperor in announcing his decision (this of course wouldn't be possible without the strengthening of the executive authority under past administrations both Republican and Democratic). Trump was obviously feeling the pressure to deliver something to his populist base having failed thus far to give them much of anything of substance (other than scrapping the TPP). But this all must be very concering to much of the rest of the bourgeoisie who have heard US hegemony openly called into question by Angela Merkel at the same time they seem to really suspect that Putin is pulling the strings in Washington. It is looking more likely that the Russia hysteria is not all for show--there is genuine concern that Trump will really follow through on the attempt to realign US foreign policy is some way that forfeits the US's role as the last gobal super power. Thus, the Russia media show continues with no clear end point in sight.

But this raises a more fundamental question: When Merkel says that Europe can no longer rely on others is what she really means that Germany can no longer rely on others? How does that sit in Paris?