A few years ago at an annual session of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilisations, Professor Craig Calhoun, then director of the London School of Economics told me that he was worried about the future evolution of the United States, faced, in his view, with a painful and perhaps irreversible decline which might expose the worst tendencies of the national character. It brought to my mind, paraphrasing Burdick and Lederer, a vision of the Angry American. “The US will not concede hegemony gracefully,” Calhoun noted with a concerned expression.
Bitter about their situation and often about themselves, many Americans are tempted to blame the rest of the world. President Donald Trump is venting this frustration at the allegedly unfair deals that the US signed with other nations, insisting that his country must renegotiate them in order to recover its lost power and wealth and “become great again”.
There are objections to this facile and self serving diagnosis. The chairman of Ali Baba, Chinese tycoon Jack Ma had a field day at the last Davos Forum laying bare Trump’s claims by pointing out that over the last three decades at least a section of the US ruling class made trillions of dollars from the outsourcing of jobs and production to poorer countries, mainly China and Mexico, precisely the main targets of the American President’s resentment. However, Ma underlined, the US has spent much of that—for the greatest profit of the military-industrial complex—fighting 13 wasteful and unsuccessful wars and garrisoning a majority of the planet’s nations with high tech troops and weaponry.
That is too inconvenient a truth for most Americans to admit, but Trump has alluded to it while embarking on a war against global left wing liberalism, a bizarre hybrid of Marxist-Trotskyist internationalism and turbo-capitalist realism used to keep popular majorities quiet in the turmoil that the transnational financial oligarchy has unleashed on the socio-political and cultural systems in the name of universal values and freedom.
The stigmas of fascism, corruption and human rights violations are utilised to pressure non compliant leaders into leaving office and overthrowing governments without needing to provide proofs for the charges.
This secular gospel, intended to build a world government headed by bankers and business barons, is preached with the financial and media support of major corporations and foundations backed by billionaires, notably the leaders of Silicon Valley infotech firms Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, all closely linked to the Anglo-Saxon and other deep states and intelligence/defence agencies and firms.
Objecting to secular left-wing liberalism in the age of globalisation seems as unreasonable as opposing motherhood, but there is more to it than meets the eye. That any resistance to it is branded as populism by the ruling elites and the media they control, shows that the current global regime is run by an oligarchy which uses democracy as a tool to fulfil its designs by convincing the masses that they are in control of their own destiny.
The elites put extraordinary emphasis on select minorities and show single-minded dedication to their supposed demands even to the detriment of the mostly silent majority. That was a critical reason for the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, as she was a poster child for this “rainbow coalition” policy. Left wing liberals work to undermine and abolish traditional values and religious institutions by imposing secular, “progressive” multi-culturalism and mass immigration. It is all part of a strategy to upstage common concerns about physical and social security, economic welfare, privacy and genuine freedom by prurient obsessions that most people can’t even relate to, like the need to familiarise children with gay and lesbian sexual practices and the provision of unisex or transgender bathrooms in schools and public places. All that in a climate of constant surveillance and monitoring, which increasingly evokes George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
In practice, this kind of globalism vindicates the old conspiracy theory about the empire of the Illuminati. It rules by “manufacturing consent” as Chomsky convincingly illustrated and through the pressure of public opinion shaped by corporate media. It punishes dissenting governments through its hegemonic financial rating agencies, by inciting agitations and campaigns foisted and supported by networks of NGOs and by collecting and disseminating “atrocity literature” against its targets. The stigmas of fascism, corruption and human rights violations are utilised to browbeat recalcitrant states, pressure non compliant leaders into leaving office and launch wars of aggression to overthrow governments without needing to provide proofs for those charges.
Russia, as a socially conservative state intent on preserving its sovereignty and its national tradition is once again the nemesis of the global masters and so is Iran. Yet, Islamic terrorism of the Al Qaeda/ISIS variety is not regarded as a priority threat and has been harnessed repeatedly by the secular liberal enforcers in Iraq, Syria and Libya against its other enemies.
That is not the only glaring inconsistency that the dominant paradigm exhibits. The cardinal principle of people’s freedom to rise in rebellion and secede from nation-states was upheld in Yugoslavia, Serbia and Syria, but is denied in Georgia, Ukraine and Yemen. Respect for human rights and a democratic government are mandatory for most states, but not in oil rich monarchies as long as they are captive markets for western goods and services and critical suppliers of energy. Aggression is held to be a crime against peace at the UN, but not when the US and its allies commit it. As a result, most people no longer take at face value the moralistic reasons alleged by the supra-national western establishment for its actions.
Inevitably, this current tyranny too will pass. Global left-wing liberalism is dysfunctional and arouses increasingly virulent reactions. Movements and parties that began to oppose it three or four decades ago from various ideological standpoints have vastly grown in recent years and are on the verge of taking power in the Netherlands, Italy and France, vowing to stop uncontrolled immigration, restore national sovereignty and fight terrorism. Like-minded forces already control governments in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark and brought about BREXIT in the United Kingdom. The disarray in the globalist system was visible before the last American presidential election, especially in the European Union, but it has since turned to panic.
Trump’s programme is not consistent, realistic or even desirable for Americans or for the world, but he rode the wave of revolt and uses his pulpit at the White House to rock the boat and break taboos, calling into question the assumed integrity, goodness and honesty of American public institutions and policies and refusing to adhere to the fake consensus of political correctness. His ideological guru Steve Bannon is outspoken about the immorality of today’s capitalism, divorced from religious and ethical culture and calls for the restoration of “Judeo-Christian values” at the heart of the socio-political system. Unsurprisingly like his boss, he expresses hostility to the European Union, a pillar of secular left-of-centre liberalism and upholds nationalism against globalism, citing Narendra Modi’s election as an instance of anti-leftist popular reaction. In that sense, Russia, Trump’s America and even India are converging ideologically despite strategic misgivings.
The outrage expressed by so many establishment entities about Trump and violently displayed by protesters (many look like shock troops of the powers-that-be) is motivated not so much by the new President’s “vulgarity” and undiplomatic bluntness, but rather by the challenge he poses to the status quo of which his predecessor Barack Obama proved to be a zealous and obedient upholder after being rewarded ab initio by a Nobel Peace Prize. That advance payment did not prevent the first Afro-American President from killing more people with drones and selling more weapons to other countries than any other so far.
George W. Bush never met as much opposition as Trump when he attacked, invaded and occupied Iraq which, under UN rules should have made him an outlaw. One reason is that Bush executed the agenda of the oligarchy so that he retains impunity and is often cited in the media as a better man than Trump and even applauded for his tolerance to Muslims.
Trump has violated at least three cardinal unwritten rules: he has refused to call Russia a rogue state and Putin a killer, he has denounced American official hypocrisy and cynicism and he has pointed out the responsibility of previous US government in fomenting civil strife and terrorism in the Middle East and the commitment of the oligarchy to flood western countries with immigrants from the regions that its policies have devastated. In the current system, it is acceptable and even kosher to bomb other countries, especially if they are Muslim, but beyond the pale to question mass immigration.
The battle between the global oligarchy and its challengers is far from over. The system still has cards up its sleeves and can produce faux reformers such as Obama to disarm its opponents.
In order to defeat the threat posed by the National Front in France, the Atlanticist coalition has given up on the discredited socialists and turned against the Centre Right candidate Francois Fillon, whose nationalistic and Conservative Catholic positions, friendly to Russia, drew him dangerously close to the dreaded Le Pen. The deep state now seems to have thrown its lot behind a suave chameleon, Emmanuel Macron, a former Rothschild investment banker, presented as a reformist candidate, who even espouses some of the popular measures advocated by Marine Le Pen. Macron’s mission is to save the system by promising anything that can help get him elected. Like the National Front, he too claims to be “neither left nor right”. That bluff shows the desperation of the upholders of the status quo, fearful of rising China and Russia and under attack from the new American President.