Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Trump Enigma: Imperialist or Nationalist

One of the basic lessons that can be gleaned from a study of multiple imperialisms over the past five centuries, is that imperialist warfare is always class warfare. Imperialism is always class warfare at home, and usually it is class warfare abroad as well. Both at home and abroad, it is the so-called “lower” classes, the workers and peasants, who are dispossessed by imperialist extraction. Workers and peasants—sometimes even slaves—make up the bulk of the military forces conscripted by imperialist powers. Workers and peasants at home are the ones whose labour was exploited to fuel imperial dominance. Abroad, the products of the labour of workers and peasants, and any productive assets they might have controlled, are usually what is targeted by imperialism. Any attempt to distract Americans from these basic, long-term, and inescapable empirical realities of class dominance and class divisions, any submersion of class beneath the weight of minoritarian identity issues, is by default if not by design an ideological program in the service of imperialism. The converse is also true: the rise of class consciousness in the US, or at least greater awareness of the plight of the working class, will erode the political support base for the increasing costs of maintaining empire abroad.
Maximilian Forte
The above quote from an essay by Concordia University anthropology professor, Maximilian Forte, draws attention to a fundamental enigma: is US President Donald Trump an American nationalist or a globalist imperialist. Trump's election campaign was clearly nationalist: it was for protection against both unfair foreign competition and jobs off-shoring by American corporations; it was for tax cuts to remove tens of millions of the lowest paid workers from the tax rolls while providing incentives for job-creating corporate investment in America; and it was for better relations with America's post-war rival for global dominance, Russia.

Yet as president, the Trump administration has pursued sanctions against Russia for its "aggression" in the Ukraine and its "threat" to the Baltic trivialities, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia; attempted in defiance of international law to establish a permanent US military presence in Syria; and threatened further economic warfare against Iran.

So what is Trump: nationalist, imperialist, muddle-head, or devious operator either seeking to appease the increasingly exploited and aggrieved American masses while pursuing the US agenda for global empire, or alternatively, attempting to fool the globalist faction of the US elite with meaningless imperialistic gestures, while creating in the US a democratic nation state?

Who knows? Certainly not us. However, as one in favor of the survival and renovation of Western civilization, I take comfort in the frenzied Trump hatred of the NeoCon scum, and the"liberal" fascists for a politically correct society. That Trump seems better liked by rival states, Russia and China, than by globalist allies such as Germany, anti-Brexit Britain, and Islamified France seems to provide further ground for hope.

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