“Something is happening but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”—Bob Dylan
That line from a 1960s lyric spoke to a society in the midst of social change totally misunderstood by opinion makers and their employers. The situation now is more serious, the changes needed more radical, and the degree of confused ignorance of the people and criminal immorality of the leadership greater than before. Thus, an election in which the ruling establishment demanded defeat of one of its own, a rich and unruly capitalist, in favor of one of its employees, a more reliable worker in the fields of empire, and they failed.
The people wouldn’t have it, despite the biggest job of mind management ever attempted. While many are mourning this result, which is a part of the management protocol, more should take heart that disgust with things as they are and cannot go on has at least achieved a small victory. Much bigger ones are needed and hopefully will come and if they don’t, we will face suffering much worse than the psycho-neurotic personal kind we’re programmed to experience as supposedly social and political.
While Trump offers a mixed bag of egoistic reactionary individualism almost balanced by nationalist concern for the well being of millions beyond consideration by his fellow billionaires, his inability to edit himself before revealing the shallowness of some of his thinking is problematic for the rulers who never wanted him in the first place, and the voters who chose his lesser evil in the second. But after the great surge for Bernie Sanders was crushed by the Democratic Party leadership, and shamefully accepted by its rank and file, Trump was all that was left for millions who have become convinced that present reality will bring further hardship and ruin to them and their world. This tide that finally began to sweep America was already flowing in Europe, mainly to the right, and had created governments in South America, mainly on the left. But while its expression of fed up populism and growing contempt for the imposed reality of globalization, which is just 19th century capital operating in a 21st century world, is confused and sometimes frightening, it is also a hopeful sign that the system threatening the planet and all its people is closer to being confronted, and transformed.
During the campaign to defeat Trump, socially fostered acceptance of individualist gossip worked to depict him in all the identitarian, divide and conquer frames within which democratic majorities are prevented. His crude and often vulgar reactions to criticism, exactly what millions of people admired about him, fed into the culture of division that make it easier to label someone a sexist or racist than a member of a tinier than all minority of billionaires. Though people could not help to know he was rich—he announces it at every opportunity as his prime skill–they were advised that he hated blacks, Mexicans, women and possibly pets, with scandalous background checks revealing alleged evidence of these transgressions. While some privileged and protected populations never knew that men were often sexist, and rich men were able to have sex more often than ordinary people, Trump was seen as a new menace, having been accused by many of being groped and generally treated the way women have been treated by market culture for generations.
Those who’ve never seen movies, TV, magazines and other popular culture vehicles filled with near naked women paraded around like cattle for the pleasure of millions of admiring men—and quite a few women—or checked into the market sub-culture of sexual workers and their CEO pimps and the millions of dollars transacted in that business, and the billions more in the pornography business, are either consciously escapist, sensually disabled, or dead. What role did Trump play in the creation and profit making of this massive market, its treatment of women, and where were the people recently awakened to this reality during its history?
Also lost, if it was ever found in their consciousness, is the role of all the women in his life reduced to seeming trash by the hordes claiming he was a bitter sexist fiend. His wife and daughters? Stupid. His female workers? Dumbos. His critics? All brilliant feminists, truly far more aware of his flawed character than the women he was most intimate with. And some wonder why working class people without college degrees consider the professional class elitist?
After Trump’s destruction of an entire sex, his stupid outspoken comment about immigration was transformed into a negation of an entire people, all of them falsely identified by Trump’s critics as a race. And there may be ignorance bordering on stupidity that thinks Mexico is not a nation but a race. Who knew? The way that ignorance still accepts, despite science, that there are different races. Like, people with blue eyes or dark hair or very tall people or heavy people, all are different races. Anyone dumb enough to believe that can swallow that skin tone differences somehow make us members of different races and are not just human signs of our geographic and genetic evolution.
Trump’s simplistic remark that Mexico wasn’t sending us its best but some if its worst, criminals, rapists and such, added that “some of them are nice people” to clean up his mouth created mess, but it didn’t matter. This was played as though he had claimed 68 million Mexicans were all rapists, and repeated again and again, causing nightmares for some people with more than enough problems without being told this man wanted all of them deported because they were all rapists. The only thing dumber than Trump has been the reaction by our ruling owners and their employees, feeding us incredible amounts of gossip and innuendo, all strengthened by his big-mouth tendencies, to cause fears with no more substance in reality than those of a boogie man or perverted tooth fairy. Some may be seeing therapists in fear that there will be an epidemic of raping and immigrant bashing now that this monster is president, oblivious to the fact that rape and immigrant mistreatment are as old as humanity, but especially strong cultural currents in the USA.
Every wave of immigrants in this nation’s history has encountered warm welcome by those who profited from their cheap labor, and hostility, fear, animosity and sometimes hate from those whose labor they replaced. This was true for all except the Africans who were purchased and brought over in chains and would have rejoiced rather than protested if they’d been “threatened” with deportation. Every influx of Europeans and Asians of the past was overwhelmingly to work at the bottom of the economy, and it’s true for most of today’s immigrants from all over the world, an aspect of present capitalism answering to the name globalization. This treatment of humans as products is nothing new; only the techniques of transport have changed depending on distance. Upon arrival, they meet the same economy of the past, but do have some immigrant services and representation unknown to past cheap labor.
The economic system that previously brought in Europeans and Asians more recently brought in Mexicans and Central Americans. It is that system that must be dealt with, not simply the personalities of one or another of its executive or ruling class leaders. In order to keep us from seeing and working on that very serious problem, which is threatening the planet and not just one of its identity groups, we are fed a diet of gossip, innuendo, personal case histories as opposed to class analysis, and distraction from shared objective material reality by focus on isolated, subjective, immaterial fiction. Our personal histories are important but when they take on greater importance than our commonalities of class and humanity, we are in trouble.
Some of us are moving in the direction of working together and even when the work takes seemingly backward steps, we should remember that we started out as a race of humans who could not possibly survive without cooperation and only moved toward competition and violence when threatened by a lack of food and shelter during a time when there was not enough to share. Those days ended long ago and the sooner we acknowledge our commonality and need for working together to solve our political economic problems, the sooner we increase the hopes for survival and success of humanity.
Brexit was a rejection of modern capitalism that enriched many while impoverishing more and destroying earth at a faster pace then ever. Those enriched treated it the way the same group here is treating Trump’s victory, reducing it to divisive minority focus, always of some truth in America, and in complete denial of a system that profits a shrinking minority of the rich and their servants, at costly and ever greater loss to most of humanity, whether in England, the USA, South America or anywhere else. We need to organize to change the system, fast, and only worry about individuals when they are collectively in support of that system. Trump? He’s one of them, but the Democratic and Republican parties and the billionaire class which owns them are the bigger problem we need to solve. After we see our therapists to work on ourselves, we need to join a political group working for social, and not just personal change.