Friday, December 9, 2016


I am actually something of an expert on lemonade but that is another story. This post is about taking the lemons of Trumpism and turning them into something thirst quenching and delicious. There is so much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth as each cabinet or advisory position gets announced, each General or uber-capitalist put in charge of some agency. That Trump and his team are masters of the new media landscape is indisputable, the Trump Show is ever present and ever lasting. The new narratives ( the fascist alt-righter, the crazy tweeter, the stealth Republican Establishment Insider, the Unpredictable One, etc..) are all amazing brands that have America on the edge of its seat, waiting breathlessly for the next installment. It is a brilliant production utilizing post-modern techniques while exploiting perfectly the shallowest concerns of the New Transactional Man, homo economicus. Hints of sex and violence and family pathology round out the irresistible Spectacle.

But I, along with Mr. Zizek, insist the opportunity, the "conditions of possibility" for radical change, have in fact never been brighter. Much brighter than they would have been had a Hillary or even a Bernie won. Clinton was death by attrition, doing just enough superficial reform to keep liberals happy, building sea walls instead of border walls. And Bernie would have led the left into a box canyon of denouncing "billionaires" while propping up GDP and consumption levels of "the middle class". But Trump will take us careening on a drunken midnight run through the pitch black night in a souped up speed boat. Hang on tight folks! Rocky shoals ahead!

At the moment "citizens" are still in shock so actions are lame, a march here, some banner waving there. No real strategic thinking yet. But the combined depravity of the Democrats and outlandish burlesque of Trumps "new administration" make the capitalist-democracy critique super accessible to anyone with even a slight left leaning. One need only point out how the one truly consistent, defining feature of all Trumps picks is rabid market fundamentalism,they are all ideologues for whom externalities simply don't/can't exist.

Except they do. Because physics doesn't care how much Milton Friedman you have read. The crisis of late capitalism is manifold but again I will insist that the most glaring contradiction is the one between capital and physics which manifests as climate change. This total market failure is also the most pressing and this is the Achilles Heel that could destroy liberal conservative ideology if "we" can seize the moment. It will not last and may not come again- so it is time to get crackin. Talk climate debt and carbon budget. Stop focusing on pipelines and look at investment and production. With reality upended, it's time to get Real.

No comments:

Post a Comment