Trumpism after Trump
Does the end of Trump marks the end of trumpism? What next for the movement for social justice in the USA and abroad?
Noura Erakat, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Roger Waters and Yanis Varoufakis discuss America after Trump and more in the premiere of Let’s Talk it Over.
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„I am shit scared that while Trump is exiting the scene, Trump is maybe getting stronger or at least not loosening its evil grip over tens of millions of people in the US and beyond. Because let’s face it, there is a neo-fascist international at work — from India with Modi to Bolsonaro here in Europe; it’s ultra-right wing galore. For a while now, I’ve been worried, for a very long while because, if you think about it after 1929 the weimar republic in the name of democracy subjected the humiliated german people to harsh austerity for the many while the oligarchy was being salvaged. Hitler promised to make them great again in exchange of their soul and the complete subjugation of the people. After our generation’s 1929 which as we all know happened in 2008 — again in Wall Street. In the name of the dispossessed the radical center of Obama, Larry Summers (…) they practiced a very interesting regime; I call it socialism for the bankers and harsh austerity for everybody else. Coupled with workplace exploitation, the Amazons, the techno feudalism that we’re seeing, that created a new fascist movement — first it was the headless tea party and then they found a head in the figure of the Mussolini-like Donald Trump. Who promised (…) exactly like Hitler and Mussolini to make people great again, humiliated people great again in exchange of again their soul and complete subjugation.“ — Yanis Varoufakis
„There are two difference with the fascists of the 1920s and 30s — and it is the reason why Trump is not still in power, it is the reason why his coup d’état hasn’t succeed. The first one is that central banks after 1929 didn’t do much to help the bankers whereas now they have been pumping out mountain ranges of money to support them. And the second reason is that industrialists — big tech now — have not backed the fascists in the way that they did in the mid war period. But while that has ensured that Trump has not stayed in power — because a large section of the establishment did not support him, they supported Biden — that’s no reason to think that Trumpism is out because the causes of Trumpism are still with us and I very much fear that with Biden they are going to get even reinforced.“ — Yanis Varoufakis
„What do we do to end Trumpism, not just Trump? Two things: We need a serious agenda of radical change by which to challenge not only the Republicans but also Biden and we need a humanist embracing of the Trumpists (…) not to vilify them, not to treat them like vermin in a zoo but to treat them like human beings who have surrendered to despair in the same way that many supporters of strongmen have done in the 1920s and 30s.“ — Yanis Varoufakis
On America as Empire
„The lesson that we are learning here is not about Trump vs Biden but about US empire, which begins within its borders because of the colonization of indigenous peoples on these lands as well as the enslavement of Africans and the continuous racial domination of them which is colonial in nature. Even examining that part of it shatters for us the idea that America is exceptional and that all it needs to do is fulfill its dream of becoming a more ‚perfect democracy‘ and now it’s dealing with its imperfections. Going from there, understand America as empire, helps us understand that it also continues to function as such across the globe through its occupation of Hawaii, where it maintains its largest military base in Honolulu, (…) thinking of its military bases across the middle east and of course its relationship to Israel (…) My point was to say not to fetishize Trump because what ends up happening is that we miss the bigger picture — (…) you called it trumpism and I think Roger was right to call fascism and we can continue to call forms of colonial and racial domination.“ — Noura Erakat
On Biden’s claim to ‚Heal America‘
„[Neoliberalism] has been a bedrock of American governance for the better part of 50 years which has really corroded public institutions, (…) this is the reason there can’t be coherent sensible vaccine distribution. It’s a private sector free for all. All of this has left the US government ill equipped to deal with the most dire crisis of modern American history the twin crises of the pandemic (…) the economic crisis. The US‘ public sector has been gutted, it barely functions. All of that has contributed to the despair, the malaise that pervades politics in this country. If the democrats want to pose a serious challenge to the underlying features of Trumpism, then they’re going to respond to that and they’re going to have to demonstrate government as functional, competent and capable of delivering the goods and that creates a political dilemma because that means challenging the Washington consensus as it has been for the last 40 years.“ — Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor
How to address Trumpists
„I think we need to reckon with white supremacy as an organising principle. I think we need to not focus on the individual.“ — Noura Erakat
„We have to talk about the failures of American capitalism to actually be able to respond to the crises in people’s lives. (…) If we look at the reasons why Trump was elected and who constitute the core of his base, it is impossible to discuss that without talking about racism.“ — Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor
„There is no doubt that the 75 mill that voted for him are either tolerant of racism, are actively racist or become actively racist. But people are not born racist, they are made racist, and they are made racist by circumstances not of their choosing. (…) It is perfectly possible to (…) put white supremacy on trial while treating the people who have become victims of it and (…) to extend a brotherly and sisterly hand to them and say: talk to me.“ — Yanis Varoufakis
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