On What Basis An Anti-Establishment Coalition?
By Dennis Loo (7/2/16)
“I don’t care if … [Trump’s] racist!” he shouted at a [bar] room by then nearly empty but for us. “If you’ll just bring back one [expletive] steel mill!”
(From “Donald Trump, American Preacher,” by Jeff Sharlet, The New York Times Magazine, April 12, 2016)
The preceding quote from a Trump supporter captures the essence of Trump's wide appeal. Trump's racism and sexism are not what mainly characterizes his attractiveness to his legions. He would be dead in the water were he not pitching an economic populist line. He has no shortage of followers who are knuckle draggers, but this would not be a mass following without the anti-globalization appeal.
David Brooks predicted yesterday at The New York Times that an open/closed political alignment is coming and that Trump’s popularity is a harbinger of that world political shift.
It’s certainly possible, indeed, very likely that Brooks’ prediction will come true, irrespective of whether or not Trump wins the coming election – a highly unlikely scenario - although who, including Trump himself, could have foreseen his decisive Republican primary victories?
Probably Hillary Clinton will win but no matter who does, pro-globalization elites will prevail for a while, a few more years, even under a Trump presidency because he is incapable of transforming the entire bureaucratic/institutional edifice that has been building for so many decades, even if Trump sincerely wanted to. Can you imagine a narcissist’s narcissist as he is, applying his painstaking and determined, complicated and protracted efforts, to lead a mass movement to do that? He’d have to replace the institutions from top to bottom and have the people capable of taking over…
David Brooks, Jessica Williams, and Political Alignments
By Dennis Loo (7/1/16)
In today’s New York Times David Brooks predicts a future American political alignment that he calls “open/closed,” as in trade walls:
I personally doubt that Trump will be able to pull off a right-left populist coalition. His views on women and minorities are unacceptable to nearly everybody on the left. There’s no evidence that he’s winning over many Sanders voters or downscale progressives.
But where Trump fails, somebody else will succeed. And that’s where he’s substantively revolutionary. The old size-of-government question [the GOP’s small government rhetoric v. the Democrat’s big government] was growing increasingly archaic and obsolete. In country after country the main battle lines of debate are evolving toward the open/closed framework.
The Difference Between the Way Things Are and Where the Public Is At
By Dennis Loo (6/26/16)
I am going to cover a few complex things here so you will probably need to read this several times.
To begin with, the two elements that I cite in the title tend to be confounded as one and the same thing in most people’s minds: the situation in the nation or world is viewed by most people as the way it is because public opinion is the way it is.
These are in fact two separate things and not that closely related to each other.
The objective situation – e.g., the reigning public policies in the various nations and the dominant economic system of capitalism – are not a result of most of the public wanting these to be in command.
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)