A clash of two insurgencies is now shaping the west… Donald Trump’s inauguration marks [one], the other… an insurrection by the global technocracy whose purpose is to retain control at all cost… the unholy alliance of Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the surveillance apparatus in the United States are its manifestations.
After the [economic collapse] of 2008… the establishment no longer cared to persuade the masses that its way was socially optimal. Overwhelmed by the collapsing financial pyramids, the inexorable buildup of unsustainable debt [etc.], the establishment’s functionaries set aside the aspiration to persuade or to represent. Instead, they concentrated on clamping down.
In the United States, both parties promised drastic cuts to social security spending. During our deflationary times none of these policies helped stabilise capitalism at a national or at a global level. So, why were they pursued?
Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy… the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system.
It was against this insurgency of a cornered establishment that had given up on persuasion that Donald Trump and his European allies rose up with their own populist insurgency. They proved that it is possible to go against the establishment and win. Alas, theirs will be a pyrrhic victory which will, eventually, harm those whom they inspired. The answer to neoliberalism’s Waterloo cannot be the retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of “our” people against “others” fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences.
The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education. [excerpt]