“Heaven and earth are not humanistic–they regard myriad beings as straw dogs; sages are not humanistic–they regard people as straw dogs” – Sun-Tzu
What is sad is not that a man like Trump is running for president in 2016, what is truly sad about it is that people have forgotten what this means. Think about it, think hard. Remember it. How can you actually be surprised? Within the last 100 years of our American century where were you, what were you doing? It is unfortunate that history, especially American history, agrees with Trump and it is this rapture that we see our very own hypocrisy embodied in a single point of pointlessness. Over the last 100 years, America has been a racist, fascist, fundamentalist, corrupt, violent, bigot who’s only interest is to serve a small group of Anglo-elites to further their own personal agendas at any and all costs: Trump is and has always been the true face of America. He embodies the contradiction and hypocrisy of both the Left and the Right of the double standards in which western civilization has privilege itself to.
To Piss on Christ
“Bedenkt das Dunkel und die große Kälte, In diesem Tale, das von Jammer schallt.” – Bertolt Brecht (Consider the darkness and the great cold In this vale resounding with misery.)
When have we forgotten this? As a Canadian and a traveler, one is told that by putting a Canadian flag on your body keeps you safe in many countries. People hold you in high regard and welcome you as you travel as a Canadian. (Though I must say, this reputation is ill-deserved and we have put a new sexy face on it to hide such ugly truths) This belief holds its exact inverse if you put an American flag on your body as you travel. If you do not believe me, I urge you to try, travel around the world and see how many would welcome you as you brandish that flag. When have we forgotten such a simple lesson? America over the last century, if not for much longer, have never been a shining example of moral and ethical conduct on the international stage. This poor reputation that America has around the world is one that they have worked very hard to earn and maintain. Name ONE, just ONE, conflict that America and American interests (CIA) have not muddled in in the last century. In terms of top most evil countries in the world, both America and Britain are on top of that list and I am quoting Chomsky on this. America in its everyday operation has always had a sinister agenda. So why is everyone surprised when a clown like Trump is running for president? When people say he speaks the truth, they actually meant it without knowing it. Here we have what Zizek would say, the “unknown-known”: we always knew the “Trumerica”, in fact Trump is the by-product of America being American.
Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon many times demolished.
Who raised it up so many times?…
Is full of triumphal arches. Who rected them?
Did the Caesars triumph?…
Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every ten years a great man.
Who paid the bill?
So many reports.
So many questions.
Brecht – ‘Questions from a Worker who Reads’
From nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when Japan as no means of resistance and have lost all control over their air space in the interest of science, to the rapid fueling of the cold war and segregation of people and the creation of hatred, atrocities committed in Vietnam, war over the greed for oil and natural resources in the middle east, the economic experiments of Iran, Indonesia, Nicaragua leading to dictators, revolutions and mass genocide, arms deals and trading that directly created the Palestinian conflict that created perpetual state of instability in the region creating millions of refugees, declaring an illegal war against Iraq leading to the current state of terror ripping through the region in the form of radical fundamental groups displacing millions and causing a ripple of fascist hatred through Europe. Much more terrible things can be listed. America has been very hard at work. This is what it does to people OUTSIDE their country, imagine what they do to people INSIDE their country. All this and more was done in order to make a country “great”. Now look at Trump again, are you still surprised? One should be ashamed when they look at him, but this shame reflects not what Trump represents to people outside America. The real shame and the true cause of anger against Trump is that Trump represents the shame of the American people materialized externally for all to see including the Americans themselves, that is he is not just a phony, but this phony actually truly represents what Americans are, but are not willing to face or admit to it. It reflects our own Western shame to the true cost of this “greatness” in which is required to sustain our own prosperity in the West.
Statistics don’t lie. It clearly indicates that the democratic left and the democratic right lacks the ability to represent a large percentage of the American people. This is, as Zizek would say, the impossibility of true democracy itself. Trump is fascist, but the democratic system was fascist to begin with. The large segment of voters both for Bernie and for Trump represent those that can’t be represented. The ones deemed bigoted, stupid, racist, poor, the opinions of those whom were never taken seriously by either the right or the left. A void of people that can be directly reflected by the American demographics and the huge disparity of wealth within the country. The reality is, there is a huge segment of the poor that are ignored because of their views. And it is only in the voice of Trump and Bernie whom they finally find representation regardless of if it is genuine or not. Look at Bernie’s polls and the percentage break down, his voters are not only the young liberal middle class, it is a diverse mixture including the political right (gun owners, etc) , it is because Bernie truly believes in the system and actually listens to those deemed “outside” of popular opinion. What people don’t understand is, these people ARE the popular opinion, just look at the voter turn out and you would realize those that vote are only a small fraction of the entire population. Trump supporters don’t know what Trump is running for, but regardless of what he is saying or doing, this is the first time in their lives that they finally have a democratic voice, to be truly part of the democratic system. Just look at this video:
Most of them don’t even know what the Trump is saying or supporting, but for once their opinions matter, for once they feel like they are being listened to, for once they feel like they have a say in the change to come. When people call Trump fascist, they are right, but the problem there lies in the issue that they themselves don’t know why they are right. At the heart of our liberal democratic society lies a fascist core. Let us remember what history has already taught us. What is the difference between Communism and Fascism? People forgot that the liberal party of Germany became Hitlers third Reich. The people whom were fighting for workers rights and union rights became those who threw people into gas chambers. What went wrong? How did one thing turn into the other? In the most simplistic (and perhaps inadequate) example to explain how that happened, one should return to the first question, what is the difference between Fascism and Communism?
Imagine an apple farm and somehow one can scientifically quantify the value of the apple to be exactly $1. Because the apple farmer wants to retire and put his kids through college, the apple farmer cannot possibly sell his apples for $1. If it took him $1 to grow that apple and he sells that apple for $1 the farmer makes $0. Therefore the apple farmer charges $1.25 per apple, which is fair and not out of greed. So as a consumer, I am willing to pay $1.25 for the apple, but for me as the consumer to afford that apple, I must ask my boss to pay me $1.50 for every $1.25 of work/labor that I give him. Because I too one day want to retire and put my kids through college, which is fair. So my boss pays me the $1.50, but in order for him to do so, he tells his clients that for every $1.50 of work he provides he has to charge $1.75 because he too wants to retire and put his kids through college. Within three transactions there is 75 cents of excess value not accounted for. Just extra money paid that was not part of any of the things that was traded be it material or labor. This excess value does not disappear. Someone has to pay for it at the end of the day, the laws of equivalent exchange governs our universe. Hence some poor sap at the end of the transaction tree has to work 8 hours for 10 cents or some ridiculous amount to absorb all that excess value created from all the previous exchanges. If one looks at the world and all the thousands of financial transactions that take place every nanosecond you have our world directly represented. Where only the G20, 20 nations, controls the wealth of the entire planet while entire continents live in utter poverty and horror. This impossibility of exchange is fundamental to the process of capitalism. Currency only obfuscates this excess, but the core of the problem lies directly innate within the exchange process itself. Throughout history many (be it powerful, smart, etc) have tried to solve this problem and two main concepts emerged; two radical ideas which tried to completely change the system in order to compensate for this excess in capitalism: Fascism and Communism. Both these ideas share the same sentiments where solidarity and emancipation is the solution to this excess created by capitalism. The only difference is that Fascism turns its focus inwards while Communism turns its focus outwards. For Fascist Germany, the solution was emancipation and solidarity of the German people, in eradicating the ‘other’ the excess value is ‘recycled’ back to another German in this perverse manner the value stays within Germany and German hands. While Communism finds the Other in the form of the Bourgeoisie, one is either the proletariat or the bourgeoisie regardless of race. Hence the class struggle ends with the destruction of the ruling class. Both concepts created a radical dichotomy which erupted in violent horrific outbursts yet both address the same fundamental paradox innate within Capitalism which to this day lies unresolved and stronger than ever under our liberal democracies. This unresolved excess is expressed through the great divides of inequality and poverty within the worlds ‘greatest’ of nations and their violent treatment of other countries in order to sustain their growth. When a Liberal candidate supports the poor and workers rights and when Donald Trump screams angry racist comments, at the heart and core of the matter lies the same struggle of capital itself. The fallout of a liberal democratic nation usually reveals this Fascist core, just look at Greece and the rise of the Golden Dawn, this happened after economic fallout. When liberal democracy fails, fascism rises to counter the very paradox of the system. Look at Germany now, the first European nation that took action in saving refugees is quickly becoming radicalized and fascist. People love to hear beautiful words and look “good” but when faced with the reality and the price of true ethical conduct becomes revealed no one is willing to pay. It is easy to follow the leftist liberal agenda only until they have to pay the bills and then one either kills the rich (Bernie) or eradicate an immigrant (Trump).
The Point of Pointlessness:
When the stereotypical “red-neck” American yells, “they steal our jobs” it represents this struggle against this very paradox. As the ending in the recent movie The Big Short (2015) quickly points out, it is the ‘immigrants’ or the Other that are always blamed for the problem. They become the first scapegoats for the problems that were internal to the system which becomes materialized and represented as the cause and a point of hatred (in the absence of one). This violent burst of racism only represents this economic struggle of what the news and media call the “sub-class”, a class of a majority whom are so low on the economic food chain they lack a classification. One can compare them to the photo-plankton whom numbers dwarfs all other life on earth and provides the sustenance to maintain life on the planet yet invisible and ignored to human eyes. This racism, this bigotry and ignorance represents their struggle vocalized in the only manner in which is available to them (in being the underprivileged, under educated, oppressed, ignored, class in American society). When Trump throws out a racist slur, it represents the working class that is directly competing against immigrant labor (or the imaginary Other whom they struggle against to explain the crippling effects of capital). To them, Trump is representing their rights. Regardless of the spectrum in which ones’ opinion belongs to, Trump has taken upon himself to represent all of them in order to bolster his vote count (just look at the support the KKK gives Trump). When critics say Trump is ambiguous, of course he is, how can a single man truly represent such a vast amount of opinions? (again, democracy was always an impossibility) Trump’s intelligence can be doubted, but the one’s running his campaign are not stupid. Trump’s words which fuels the race divide is at the same time promoting workers’ rights and defending the poor which Liberal media fail to understand or grasp (John oliver to the daily show, not so smart now are you?). The only reply of Leftist media is only petty comments and insults which address none of the actual problems that Trump signifies (Just look at the Daily show, it has a segment commenting on how the media/new networks are giving undue attention to Trump while his own show has a Trump segment on EVEY episode [episode March 21], can one not see the blatant hypocrisy??). The Left media has arrogantly assumed Trump supporters are made up of people who are “missing the point” and this miss, is in this instance, is exactly the point. In trying to ‘debluff’ and reveal the ‘truth’ of ‘Drumph’ only reconfirms Trump supporters of their support for him. The way Leftist (and the Right) mainstream media have always treated this sub-class the exact same way they treated Trump, not serious and ignored, taking their real life struggle as something uneducated, ignorant, etc, etc. This Liberal Leftist agenda has again and again not come into terms with its own contradictions and its double standards. (Just look at the Obama administration, does one still believe that we can?)
The anger expressed in Chicago best illustrates this point. If one is so confident and believes in the democratic system so strongly, then why lash out violently against a man (Trump) whom is only speaking about his own opinions? Where is the constitution? Where is democracy? How are you any different than the assumed uneducated and violent Trump supporter? Where are the LIBERAL LEFTIST rights now? (Is it so hard now to see how the liberal party turned into the third Reich?) From which gaze does one look upon Trump to react into a violent outburst? This discomfort of experiencing Trump only signifies the Left’s frustration with its own inability to address those very same problems that Trump represents. In other words, Trump is bringing to light the very failures of the left, failures in which the left have tried desperately to obfuscate through political correctness; failures which the Left will violently fight to hid in the name for being ‘correct’. This is the perfect example to illustrate this very failure of the left:
This is what is meant when Zizek talks about political correctness. In changing the word only the word changes, the issues which the word represented lies completely intact. There is clearly a blindness here in which even the most socially unacceptable comments and issues can be spoken unhindered within this politically correct gaze; it is as if one no longer feels guilty, or removes the guilt, about the issues which needs to be addressed. There is a reason why the N-word is still so prevalent within our current society. It is not a mistake or an error in judgment in which black comedians fully inherit the use of that word. Racism is still a major problem in society and it must not be forgotten. One can change the N-word to African American, but the very negative connotations of the N-word still remains within the very fabric of our society. It is still seen as a negative, to be secondary, incomplete, incompatible, to be anything but Anglo-saxan. Here when we look at Trump, we may change the face of American (Obama, Bernie, Hilary, take your pick) but without changing America itself, nothing really changes. As Zizek in Living in the End Times (2010) would put it,
“It is a modern folly to alter a corrupt ethical system, its constitution and legislation, without changing the religion, to have a revolution without reformation.” In a radical revolution, people not only “realize their old (emancipatory, etc.) dreams”; they have also to reinvent their very modes of dreaming. Is this not the exact formula of the link between the death drive and sublimation? Therein resides the necessity of the Cultural Revolution, as clearly grasped by Mao: as Herbert Marcuse put, it in other wonderfully circular formula from the same epoch, freedom (from ideological constraints, from the predominant mode of dreaming) is the condition of liberation, in other words, if we change reality only in order to realize our dreams, without changing these dreams themselves, then sooner or later we will regress to the former reality. There is a Hegelian “positing of presuppositions” at work here: the hard work of liberation retroactively forms its own presupposition.
Trump represents that very danger in our very desire to silence him we end up in the exact same cycle as we started. Hence it is imperative that one stops taking him as a joke or a phony, but as the very Real within our society. Much like how Zizek said that the most effective way to undermine a Communist regime is to take it seriously, those that are against Trump must do the same and full acknowledge his, and of this moments, importance. We should see Trump as what he truly is, the very Messiah of historical necessity in the most Benjamin sense where, “The Messiah breaks off history; the Messiah does not appear at the end of a development.” Much like how Marx envisioned that a classless society is only the end of a prehistory of oppression and alienation; the very beginning of real history itself. Trump should mark the end to a beginning:
For the revolutionary thinker, the peculiar revolutionary chance offered by every historical moment gets its warrant from the political situation. But it is equally grounded, for this thinker, in the right of entry which the historical moment enjoys vis-a-vis a quite distinct chamber of the past, one which up to that point has been closed and locked. The entrance into this chamber coincides in a strict sense with political action, and it is by means of such entry that political action, however destructive, reveals itself a messianic. (Classeless society is not the final goal of historical progress but its frequently miscarried, ultimately [endlich] achieved interruption.)
Trump is here because he is a historical necessity. The world is still ALL the problems that he represents and embodies (racism, class struggle, greed, bigotry, etc, etc). Let Trump be our messiah and only through his crucifixion can we find redemption.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” – Matthew 10:34-9
The true struggle here is the Real of democracy. One in which men and women have died for. This is democracy at its purest. From the very beginning when it was invented in Greece these problems was always inherent in the system. One just have to revisit Plato’s criticisms of democracy:
1.) democracies encourage mediocre leadership
2.) leaders must pander to the wishes of the electorate
3.) democratic leaders are tempted to focus on short-term goals at the expense of the long-term needs of society.
4.) democracies have an inbuilt tendency to spend more than they take in.
5.) democratic political debate over time would become more superficial and focus less on substantive issues.
6.) image politics would come to dominate the electoral process
7.) a society which focuses on images rather than issues was easy prey to manipulation by those more interested in wining arguments and manipulating beliefs than finding the truth
We love to hate a man like Trump, but would one prefer to love a man like Putin? To even be able to discuss these issues so openly is part of the very democratic process itself. One cannot have the cake and eat it too in which one strives for an “efficient” democracy. A democracy like the one in Russia where Putin’s approval ratings are in the 90’s. What society is witnessing is true liberal democracy at work here, where one can find relative solace in the fact that one can still hate Trump. It is these inefficiencies of the democratic system that still allows for open debate. The choice one currently have is American buffoonery or Russian efficiency, in which one can either choose to have a whisper among the blaring noise of countless voices or the mute silence as one ends up at the bottom of a lake. The choice is an obvious one. Drop for a second the need to be “correct”, simply in this instance, just miss the point. Embrace Trump as the messianic rupture in history which confronts us. The struggle of democracy of the past is resurfaced to the present reflecting glimpses of the democracy of the future. The struggle does not end if one stops talking about it. Let the man speak and find in his ranting, not hatred but the messianic message of solidarity and emancipation. Let us deconstruct the very meaning of the moment:
the resources of the old language, the language we already possess, and which possesses us. To make a new word is to run the risk of forgetting the problem or believing it solved.“That the transformation of language which contemplates the essence of Being is subject to other demands than the exchanging of an old terminology for a new one, seems to be clear.” This transformation should rather involve “crossing out” the relevant old terms and thus liberating them, exposing “the presumptuous demand that [thinking] know the solution of the riddles and bring salvation.”
As Zizek would say, let us imagine a future where charity is impossible, one must imagine a future where tolerance is an impossibility, where Trump is impossible. Where words of hatred and bigotry exists in a society where they no longer represent a present reality but a remembered past and a beginning of a new future. One must miss the point completely and find the messianic message that Trump is delivering. Instead of silencing the man, one must aim to make the things Trump say irrelevant and of the past. Do not silence the words or the voices but change and shift the paradigm in which the problems no longer have a hold on us in society (end the economic struggle behind racism and the racist words no longer have meaning in their existence). To crucify the messiah (Trump) to bring about redemption one must address the historical necessity which brought forth his coming. If the problems that Trump represents no longer exists, Trump himself will cease to exist. We must listen to Trump’s words and face our shame. This is the first step to bring forth the real beginning of history. Let Trump’s words be a moment where everyone has a voice where there was none, let Trump’s greed and corruption reflect emancipation where there is only struggle, let Trump’s bigotry and racism reflect solidarity where there is only fear, let Trump bring forth which western society have failed to acknowledge and repent. Like how one acts in a church, it is a moment of self reflection. Do not run from your shame, the first step to solving a problem is to first admit to having one. If Trump is created by society then it will be society that will destroy him. Regardless of race, sex, class, we all have a role to play in human history, all one needs is to stop passing the blame and start where it matters most, as Michael Jackson would say,
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change