Trump May Be Gone, But Neofascism Remains

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Trump May Be Gone, But Neofascism Remains

Vishwas Satgar

At last, the Donald Trump Presidency has crash landed and he is out of the White House. Now, we can all start dealing with ‘Trump trauma’ and shock. What did we live through over the past four years? This is a planetary question. It is a question we are all grappling with because the world is now capitalist on a global scale and America is the leading power making that world. Post the Cold War we were all conscripted to be Americans and the ‘American Dream’ was declared the global dream. Even China bought into it through its own self... interested and authoritarian way. They became so good at it then even Trump baulked. He wanted it back and declared: “Make America Great Again.”

While we do not physically live in America, through the global media we are front-row spectators gazing into it, watching the theatrics of its leaders while grappling with its presence in our everyday lives. The US has set the standards of ‘civilization’ by asserting a set of universals – democracy, progress, competition, individualism and free enterprise. These universals are the props of a mythic America, standing tall at the vanguard of the ‘free world’, and which reveals itself through the iconic hamburger, unthinking patriotism, voting in elections, the veneration of a masculine gun culture, Hollywood movies and mass consumption.

This idealized liberal version of America and its material roots is what Trump remade. He could do this because he exploited one of the most fatal flaws of US democracy: the over concentration of power in the US Presidency and the cult-like aura that surrounds this political institution. This weakness exists despite the constitutional separation of powers and Trump ably demonstrated this. One individual controlling the world’s most deadly nuclear arsenal, a powerful communications megaphone, commander of the military, imbued with a veto against Congress and extensive Executive Power, including for extra judicial killing anywhere in the world, got busy wrecking everything since his election in 2016.

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