Having witnessed the violent scenes as Trump incited his fanatical followers to storm the Capitol and overturn the democratic process I was left with a number of thoughts.
It appears to me that what we are witnessing is the direct result of gross inequality that has gone on for many decades. The pandemic has exacerbated this. Trump has exploited it for his own ends – for wealth and power.
For the poor, the changing world has been a disaster. Old technologies like steel, oil and manufacturing have been automated, made redundant or outsourced. Most of the ‘messy’ work is now carried out in third world countries where the workforce can be exploited. In these countries labour is cheap, safety standards are low, environmental considerations are minimal. It’s cheap. There’s more profit to be made.
In richer countries, such as the USA and UK, mining, shipbuilding, car production, oil and chemical industry, steel production, clothing and goods manufacture has declined or already gone. New modern plants are fully automated and require few workers.
The profits are greater. The bosses get richer. The workforce is surplus to requirements. They are either thrown on to welfare or into low-paid zero-hours contracts – delivering or stacking shelves. In-work poverty has burgeoned.
Hard work does not pay.
The poor are desperate and angry.
Along comes a billionaire called Trump (or a privileged clown such as Johnson- or an arrogant fascist such as Bolsonaro) who claims to understand the poor and will reverse the trend and make America great again. He will bring the jobs back and drain the swamp of the corruption that has created their misery. He falsely claimed the problem was the result of mass illegal immigration and gave them a focus for their fury.
They could blame the corrupt politicians and illegal immigrants (who were all criminals, drug-pushers, murderers and rapists).
He would build a wall, drain the swamp of corruption, resurrect industry and bring back jobs.
It’s a lie because, firstly Trump is one of the ones screwing more profit for himself, one of the elite, and secondly it is not possible to reverse this trend. The old technology has gone. The immigrants were merely scapegoats and are themselves the victims of this extreme inequality. Trump is every bit a part of the swamp of corruption.
But he claimed all science was rubbish. The media was all fake news. Climate change was a hoax. There was no environmental crisis. It was all a socialist conspiracy to control people, take away their freedoms and make money for the big companies.
It was all lies. Trump bigged up conspiracy theories, tweeted lies, incited his base and raked in the cash.
He had no intention of building a wall or bringing back the old technology. These were nothing more than sops for his fanatical base.
He knew the reality of the environmental catastrophe but chose to not only ignore it but actively refute it. According to him it was all part of the conspiracy put out by the global elite that only he could conquer.
The reality was different. Environmental disaster was real and there was no conspiracy.
The old industries are doomed. Modern technology is going to increasingly use A/I and the workforce is redundant. The world has an environmental crisis that will require dealing with, and old, polluting industry will be superseded by sustainable technology. Even the deliverers and shelf stackers will soon no longer be required.
The profits for the wealthy will be greater and greater. The workforce redundant and living in squalor. Unless something is done about it.
A sensible society reorganises. It finds a way of solving the gross inequality. It provides suitable employment in caring professions and provides a reasonable income and lifestyle for all.
This hasn’t happened. Trump did not want it to happen. He portrayed that solution as a socialist plot. He is a rampant capitalist with no conscience.
Capitalism is out of control. Money is all that matters. Profits come above people and the environment. Tax is avoided. The wealthy have gleefully grabbed all they can and the desperately poor have been ignored.
The pandemic exacerbated this. The wealthy worked from home. The stock market soared. They exploited the situation making huge profits out of PPE, drugs, vaccines, food and government contracts. The pandemic was actually good for them. It curtailed their lifestyle a little but they lived in comfort and made a lot of money.
For the poor, crammed into tiny accommodation, their jobs gone, their income insufficient, complete insecurity, discomfort and fear, it was a nightmare.
Their leader Trump, who they are certain has been working on their behalf to correct the situation, is exploiting it. He tells them the virus is a hoax. That it is a plot. That the measures brought in to control the virus are a conspiracy to take away their freedom. That they are socialist plots. He tells them that the disease is not serious and they should get back to work. Meanwhile, he is creaming off huge sums of money for himself and his family.
Desperate people cling on to hope. They need to go back to work. Their jobs are evaporating. They cannot support their families. They believe him.
This leader has been giving big tax handouts to the wealthy, handing out contracts willy-nilly, giving huge salary jobs and perks to his family and cronies, avoided paying tax himself, reducing environmental standards, health and safety and other limiting factors to increase profits. He bullied firms into setting up in America and set about creating trade wars with neighbouring countries. The result was a short-term boost to the economy, even greater inequality and massive wealth flowing to himself and his family.
He has been busy creating his own swamp of corruption.
Having lost the election he was thrown into a panic. He knew that the extent of his tax evasion and corruption would be exposed. His cronies, who had greatly benefitted from his Presidency, were also frightened. He made false claims of mass fraud in the election, claiming it had been stolen. He threatened and bullied officials to overturn the result. He tweeted lies and continued to deny his loss. He brought lawsuits and tried to use the supreme court, packed with the cronies he had placed there, to overturn the result. But even they would not go against the constitution. Finally, he roused his fanatical base and incited them to storm the Capitol and overturn the election result.
Can you believe that?
This is the President of the United States attempting to overturn a democratic result through bullying, threats and intimidation and then actually trying to instigate a coup.
What a mess for Biden to sort out?
What is clear is that capitalism needs controlling, equality reestablished on a global basis, environmental priorities addressed world-wide, and a good standard of living created for all.
That means a fundamental change in how we run the world.
What is also clear is that Trump and his cronies need locking up!