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Re: <nettime> What is the meaning of Trump's victory?
Armin Medosch on Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:19:28 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> What is the meaning of Trump's victory?


Hi

> Also, Trump won on ALL white demographics, including affluent, college
> educated, and female identifying.

I find this a point worth dwelling on for a bit. In an article written
by Paul Mason I found this statement:

"Donald Trump has won the presidency – not because of the
“= white working class”, but because millions of
middle-class and educated U= S citizens reached into their soul
and found there, after all its conceits were stripped away, a
grinning white supremacist. Plus untapped reserves of misogyny."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/globalisation-de
ad-wh= ite-supremacy-trump-neoliberal

I have also seen some numbers - but unfortunately don't remember
where, can someone help? - which confirmed that the majority of white
males voted for Trump which included college educated and wealthy
people; also a small majority of white women voted for Trump; and
Hillary was on a par with white non-educated poor workers.

I think it would be worth finding reliable numbers because the
standard explanation for Trump's victory but also the successes of the
European far right is that this is due to the rage of uneducated poor
whites, the nasty side of the working class, the losers of
globalisation. A look at the numbers however suggests that this is not
the case, that those proletarian loosers of globalisation form only a
relatively small part of Trump's constituency, and that many of those
who voted for him were 'normal' republicans. Similarly here in Europe
many voters of Strache and Le Pen are not in any real financial
distress right now. A sizable part of their constituency are middle
class or petit bourgeoisie.

Why is this important? Because the standard explanation now really has
become a 'mantra' in liberal media, an automatic, reflex-like
explanation which is not questioned any further. And this is dangerous
because it prompts wrong answers to a real political dilemma. By
blaming only a specific social strata of being vulnerable for the
rhetoric of populists, the answers concocted by the liberal elites
stretch from either trying to be more populist than populists or
ringfencing a democratic centrist voters block (where this is still
possible) against the rising tide.

Yet in any case it absolves European and American societies from
questioning their own believes and value systems. It fits into the
value system of the liberal section of society to blame 'uneducated'
people, 'workers' for supporting the Trumplers, but stops them from
looking who are those other people who voted for Trump and what are
their motivations?

This has already been the case with fascism, as the Italian and German
working class have been blamed for it, while in reality they suffered
most from it. It is also an old argument that goes back to Marx and
the question of the 'urban mob' in the 19th century: can people with a
low status in society with little education produce complex political
ideas or are they just suspect to fall for this or that kind of
populism. And a proper Marxist answers is of course yes, they can;
because they are exposed to the sharp end of capitalism they
understand the world better and become the revolutionary avant-garde.
Historically this has led to several betrayals of the working class by
the bourgeoisie, where the latter used the first for a revolution - as
in France in 1848 - and then backstabbed them only to become
themselves shafted by a generalissimo. The current boureoisise /
liberal elite is capable of carrying out a similar betrayal albeit
maybe more unwittingly and on a global scale.

The bourgeois / liberal argument is pointing at 'others' at people who
are 'not them', rather than engaging with the rightist elements among
their own class, the moneyed middle class which, in the name of its
economic success, exploits exactly those globally inequalities in
which race and class still play an important role. Racism and misogyny
are pretty good explanations but only if seen in a more structural
sense, as Brian proposes. The 'working class' has become
geographically dispersed and those who really produce the goods are
highly invisible for us, while badly paid service jobs in the rich
countries are mainly done by migrants or ex-migrants. At the same time
you do have a workers aristocracy in countries such as Germany where
you do still have well paid post-Fordist jobs.

The non-thinking mantra of the liberal elites absolves them from
looking into structural issues where Eurocentrism with its mechanisms
of 'othering' fails very badly (even its own goals). This goes into
many other areas such as the same unthinking unquestioning way in
which 'our model of media freedom' our fantastic free press is
suddenly resuscitated as a bulwark against Erdoga-Putins and
filterbubble-Trumplers, or the way in which 'our democracy' is
defended as the only possible democracy.

Well, this has become quite long, I actually when I started writing
only wanted support in facts regarding real voter constitutencies of
HTC and DT
all best
Armin




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