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<nettime> The Trump Speech
Michael Gurstein on Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:44:05 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> The Trump Speech


There has been, in other contexts, an on-going discussion as to
whether Trump's evident rejection of the post-war neo-liberal order
is sufficient reason to applaud his victory given that Hillary's
win would have further entrenched neo-liberalism as the necessary
framework for capitalism going forward and as the dominant ideology
in all institutions and as the ever more deeply embedded normative
framework for this millennium. Others argue that the other elements of
Trumpism outweigh these benefits.

I think to reconcile the two positions it is necessary to distinguish
the neo-liberal project of "globalization" as initially propelled by
the Bretton Woods institutions and then (and somewhat independently)
by primarily US corporate interests building on technology
change in transportation and communications; from the process of
"internationalization" (and to a considerable extent decolonization)
initiated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN
institutions which formed parallel to the Bretton Woods institutions.

The globalization i.e. neo-liberal project was one where US corporate
and political dominance was largely hidden behind a veil of
ideological positionings re: "Freedom of this and that. This is what
Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and the "Third Way" politicians globally
bought into and rode with great political and personal success over
the last several decades. Also, this was the basis for the quite
legitimate reaction to the marginalization and impoverishment of the
traditional working class and industrial sectors that the Third Way
politicians have overlooked and which the Third Order populists such
as der Trump, Farage etc.etc. have been allowed to steal from the
progressive's agenda; thus putting us all at the risk where we find
ourselves today.

However, the underlying "internationalization" of transportation and
communications links, global behavioural and legal norms, certain
global institutions, and the global post-WWII political and diplomatic
order has to be seen as distinct from this and one which until
fairly recently was broadly accepted globally as the basis for
geo-political order going forward-interacting with and generally
supporting globalization but with distinct features and partial
outcomes. The distinction of course has been diminishing recently with
the very broad-based "success" of globalization.

And now in more recent times there is the development of the
"transnational" global networks such as the Internet and global
transportation networks and the networks such as global Civil Society
which are built on the Internet as independent elements in linking
the various parts of the world. This has partially been associated
with those few significant resisters to neo-liberalism such as China,
Russia and Iran.

What is so startling about Trump's "America First" speech is the way
in which he disavows not only globalization which he so forcefully
(and I think usefully) critiqued in his campaign, but also it appears,
the Post-WWII Geo-political internationalization ordering which among
other things has been a basic element in cross-partisan political
positions in the US and elsewhere globally (particularly for the EU)
for several generations (although attacked by the far right and more
recently the Tea Party-ers).

What remains to be seen and what is perhaps of most direct interest
to the Internet community is his position on the Transnational
networks and this includes the Internet. Early indications are that
Trump (or handlers his Steve Bannon and V. Putin?) are positive
towards for example, the transnational network of the far Right
through which Russia is exerting influence in Europe and elsewhere.
I think that it is quite possible that Trump et al might look to
transnationalization as a substitute for both globalization and
internationalization although what form that might take is still
unclear but a transnational order linking nationalistic resurgencies
in the US, Russia, the UK and elsewhere seems quite evident and quite
consistent with the nationalization/transnationalization which China
has been attempting in its trade policies and more recently in its
policies for Internet governance.

M

 

 


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