Watching Trump or May is the same experience as watching Hitler: I’m grasping my head in my hands, going “it’s such BULLSHIT. You are talking COMPLETE BULLSHIT” and being more angry with the citizens who could believe such complete bullshit, than I am with the guy who’s lying to them. Cos he has a stake, you know? He gains out of lying to them, and there will always be conmen in he world. But he’s not even a GOOD conman. It’s that, that really rankles. How can you believe such a SHIT conman?
I think that’s why Brexit and Trump has been so destructive to community relations. You look at your neighbours, and think: I always suspected you were a BIT dumb/racist, but I had no idea you were THIS dumb/racist. And it makes you kind of hate them, when in fact they are the victims. And why hate them? Cos they’re now DANGEROUSLY dumb/racist. They’re two steps away from putting on black shirts and killing us for having the wrong books. Well, welcome to being black, is all I’m gonna say about that.
So clever. This is how fascists work. You learn so much more about this from watching it unfold in your own country, than you do by reading about it. I understand 1984 so much better now, and I remember it differently, and I appreciate it more. What was the final betrayal? The final destruction of humanity? To be so afraid that you reach a mental state where you understand without being told that what will save you is giving up what you love most. Doing it, is academic, we would all do it. We all do, every day. Every time we leave our family to go to the office, every time we walk past a homeless person, each time our government kills a civilian, we do it.
I recently totally broke off contact with my whole family. That didn’t start with Trump or Brexit (although like everything I hate about England, it seems, it has its roots in Thatcher, actually, but side issue). But when extremists are in the public space, they drive everyone to extremes. If you dislike conservatives and hate Thatcherites, then you want to kill Nazis. If you don’t like hippies and hate communists, then you want to kill “antifa”. It is clever, to drive everyone to extremes, if what you want to do is destroy community so you can take total control. (Especially if you have been (IMO) systematically indoctrinating the people with something very like chronic PTSD, but that’s another post). It’s very dangerous, but not especially for the dictator. The worst that can happen, is that they lose and get shot. But they’ll be famous forever. Their descendants will be rich forever. And their backers will make a lot of money, either way.
I came home from school once and told my grampa “we are learning about the war” and my gramps said “don’t believe anything they tell you. That was all about money, nothing else”. Well, I wish I’d asked more. I was too young. In fact, I did ask once, and got a very long and incomprehensible talk on salvage rights in deep water (he was a sailor, and a good one: after he died, my mum got a letter asking did she want his medals? And she wanted them, but my dad said no, cos grampa never wanted them. And my dad was dead right). Apparently a lot of lawbreaking went on and a lot of people made a fortune, that’s all I understood. But as I get older, I see what he meant more and more. Besides, he’s not the first one to say it. Louis Ferdinand Celine said it, Gore Vidal said it, Karl Marx said it, and Marcus Garvey said it. If they all agree with my grampa, then I believe him. He was there, after all. Anyway, side issue.
(Another side issue (soz) can I give a shout out here for a twitter account I love, which retweets the entries that each family made in the Home Office records for each soldier killed in WW1? Twitter have locked me out as usual, but when I get back in I’ll find it. You will notice, that very few are about the country or pride or nobility. They are very moving)
People like Trump are the rich kids equivalent of the “lone wolf” that goes into a school and shoots everyone. Sure, they’ll get caught. But they’ll have had some kind of impact. People will know their name. The universe will have fundamentally changed, because of them. What does it matter, that it changed in a negative way? That’s what you do, if you’re a poor kid with no influence. If you’re a rich kid (or, more usually I observe, desperately want to be a rich person and have the backing of rich financiers), you become Trump or Hitler. Sure, you fuck the country. Sure, a lot of people die. But you become famous, and your backers make a lot of money.
We have lived with that reality for a long time. Now it has arrived at its inevitable conclusion, we are all scared shitless and hating on our brothers and sisters. But we have all been happy to live with the idea that fame and money are more important than anything else. We may say, we aren’t like that. We don’t tell our kids that. But we do. They (and we) are immersed in that idea every day, like drowning men in seawater. In fact, that’s not an idea, that’s a reality. Cf. The OJ Simpson trial)
And a side note to those of us who “don’t understand” how people voted for Trump: have you ever seen the inside of a jail cell? Cos that opened my eyes real fast, let me tell you. Poor people don’t have “law and order”. They don’t have “a constitution”. They don’t have “civil rights”, so why should they care about Muslim or gay peoples? A president breaking the constitution may be shocking to you, but poor people know the constitution is bollocks. And that is our fault too)
Surely the single most important thing which allowed Trump to be elected was “The Apprentice”, a show I loathe but in which I hear he appeared successful, presidential, was well-dressed, well-lit etc. Why did we allow The Apprentice to happen? I’m not saying, someone should have known Trump specifically was gonna be the one. But if it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else (although if rich people had picked Sir Alan Sugar to be their next patsy, I’m not sure he would have proved so successful).
More fundamentally, that show is shit. It is abusive, it has low production values, it is so capitalist it’s nasty, it encourages people to turn on each other for personal gain, and we call that “entertainment”. Well, to the average voter, what is the difference between politics and entertainment? Factually, I’m not sure myself if there’s a difference.
Watch a Trump rally. It’s just at the point where he tells the biggest lie (the one I’m watching now he has just said that Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton co-founded “Isis”): just at the moment he gets the biggest applause. Why? Cos they like lies? Do they believe it? It doesn’t matter. It’s good entertainment, like boxing*. When someone gives a great punch, do they cheer cos they love pain? No, cos it’s exciting. Trump and his advisors understand that politics is just entertainment, and they don’t fight it, they embrace it. But they didn’t create the system. They are just the system’s logical conclusion.
* side note: the cause and effect is not, Trump says something ➡️ the audience applause. It’s the other way around ⬅️. I found this article very interesting: Donald Trump isn’t talking to Fox News: Fox news is talking to Donald Trump
Do I believe Theresa May woke up one day with a secret plan to turn Britain nazi? Do I believe she has been secretly keeping a diary about it and she used to dress up as Hitler and play war games? (No, the British royal family do that). I do not. But do I believe she is a psychopath who has such self-loathing and contempt for others that it would be very easy for rich people to use her to make money? Yes, I do. And if she makes them more money being fluffy and nice, we would have a fluffy nice government, and we would have fluffy nice tv, about nice people doing good, interesting things and broadening our minds and inspiring us.
Well we don’t, we have TOWIE and The Apprentice (not to mention “,Me, My Visit From The Baliffs, and My Big Fat Dole Scum Gypsy Wedding”) and they get massive ratings, and we have done nothing about that. Trump wasn’t our warning signal. The fact that The Apprentice was a popular show, that was our canary in the mine. That was the self-harming behaviour that should have inspired an intervention from us, on behalf of our brothers and sisters who were being abused, sold lies, used as cash cows, driven into debt and poverty, it goes in and on. And we lived with that.
Well, this is what that looks like. Nothing that is happening now, is new. It is always simmering away under the surface, as long as you live under capitalism. And depending on what makes most money that year, your President could be a Nazi, a communist or a member of the Green Party. We end up hating our neighbours, when what we should hate is the endlessly corrupt political system that created us all.
Because hating them is easier for us, than fighting the system. We are no different from them. We just have a different style. Maybe we are more educated, maybe we think we wouldn’t fall for lies like them. Maybe we think we are less racist, less hateful. Well, we are not. We are them, but with different cultural tastes, that’s all. We all sat there and let The Apprentice happen and said nothing. We let them go to shit schools, we let them earn shitty wages, eat shitty food, we endlessly pumped out media stories about how nasty and hateful and sub human they are. We laughed at them and mocked them and treated them like farmyard animals. And we showed them again and again, that even policemen can kill black people and nothing will happen to them, because black people aren’t really important.
In fact if anything, isn’t that more our fault? The educated ones, the calm ones, the ones who can see things coming, who are less swayed by money and personality: isn’t it more our role in the universe to call out such lies and to protect our brothers and sisters, who may not have these skills but who certainly do have other skills which are also useful, we are the ones to blame.
If you go out and leave your kids home alone, and they trash the place and hurt themselves, who blames the kids? It’s your fault, cos you’re the adult. If they go to school and call someone a nigger, is that their fault? No, it’s your fault, cos you’re the parent.
Well, if my neighbour votes for Trump, that’s my fault. How much love have I shown that neighbour? How many times have we spoken about anything, never mind about peace and love? Have we ever all sat together in the garden and shared a meal? Maybe they’d be less racist, if we had ever done that. But we never invited them to. Cos I don’t wanna spend my afternoon with racists. But they’re my neighbours, and I only suspect they’re racist. I never actually gave them a chance to prove me wrong. Maybe they’d love to have a barbecue with us, and learn more about Caribbean cooking. Maybe they’d say the odd foolish thing, but maybe we could live with that in the interests of loving each other more? And maybe if they did, that’s not really their fault anyway. Maybe it’s hard not to be racist, if that’s all you’ve known. Maybe becoming friends with my family, would be what changed their minds. Maybe we could forgive each other first, without putting limits on that?
We can all see that people like Trump and the tories abuse the least loved, the least strong, the most vulnerable, and they take advantage of them. I got chatting to an old lady on the bus who said she voted “Leave” cos “people are suffering so much and they need help”. I hate people who voted leave. I hate them. I won’t have them in my (mixed race) home. I consider them all racist Nazis. Sure, later on they’ll say they were conned into it. But I don’t believe they honestly believe such blatant ridiculous lies. I say they’re racist Nazis, and they’re hiding behind that excuse, “oh I was conned by a charismatic leader” sure you were. Just like you were conned by Thatcher. As a kid, watching Thatcher was a very similar experience. Although I understood nothing about politics, I would watch her on the news and go “but she’s so clearly mental. How can she be prime minister? Is this some kind of joke? When is this going to end? What are the grown ups doing?”
But I spoke to an old white lady, which I wouldn’t normally cos I have so many barriers up I won’t normally talk to white people in Yorkshire any more, but we got chatting about my puppy (which is more important, isn’t it? Isn’t both liking a puppy and sharing that moment of happiness, that’s a genuine human true moment. Brexit is not true or human. We are both pawns in the brexit game, but we both truly were ourselves in that moment). So if you are able to share a human moment with someone, you may learn that actually, they were trying to help people. She honestly thought she was helping people. I can shake my head and think “how can you be so dumb?”. But spin that question around. If she’s dumb, and I’m cleverer than her, then it is my fault she is dumb. So I should be angrily asking myself “how did you let people get so dumb?”. Maybe she’s a bit dumb about politics, but maybe she is like that cos she has a soft heart and wants to believe in something good and they used that against her, and maybe I should have fought harder to protect her from being used. Being smart is just one skill. Why should I allow her to be abused, just cos she’s not smart? Being good at football is just one skill. Maybe she’s amazing at growing things, maybe she’s amazing at looking after kids, maybe she’s amazing at building houses. She’s just not very good at calling out lies. Well, isn’t it my fault then, if I allow people to take advantage of that? Shouldn’t I have my sisters back, I should be using my “smart” skill to protect her, so she can get busy gardening or building houses. Each of us should contribute our best skill to the community. We allow stupid people to be abused, systematically, and that is smart people’s fault.
(As another side note (I jump a lot, everyone hates it about me) I’d like to give a shout out here to autistic people (which I feel I am but doctors feel I am not, but the fact that I give them no credit for that view as I consider their methodology to be fundamentally flawed is, I feel, in a way, quite autistic. But that’s for another post). I’d like to say: I knew what Thatcher was when I was a kid without knowing anything about politics cos autistic people rule. This whole thing about how we can’t do social skills etc is bollocks, and it’s all a story to oppress us because unoppressed, we are a threat to the system. Many of us understand social skills far better than “norms” do, we observe them closely as we observe animal interactions with interest, we see the power plays as clearly as if there were red lines connecting people, and we can mimic them too. We learn them, and learning them teaches you way more about them than norms who simply mimic. Anyway, mini shout out to autistics over.)
Well, this is capitalism, and we are run by an ever smaller group of beings who are rich beyond anything we can imagine. They can do anything they want, anything. Imagine that, living your life, able to do anything whenever you want? That’s like being a god. Perhaps that’s all “God” ever was, just a projection of what we think it would be nice to be, and a projection from our tiny limited capitalism-addled minds. Did I just accidentally do Nietzsche? I never did understand Nietzsche, but I think I might do him accidentally sometimes. I’ll have to try him again. Maybe he doesn’t make sense till you’re a grown up, like Madame Bovary.
Anyway, what a long rant. I just wanna say: anyone who still thinks we can just get rid of Trump/May/the GOP/the tories/Nazis/Terrorism without getting rid of capitalism, is fooling themselves and holding us all back. You are as much a pawn of Trump’s backers as the people who vote for him.
We need a revolution, and we need to end capitalism. Until we do that, there will always be Trumps. There will always be racism, and wars, and in any case we’ve only got maybe 100 years left on this planet if we don’t stop it right now. Millions of us are already dying and it will soon be us too. So stop thinking that we can vote our way our of this, or somehow influence anything by consumer choices. Well in fact, you could: you could stop driving a car and eating meat. Those are the only consumer choices that will ever impact anything.
So when people get serious about change, call me, I’m up for it. I am up for direct self-rule, nothing less. It starts with education, and if you think schools run by rich people are gonna educate the people, I don’t know what drugs you are on but I don’t want any. We need to educate ourselves, and that is the beginning. The “left”, if they existed and cared, would be running and providing free childcare and free evening classes to educate the workers. They are not, cos they don’t exist.
Le monde est a nous. Liberte egalite fraternite! Not yet, but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?