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A world ruling class? December 21, 2016

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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Many thanks to the person who forwarded this.

A characteristically bellicose and unfocused article is to be found the December 2016 (vol. 31, no. 12) issue of the Irish Political Review. The anonymous piece is titled “Wanted: A World Ruling Class!”
The piece begins by mentioning the shock Trump’s election caused around the world, calling it “hysteria”. It also mentions and dismisses the tape recording of Trump released this October as a reason for being upset at the Orange One’s ascent to the Presidency. . The IRP simply has Trump :

“making appreciative remarks about women many years ago in a mode which a change in official culture has ruled out of order….it is still not believable that the fury against Trump results from him having being caught out as having an old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon male imagination.”

Remember that Trump said in the comments that he met a married woman and then “moved on her very heavily”, and said about women in general that he could “grab them by the pussy”. This is hardly the ” old Ladies’ Man type attacked by PC spoilsports” situation the IPR would have its readers believe. The IPR ignores the sexual violence and objectification of women revealed by the recording, as well as the repeated accusations of sexual harassment levelled against Trump. (Also. last time I checked, the “change in official culture” which put married women off limits to people other than their husbands took place in the era of the Old Testament.)
The article then argues the Europeans are in a panic because Trump’s has made an overt intention is to “leave the world leaderless”. It adds that Trump may not be able to carry out this ambition because he is not a European Prime Minister with a jurisdictive majority -the fact the Republicans currently have majorities in both houses of Congress is not mentioned anywhere in the piece. “Wanted: A World Ruling Class!” argues that the election:

“But has [sic] put the US governent [sic] on the agenda of politics, and the world is bewildered-not least that part of it that used to chatter against US Imperialism”

Weighing in against Barack Obama, it argues that Obama was the first President to make an overt pronouncement
of US world dominance. It drifts argues from this that Obama was thus implementing the 19th Century policy of “Manifest Destiny” across the planet and ensuring US hegemony worldwide. (Amusingly the article states “Manifest Destiny” was first “asserted by John L. Sullivan in the mid-19th century”, thus confusing the boxer with the journalist John L. O’SULLIVAN, who is believed to have first used the phrase).

Going on to out forward that “Democracy lost” in the US election because it “was rejected by disgruntled plebs in its home base”, the article adopts the familiar right-wing take of framing the election as a revolt of angry white working class people against a remote elite. There’s no mention of the fact Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote. In fact there isn’t a mention of Hillary Clinton in the article at all. Nor is there any mention of the Electoral College, or the fact that exit polls from 23 primary states revealed that the average Trump supporter earns more ($70,000) than the US national average.

The article then moves into paranoid mode. It states that “the progressive elite around the world” resent what the IRP sees as Trump’s poverty-stricken, working class supporters electing him to the President.

“The world stakeholders in the cosmopolitan future projected by American hegemony should be accorded a means of ensuring that only Presidents committed to maintaining and completing US world hegemony
should be elected. “

This ignores the fact that Trump seems every bit as committed to projecting US hegemony overseas as his predecessors were (witness Trump contacting Taiwan without consulting China, his statement that US troops “have to go in” to Syria, and his ” I will never, ever rule it out” in regards to using nuclear weapons). The idea that Trump, just because he wishes to sideline NATO and do bilateral deals between the US and other nations, is thus somehow challenging US hegemony is laughable. The article even implies there is a government-level, international movement active to stop Trump taking office. The IPR cites the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état where Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the army, claiming this was a demonstration of the Western World’s hypocritical disregard for the electorate: “there is a will in the Free World-the world that exists under American hegemony-to use strong measures to save Democracy from the populace”.

Does anyone outside the alt-right seriously believe there are international forces plotting to use “strong measures” to stop Trump from taking office, or planning an Egyptian-style coup to stop Trump? Indeed, there are reports currently circulating that foreign intervention may have ,in fact been one of the several factors that helped Trump get elected.
But it seems the IRP isn’t, despite its purported championing of what it imagines are Trump’s angry blue-collar
voters, actually that keen on ordinary people asserting their agency.

Sounding like an Oxbridge don writing in to the “Salisbury Review”, the IRP says “True Democracy is the art of manipulating the populace by means of images. Plato showed that to be the case long ago.” None of your “government of the people, by the people, for the people “ stuff for the IRP .

The IRP argues this thesis: “Unfortunately”, because of the US democracy’s “crude origins” in violence, pioneering and displacement of the Native Americans, it was thus possible for Trump to “blunder” into politics, put forward facts that the voters understood through their “own direct experience, and upset the applecart”. I presume the “Unfortunately” means from the point of view of the “Progressive” and “cosmopolitan” types that the IPR imagines run the world.
And what about all the pro-Trump fake news spread by social media, not to mention Donald’s pathological lying, then? Trump’s followers did in fact have the ability to manipulate the populace that the IRP would have us believe is the core of “True Democracy”.

The article then drifts off-topic with a long citation from Plato’s Dialogues about how Athenian democracy “is really an aristocracy or government of the best”.

Government of the best, eh? It would be difficult to find a government as remote from “best” as President-Elect Trump’s sorry selection of the greedy, bigoted and ignorant.

And judging by the shockingly logic-free quality of this article, I’d say the Irish Political Review is firmly under the control of a Kakistocracy (rule by the foolish).

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Comments»

1. Alibaba - December 21, 2016

‘And what about all the pro-Trump fake news spread by social media, not to mention Donald’s pathological lying, then?’

Consider this:

“Like most trolls, he [Trump] underestands his target, constantly zeroing in on liberals’ bad conscience. During the presidential debates with Hiliary Clinton, he defended his deportation policy by pointing out — as no other Republican candidate would — that Obama had deported more than any other president, more than 2.5 million people. Saying things that are not usually said openly is part of  the transgressive thrill of Trumpism. This is what the critique of ‘post-truth politics’ misses. Even when he lies egregiously, Trump’s fans think he is demonstrating an important truth in exposing media fakery.”

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n24/richard-seymour/schadenfreude-with-bite

Also, I think it interesting that the phrase ‘ruling class’ tends to be replaced by the word ‘elite’ by the Trumpists and ‘the establishment’ by the progressives.

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2. Mike Atkinson - December 21, 2016

” the article states “Manifest Destiny” was first “asserted by John L. Sullivan in the mid-19th century”, thus confusing the boxer with the journalist John L. O’SULLIVAN, who is believed to have first used the phrase).”

Well, the Yanks have often been accused of having a pugilistic foreign policy….

They had another pro-Trump article in last month’s IPR as well, which said “A Trump victory would oblige Europe to become something other than an American poodle, and it finds that prospect too awful to contemplate”. As opposed to becoming a Russian poodle instead-they really like Putin over in IPR Towers.

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