Lower classes of First World countries are forcing their national elites and establishments to secure financial and other resources and advantages, which are now also sometimes depleting (e.g. pensions), along national lines, so that they are available for them over the even-lower ‘migrants’ and refugees from less-privileged places. My the-morning-after analysis of Trump-ism in the UK, US, Israel and globally
So, Trump was elected president tonight.
Polls, again, were wrong, showing a considerable left-wing bias in their forecasts, as was the case in the Brexit referendum, as well as recent Israeli elections last year. All three cases manifest the sexism, racism, xenophobia – among other things.
Between her jokes, Samanta Bee has made some good links between Brexit and Trump’s nomination (and now victory). Many of her points are also valid for the rise of Israeli far right. I remember how, when the far right Liberman first got into Parliament in 1999, there was a global condemnation. Since then, his party kept growing in every election, and bit by bit it became one of the biggest in Israeli politics, and was later running with the ruling Likud party once. Liberman became a minister, then vice PM and strategic cabinet minister, then Foreign Minister, and today he is the most senior minister in the government (minister or defense), and nobody is surprised any longer.
PM Netanyahu is not so different in his true far-right colours than his ex-running mate (and the two have a joint past: Liberman was chosen by Netanyahu to be his right hand as PMO CEO in 1996). During the last election day, Netanyahu successfully mobilised Jewish-Israelis to vote with the (false) racist claim that masses of Arabs (Israeli citizens) are ‘flooding’ into the ballots (to fulfill their civic right). But – significantly – while ‘everybody’ was appalled by his racism, almost nobody paid attention to the Israeli-Jewish public who, in fact, were the ones to act upon their racism in large numbers by responding to his call.
Back to Trump, South Park was correct to highlight, about two weeks ago, that the fact that Trump support was affected only when his attitudes and bullying towards women became evident, and despite the numerous racist comments he made until that point, testifies to the racism of the women (and men) who continued to support him until then. White American women preferred to join white American men and, once again (as Moore showed), acted on fear and came together to re-establish their white superiority.
Having said that, we must also appreciate these votes as part of a global Western trend, and more than only the persistence of values of older-generation white uneducated less central-urban men tendencies, by looking at how interests play into this, and why it is so common particularly now across societies.
In brief, what I think we are witnessing is lower classes of First World countries forcing their national elites and establishments to secure financial and other resources and advantages, which are now also sometimes depleting (e.g. pensions), along national lines, so that they are available for them over the even-lower ‘migrants’ and refugees from less-privileged places. Different than the satisfied middle-class metropolitan-liberal (e.g. central London, NY, or Tel Aviv) who happily enjoy the benefits of globalisation (e.g. EU and immigration), and who will have little or none to lose – and often even gain – from the (processes of) globalisation under the current Capitalist order. Their response is the localisation part of globalisation, under the current form of Capitalism.
The truth that many like to forget is that immigration is unlikely to stop if we ‘close our borders.’ Because people anyway do not immigrate to a radically different place unless their conditions are so poor that they fear for their future. Be it due to wars, famine, poverty, deceases, pollution – all of which are (either exasperated by or) symptoms of a Capitalist-globalising world. Immigration is usually a long and difficult process, one which forces individuals to leave their lives behind and move into unfamiliar and often dangerous conditions, and to adjust to foreign language, norms/rules, laws and networks. People do this only when they really must. So, if the First World wishes to slow down immigration, rather than building walls, sending boats back, or punishing them, it must find a way to reduce the immense and growing gaps in living conditions (globally as well as locally). So long as the poor/global-South continue to suffer from poverty (as well as poor security, health, social well-being, and access to water and food), there is little hope that they would just ‘stay’ ‘there,’ suffer and die. Simply put: if we want less immigration, we cannot but fix the world and fast.
This is not only up to the right-wing leadership. Another challenge is to burst the very comfi bubble of living in large liberal more-educated privileged metropolitan areas, where multiculturalism blindly enjoys the fruits of class, and join the backbone of lower classes in the forgotten areas, that suffer most/more from the race to the bottom that the (globalised) Capitalism brings.