The fascinating confusion of the West
by Mike Meyer
Trump has become fascinating. He ceased to have any meaning in the world he purports to have power in sometime in the fall of 2018. His entire reason for living has been a cyclic fluctuation in a range of conditions from small time criminal activity, frenzied quest for fame turning self destructive because of incompetence and ignorance, ending in increasingly erratic self parody.
The trajectory of this, originally powered by his fathers illicit wealth and then Russian, even more, illicit wealth, seems something like a whale beginning a long surge up from the depths, gaining speed, and culminating in breach with a monstrous splash back into the sea leaving nothing but short term bubbles and a vague memory of something oddly colored and ungainly in the air.
It seems we are at the end of the display as the elements of parody are so strong as to be a parody of parody. In fact the success of this last episode, stunningly played out in the most powerful position on the planet when he entered it, was so deformed by absurdity that fear in America never completely overcame the dominant meld of amazement and pity.
National political structures in late stage capitalist 18th century nation-states are very prone to insanity and absurdity but normally in a very formalized style considered ‘political’. This allows the maintenance of the pretense that these self destructive fits are normal and expected and, in the current cases for the US and GB, are not the accelerating collapse of major planetary organizational units.
After nearly three years of tremendous effort this facade of normalcy has become so tattered that no one seems to know quite what to do. This is obvious as the show is being carried by a low grade criminal with major mental problems in the US and third string stand in for the British. The general incompetence at all levels is to be expected when you have, not even third stringers, in support roles but the equivalent of maintenance staff and groundskeepers. Given who was organizing these administrations the general presence of indicted, soon to be indicted, and convicted criminals is not a surprise.
If this were simply some sort of entertainment we would have the option of getting an early start for home since the whole thing is having trouble achieving even an anticlimax. Unfortunately this isn’t an entertainment and there are hundreds of thousands of families in extremity and a vast range of completely unavoidable suffering now to be experienced even if things were to be immediately fixed. It is clearly understood, despite pantomime denials, that even greater suffering is now assured for the next three generations at least.
Of course no one seems to have the slightest fucking idea of how to fix this on either side of the Atlantic. None of the people in crudely parodied positions of authority seem to have sense of creative leadership beyond perfunctory plundering of silverware and loose objects of value while denying any knowledge of anything.
Even the president of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, couldn’t help trolling Ms. May and the entire British Parliament for lack of anything else to do or say. There do not seem to be any options at all left. Even Jeremy Corbyn can only manage a half hearted call for a no confidence vote that would potentially open a position that no one would want. The level of confusion now seems to exceed even that of Donald Trump’s White House staff. But they, at least, have the excuse of not being paid.
No one speaks to Trump or the US Congress anymore but only about them. This may be partially a result of not knowing which language to use. The only thing that produces some form of response is Russian. Unfortunately those responses are garbled and don’t parse as affirmations or clear denials. Putin is apparently too busy toasting the surprise achievement of his youthful dream of destroying America to call Trump and tell him what to do. This could get embarrassing and might bring Russia down also.
The man on the spot is now President Xi who has the problem of a slowing economy that is now growing at only twice the rate of America. With a very significant part of the planet’s population already under his rule the old idea of causing trouble for the US and Great Britain is beginning to take on the scary possibility of having to take over and clean up their mess. This was supposed to be a clearly academic argument. Winning could be disastrous.
2019 may need to be called off before everyone in the US and GB leaves and asks for asylum.