GUEST BLOG: Andra Jenkin – Enemy of the State: Democracy, the Free Press and Bannon’s famine.

By   /   February 27, 2017  /   11 Comments

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Naming the first priority of the Trump administration ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’ Steve Bannon openly declared why the picks for cabinet have all been counter intuitive choices who despise the very agencies they head.

Naming the first priority of the Trump administration ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’ Steve Bannon openly declared why the picks for cabinet have all been counter intuitive choices who despise the very agencies they head.

As I stated in my last blog, what appears to be a chaotic mess is planned destruction. Bannon is intent on dismantling the American political system and the agencies that support the government’s ability to function are first on the list to go. “If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction.” Bannon has explicitly stated.

In an article that neither names the author, nor gives its date of writing, The Conservative Tribune says the deconstruction ‘might just be the most exciting of Trump’s priorities from a conservative standpoint.” It celebrates what this might mean “Taking down regulations means overturning and destroying years of progressive, left-leaning entrenchment that takes power away from the private sector and gives it to the government.”

Bannon himself is finding these pesky regulations are getting in the way of business the way he would like to conduct it. “Every business leader we’ve had in is saying not just taxes, but it is – it is also the regulation”. Without regulations, business will have free reign to conduct themselves in whichever way they want.

Departments under deconstruction include Labour, Health and Human Services, Education and Environmental Protection.

With no Environmental agency, there is no way to uphold regulations around dumping waste. With a short-sighted approach this will be great for businesses that must pay to get rid of toxic waste. Costs will decrease and profits will rise. Until we all drown in the sewage. Hospital costs will rise as more people get sick due to toxic environments. We all need clean air and water, and without protections on pollution, how long can the country last? And what will be the knock on effects for the rest of the world?

The obvious consequences of no Labour department include the disappearance of the minimum wage, good working conditions, breaks and a reasonable expectation of safety. There is the very real possibility that a new version of slavery will reappear, and with the department of Education being dismantled, how can we believe that anyone other than the already rich will have a chance to learn.

There will be a lot of uneducated people flooding the workforce, with the vulnerable, the poor, the disabled and the desperate having no recourse but to put up with whatever form of work they can get, along with whatever working conditions and wages that are on offer. Unless that too goes the way of real democracy, and work becomes something to trade for food, or temporary shelter. Really there are no limits. What gains the labour movement and unions have made in the last few centuries could be under threat in a relatively short time if Bannon’s vision is realised.

Even republicans are afraid. Back in 2016 P.J.O’Rourke said of Trump “I am scared of Trump in two ways. This office of the president has too much power. And then putting a lunatic in power … he’s just a fool – incredibly shallow and a liar – he’s not even that successful, not even that rich. There’s nothing predictable about him. When you have the outsized power of the president, that unpredictability is unacceptable.”

The changes Bannon wants to make will create unlimited power for the presidential role. But by then Trump will have started calling himself something else. King perhaps, God maybe, but an elected official, not likely, those rules and regulations will no longer apply and why would he settle for 8 years in office when he could hold power until he passes it down to his children? Say goodbye to democracy America.

But the threat doesn’t end there. Both democracy and a free press are under attack from the current American administration. This is important because they are both protections against famine.

“The question of food and starvation, Professor Amartya Sen wrote, could not be divorced from ”the issue of liberties, of newspapers and ultimately of democracy.” Sen, The winner of the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science goes on to say. “There has never been a famine in any country that’s been a democracy with a relatively free press. I know of no exception. It applies to very poor countries with democratic systems as well as to rich ones.”

The media are fighting to alert the masses to the danger of this situation. Instead of being supported they are facing their biggest enemy yet. A government that far from seeing them as a protection for the American people, or a watchdog to ensure fair and legal representation, have painted them as an actual opposition party, as if the media are in politics for themselves rather than reporting on it.
‘If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.” Bannon said, referencing opposition and the media.

Watch out Americans, you will face starvation in the next four years if Bannon’s plan is successful and once other power and profit hungry wanna-be oligarchs see how it’s done; the rest of the world might too. Pay attention, Bannon’s government has put the whole world on notice. We must adapt fast to rid ourselves of this monstrous political threat, or die.
Dartagnan, (2017, February 4). Bannon Admits Trump’s cabinet Nominees Were selected to destroy their agencies. Retrieved from 25 February 2017.
Delaney, B., (2016, July 31). P.J.O’Rourke says blame the elites for Trump and Brexit and vote for Clinton. Retreived from 26 February 2017.
Massing, M., (2003, March 1). Does democracy avert famine? Retrieved from 26 February 2017.
O’Rourke, P., (1994). Thrown under the omnibus. (From All the Trouble in the World: Famine). Retrieved from 26 February 2017.
Rucker, P., Costa, R., (2017, February 23). Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state.’ Retrieved from 25 February 2017.
Steve Bannon: Deconstruction of the administrative state is top Trump agenda item. Retrieved from 26 February 2017.


Andra Jenkin co-wrote Double-Edged Sword- The Simonne Butler Story, and contributed to New Zealand Anthology of Women’s Comics ‘Three Words.’

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  1. Sam Sam says:

    Bannon understands all that better than most. But does that rest in GOP understand that economic nationalism inevitably builds up the administrative state they claim to want to destroy?

  2. garibaldi says:

    ” We get the politicians we deserve” seems apt for the USA.

    Hopefully the meme “Trump will destroy the USA, Clinton will destroy the World” will only be as far as it goes.

    Hopefully the World will wake up to the USA being a failed nation and carefully remove their cancerous corporate capitalism without setting off a nuclear confrontation.

    Hopefully the $US can be dumped as the world standard.

    Hopefully the UN can divorce itself from the USA and develop some balls of tis own.

    Hopefully the monotheist religions can wake up to their stupidity and pursue things like the love and forgiveness they preach instead of the isolation and wars they avidly adhere to.

    Hopefully developed Nations can try a democratic form of Socialism instead of end-times Capitalism.

    I guess it’s all too much to hope for.

    • Andrea says:

      Before we get ‘Hope’ we get all the ills of the world released from Pandora’s box… or so the story goes.

      I offer: “destruction is essential to creation”. Consciously. And be prepared for all the raging fury of a dying era. Those constructions of which you write are built to withstand reason and decency.

      Perhaps instead – when some bratty kids take the ball and threaten, the other kids simply walk off and start something better.

      “No one wants to play with you because you’re mean, bullying and cheat. You just want to be boss ALL the time. And I don’t care if the most famous people in the whole world signed your ball – you are still weak, mean and cheat.”

      New ways to be enterprising, enjoy education and creating and solving challenges. To conserve the land and waters. To peacefully and fearlessly bear only children who are wanted; we don’t need any more cannon fodder in the false name of equality and opportunity.

      How about it?


  3. andrew says:

    Good governance requires good and appropriate regulation.

    Over regulation, as has occurred in the US destroys jobs and the economy with it. California is the classic example of a leftist state with a collapsing economy due to intrusive regulation.

    You know you have over regulation when you need to undertake a 1,500 hour course and pass an exam to start a business braiding hair!

    Trump promised to drain the swamp and he’s doing exactly that!

    • Priss says:

      No he’s not, Andrew. He “drained the swamp” only to fiill it with toxic waste of neo-cons, Republicans, and One percenters. The fact a right winger like you approves shows what Trump has achieved.

    • fatty says:

      We all agree that the example of regulation you’ve given is silly.

      But do do really think Trump’s deregulation will be focused on examples like these? Is that what you think Trump and Bannon are talking about? They fooled you if you do.

      I do hope you’re trolling…

      And California has a collapsing economy? Perhaps – most of USA is failing, but Cali is nowhere as bad as the likes of the southern red states, who have let unregulated capitalism wreck havoc

    • Andrea says:

      “Good governance requires good and appropriate regulation.

      Over regulation, as has occurred in the US destroys jobs and the economy with it.”

      I agree. The legislation in each state is crawling with loopholes and exceptions – usually reeking of the pork barrel.

      They have each and all failed to follow Robert Townsend’s dictum that goes ‘how about making it a matter of law that the federal government for the next hundred years will have to kill two old activities for each new one they start?’ (p86 Up the Organization)
      (He also mentioned General Foods and the Ford Foundation so he’s pretty objective for a former Chairman of Avis Rentals.)

      See – wrecking the economy is one of those unintended consequences when lobbyists can barely see to the end of the quarter, let alone years down the track. It needs a different mindset from the ones most commonly used by ‘business’.

      And if Trump really imagines that the crocodiles left homeless by the swamp-draining are going to meekly depart then he’s none so canny as he’d like to think.

    • It’s only “over regulation” when you (or a family member) haven’t been injured by an untrained hair-styllist undertaking hair-braiding:

      And here in New Zealand;

      The cases are presented of three patients who sustained scald burns after placing their braided hair in boiling water to set the briads. Caretakers and cosmetologists should be warned of the potential danger from scald burns when setting hair braids. Emergency physicians should be aware of this mechanism of injury for scald burns to the scalp, face, back and neck regions.


      Having state regulations for people performing potentially dangerous tasks on another human being isn’t “over bureaucracy”, it’s common sense, Andrew.

  4. CosmicRay says:

    Trump is removing federal government from people’s lives and returning to state decision making. In other words, decisions made at a local level. As a leftie (but not a ‘progressive’) this sounds like a move in the right direction. Should liberal Californian values be imposed on Texas? No. Problem is ‘progressives’ want to impose their values on everybody.

  5. Excellent analysis, Andra. As with demagogues throughout the world (including our own Rob Muldoon), their true nature soon becomes apparent.

    Americans may soon find that “pesky regulations” are all that stand between the safety and wellbeing of people and corporate abuse of the environment.

    Trump may “drain the White House swamp”, but corporations will soon find other places to dump their own toxic wastes.

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