2017 – The year of Trumpism, resentment kulture & climate change

By   /   January 7, 2018  /   21 Comments

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There were many things that happened in 2017, but the most dangerous amongst them was the culture of festering resentment that eclipsed the better angels of our nature.

There were many things that happened in 2017, but the most dangerous amongst them was the culture of festering resentment that eclipsed the better angels of our nature.

Globally, the working classes of America conspired in 2016 to send a wrecking ball into a political system they no longer believed in to go up against neoliberal economics that had failed them through globalisation.

And what a wrecking ball Trump has become.

Aside from the rampant racism, transphobia, sexism, anti-intellectualism and hatred for anyone poor, liberal media despise Trump because deep down in places they never like to admit at their plush dinner parties, Trump truly represents what America is.

A shallow narcissist culture looking for its next selfish ego stroke paranoidly armed to the teeth with enough corporate weapons to destroy the planet many times over

That’s fine when you are the host of a reality TV show, it’s terrifying when that person leads a nuclear armed country.

Trump is the ultimate resentment politician. He understands how it feels to be looked down upon by his peers who have laughed at his achievements. His overcompensation resonates with every white working poor American who have perceived their culture and their values belittled for cosmopolitan pretensions while economically robbing them of any resilience.

Trump’s revenge fantasies against every imagined slight ignites those voters own resentments while also becoming a flare to attract white supremacists and Nazi sympathisers.

How can this still attract 30% support? Because resentment has a long memory and it can’t be forgotten by those on the economic edge.

So where will the Trump resentment end?

We keep wanting to believe Trump will be impeached, but for his followers, any attempt at that will be the final proof they need that the system is rigged against them and their choice for President. The Republicans themselves are held hostage to his popular support amongst their voter base and Democrats have allowed the so called Russian hacking of their democracy to let them off the hook for appointing a candidate as flawed as Clinton via a system that was rigged against Bernie Sanders.

If Russia could really hack the American election with less than $250 000 through Facebook adverts, I’d suggest their democracy has far bigger problems than Putin.

The reality is Trump will probably launch some military conflict somewhere and wait for Republican voters to rally around the flag making criticism seem unpatriotic at a time of war. Believing he won’t win a second term is just hope, it’s not based in reality.

America’s mutilated public education system ensures the resentful will hold power, not the enlightened.

It wasn’t just politically that resentment kulture ruled, it was socially.

Resentment fuelled the millions of women who for centuries had no recourse to the sexual harassment they contend with daily to suddenly be free of gatekeeper media and name any harasser they wished.

Men responded by being targeted without due process with an even larger ocean of resentment.  Some men claimed this was a ‘witch hunt’ when of course what was happening was far more dangerous to men than that. What happened was a witch trial, just like Salem, where the evidential threshold minus due process was whittled down to simply making the accusation on social media. Under current feminist dogma, anyone making an accusation must be believed and any attempt to challenge an accusation is akin to being an abuser yourself.

Where will this resentment end? Some abusers will be punished, many survivors of abuse will feel heard but once men appreciate that their entire lives can be destroyed by nothing more than a social media post, the resentment backlash will see a cultural polarisation of men and women far more extreme than now.

 

White CIS people felt resentful about privilege they had never perceived before, men felt resentful about a toxic masculinity that damages them as much as it damages everyone else and PoC and gender binary activist vegans everywhere felt resentment that no one was educating themselves about why they were resentful all the time.

Social media was the vehicle of choice for this resentment and the cacophony of hurt feel olympics muted empathy or sympathy for one another. We stopped becoming human beings to one another and started becoming the targets for social media pile ons.

In NZ, the Party of the Famers, Bankers and Property speculators – the National Party – lost the election and promptly sunk into a pit of spite and resentment towards a political system of MMP that was purposely created to stop them having all the power.

Identity politic activists started 2017 screaming at the appointment of Greg O’Connor and Willie Jackson to Labour and threatened signed letters and boycotts. O’Connor ended up killing off a National Party ally and Willie Jackson’s masterminding of Labour’s Maori Strategy over the election killed off National’s other ally. That both men and NZ First proved to be crucial in defeating National was quietly ignored by the resentful activists until Ben Mack gave voice to this Twitter Woke by hilariously making the accusation in the Washington Post that NZ had become a xenophobic fascist state.

Women’s refuge frontline staff who resentfully asked for less middle class food and more direct aid were resentfully attacked by resentful people resentful at being made to feel resentful and at a festival where there was less rhythm and too much vine, a young woman was sexually assaulted by having her glitter boob groped while she in turn assaulted the abuser in a manner which self defence can’t legally defend. This sparked off a debate where the latter was focused on far more than the fact the male had no right whatsoever to touch the woman in the first place.

The mainstream media of NZ decided that a solo mother stealing for her child 25 years ago was a bigger story than a Chinese Spy inside the National Party and Bill English and Steven Joyce were allowed to lie directly to the country about a hole in Labour’s budget that never existed.

Don Brash was resentful that he had to wake up and listen to Te Reo on Radio NZ each morning, while the rest of us felt resentful having to wake up to Guyon Espiner each morning, who has such a smug level of undeserved self importance that he probably cries out his own name during orgasm.

While this all transpired, the catastrophic reality of climate change suddenly went from theoretical to real. As extreme weather event after extreme weather event after extreme weather event emerged, the climate changing truth of what we confront started dawning right when we are most divided and riven with resentment towards one another.

War spread, inequality widened, pollution climbed and poverty was supposedly conquered with jobs that require suicide nets to catch falling bodies and clothes pegs to keep open eyes.

The rich paid less tax via tax havens, trans national corporations paid no tax and the 1% ended 2017 by owning more than 50% of the entire planets wealth.

2017’s political and cultural resentment became the cement that locked us into the individualised bubbles that tyranny requires to keep us isolated, angry at each other and impotent.

 

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21 Comments

  1. Bully Beef and Chips says:

    To my mind, the left needs to admit how badly it has failed the working class. Thirty years of bourgeois identity politics doesn’t pay the bills and the people the fake news media emotively calls Nazis are generally just beer-bellied working class burnouts feeling dispossesssed and seeking a scapegoat. A modicum of concern for their economic bottom lines over thirty years might have prevented their espousal of reactionary causes. For sure, the Guardian-readers’ contempt for the working man must end if there is to be any improvement!

    • Andy says:

      BB & C you completely nailed it.

      • Sam Sam says:

        What did he nail? Your _______.

        Traditionally lower class is left school at 16 (now, younger before), started out minimum wage and slowly worked up a bit, but always hands on. Middle class would stay on a bit longer in school (nowdays go to uni), start out at bank clerk level, go up to management.

        Some serious generalisations there, but you can make the division in most societies.

        Id say the line between Upper Middle Class, but collectively they earn enough money to live quite comfortably. Id say lower middle class reachers upper middle class when the mortage is paid off though…

        • Priss says:

          “Traditionally lower class is left school at 16 (now, younger before), started out minimum wage and slowly worked up a bit, but always hands on. Middle class would stay on a bit longer in school (nowdays go to uni), start out at bank clerk level, go up to management.”

          That’s right, Sam. That’s how my brothers and I started out in the 60s and 70s. Working class. Always a job to go to. Always something better paid. Housing that was within reach. Modest holidays. Able to provide for our kids so they could get up the ladder as well.

          All of which has been whittled away.

          As much as I despise Trump and everything rotten he espouses, the corruption he brings with him, the obscene displays of entitlement, I can understand why the dispossessed voted for him. They’re the ones for whom the ladder has been pulled up while the One Percent (that Trump is an agent for) get fatter and fatter.

          In a manner of speaking, the Left has failed. Trump exploited that failure though wouldn’t believe for a moment he understands why or how he achieved it. He is a useful idiot and he plays that role to perfection.

  2. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    I resent all this resentment.

  3. Andrea says:

    Blimmin ‘eck! “it’s being so cheerful as keeps me going”.

    Is it safe to mention the gay marriage referendum in Australia? Or women to be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia this year? Or the dubious joy of seeing Daesh diminished in Syria? Or Justin Trudeau’s counter-bully handshake?

    Good things did happen last year. Truly.

    PS It’s not just ‘middle class’ people who donate to food banks and women’ refuges. It may not have occurred to those charming aunties and such, that chickpeas and tomatoes are peasant food and lots of we peasants eat them ’cause they’re cheap and nutritious. If they wanted dead-of-night, warm-up-the-kids and stave off shock food why didn’t they say so, instead of whingeing?

    • Murray Simmonds says:

      Free PDF copies of “Fire and Fury” currently available here – by courtesy of Wikileaks:

      drive.google.com/file/d/1Bt6BSc-kxJeTUpMEoJkkbEgEZaSmPjA3/view …

      Or see “Zero Hedge” if the above link doesn’t work.

      (May not last for long . . . . )

  4. Afewknowthetruth says:

    ‘America’s’ terminal decline commenced when Europeans began arriving in large numbers and began stealing land.

    The decline went ‘hyper’ when Ronald Reagan was elected president.

    The decline has now reached the farcical stage.

    Sadly, America is armed to the teeth and won’t go away quietly.

  5. dave brown says:

    One should read psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich’s to understand what causes resentment under capitalism.

    Resentment is the residue that is left when capitalism’s promises of the individual achieving prosperity and freedom fall short leaving the individual feeling cheated.

    Capitalism then redirects this resentment and the frustration and anger that follows onto ‘scape groups’ like Communists or Jews and away from the system’s failings.

    Like gender oppression. Like the growing gap between rich and poor.
    Reich is required reading in overcoming the ‘education’ deficit engineered by capitalism to leave the fundamental causes of resentment, aggression and anger untouched.

    He goes to the roots of patriarchy and capitalism to show that the basic causes are sexual repression and economic alienation.

    Reich attempt to fuse psychoanalysis with Marxism was radical for the time, even more so today, and led to his expulsion from both the Germany Communist Party and the International Psychoanalytical Association, by 1934, and to his exile to the US.

    He is best known for his “Mass Psychology of Fascism” which linked the submission of the masses to fascism to the authoritarian personality itself the result of sexual repression.

    He argued that if there is to be any overthrow of capitalism, communists have to fuse a critique of sexuality with their political economy – including in the party itself.

    The result is the theory and practice of “Sex-Pol”, the title of his book which collected his main essays.

    As often happens exile and the pressures of US entrepreneurial capitalism led to a degeneration in his ideas and he ended up as a cult leader promoting ‘orgone therapy’ as the panacea for all ills and died in jail in 1957.

    But whatever Reich’s shortcomings he did not suffer from the resentment of the alienated bourgeois individual.

    His work was revived by the New Left in the ’50’s and ’60’s, and is overdue for another revival in the Age of Trump!

    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/140060/sex-pol-by-wilhelm-reich/9781781680247

  6. Draco T Bastard says:

    he reality is Trump will probably launch some military conflict somewhere and wait for Republican voters to rally around the flag making criticism seem unpatriotic at a time of war.

    Pretty much already happening:

    He left Air Force Two behind and, unannounced, “shrouded in secrecy,” flew on an unmarked C-17 transport plane into Bagram Air Base, the largest American garrison in Afghanistan. All news of his visit was embargoed until an hour before he was to depart the country.

    More than 16 years after an American invasion “liberated” Afghanistan, he was there to offer some good news to a U.S. troop contingent once again on the rise. Before a 40-foot American flag, addressing 500 American troops, Vice President Mike Pence praised them as “the world’s greatest force for good,” boasted that American air strikes had recently been “dramatically increased,” swore that their country was “here to stay,” and insisted that “victory is closer than ever before.”

    Doesn’t seem to be going down as well as GWB’s assault on the Rest of the World.

  7. Donna Tyler says:

    All i got from the resentful women part, was,, oh no,, men are being held to account, humans defining their own gender scares me so much i need to see them less than me so i don’t feel resented by a social media quote,, all i hear is a entitled white man crying about how women lie and to moan that without due process is so very wrong to say a man was a rapist,, Really,, most women don’t lie about assault,, however nearly all rapist lie about assaulting women,,

    • Lara says:

      Interesting. I pretty much got that too. And the only link was to claims against Al Franken. Eight women have come forward to claim he groped them and forcibly kissed them. Thats called sexual assault.

      Groping another person without consent? Sexual assault.

      To hear you Martyn claiming that the #metoo movement is destroying mens lives via social media, that it’s akin to the Salem witch hunts…

      Very disappointing.

      Some men have been accused of sexual assault, harassment and abuse by multiple accusers. Not all of them are women either, a few men have stood up to say #metoo.

      And yet here you are with the same tired old tropes. Women lie. Women are destroying mens lives. Due process.

      Fuck due process. Forever this system designed by and run by men has not allowed women justice. Finally we’re getting our voices heard.

      And a very few of us are getting some justice.

      • Lara says:

        I’m going to add that I’ve scrolled back through to posts in early December, and so far haven’t been able to find any about the #metoo movement.

        You’re not really interested Martyn? In the biggest movement for women in a generation?

        Where are women writers for TDB on this?

        Or is it that there was one or a very few articles buried back before December?

        This is THE biggest thing IMO for women in recent decades. It’s huge. Because #metoo and #yesallwomen

        I’m going to remove TDB from bookmarks and no longer read it. Because I don’t see women’s voices here, all I see are a bunch of stale old white dudes with the same old tired shit from stale old white dudes. Except Frank who I can read elsewhere.

  8. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Nice summary of the political and social cluster-fuck that was 2017. Somehow I doubt 2018 will be any better.

    • The Rise of our Machine Overlords will almost seem like welcome respite…

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      2018 will undoubtedly be worse than 2017:

      More people consuming more energy and resources and throwing away more stuff.

      Increased atmospheric CO2 and all the ill-effects that has -faster melting of polar ice, increased ocean temperatures, more violent storms, worse droughts etc.

      Further decline of EROEI (energy return on energy invested).

      Further expansion of the bankers’ debt-based Ponzi scheme.

      The worsening of everything that matters will continue until one of the linchpins of the system ‘falls out’ and the system collapses.

      According to some researchers 2018 is the year it all begins to unravel as a consequence of the ‘oil problem’:

      https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/brace-for-the-financial-crash-of-2018-b2f81f85686b

  9. Andrew says:

    Trump is a crass ass-hole that is an embarrassment to the USA, but there is a good chance his popularity will increase in 2018; for a variety of reasons:

    1. The US economy is booming thanks to a long list of overbearing regulations scrapped by Trump. 3% growth, record low unemployment and historic low unemployment specifically for blacks all matter to real people who vote.

    The new tax code will bring hundreds of billions of dollars back to the US, boosting their economy even more and sucking Europe and Asia dry of capital. So expect their ride to continue for some time yet.

    2. The American Left and its bedfellows in media and Tinseltown have been found out for what they really are: Hypocrites and liars. The Russia investigation has gone nowhere and the payback will be investigations of the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, and Bernie’s wife’s embezzlement of college funds. That’s just for starters. Follow Tray Gowdy: This guy is will be the Lord High Executioner of the Democrats.

    3. Trump has already been proven right in calling Islam for what it really is. He has massive support when it comes to immigration and this alone may give him a second term. The ideological losers will be lunatic fringe feminists who think a burka is liberating and radicals hiding in academia who had a hand in Antifa violence.

    • Draco T Bastard says:

      1. The US economy is scrap and the new tax codes will make it worse
      2. The US Left are right-wing but they’re nowhere near as radical or unstable as the GoP
      3. More bollocks from some who’s disconnected from reality

  10. Me says:

    People aren’t usually so proud of their navels.

  11. 44 south says:

    I think it’s”Trey” Gowdy Andrew, but a refreshing comment to find here all the same. I instinctively like this Mr Gowdy.
    I’m so sick of this left/right bullshit that prevails at TDB and The Standard.
    I want the truth and I think people like HA Goodman/Sane Progressive/Lionel Nation/ and others are also wanting the truth. Not that I agree with everything they believe of course.
    And of course Kevin is quite right, 2018 will be worse than 2017, ad infinitum till the end.