Donald Trump as a phenomenon is a trinity of Mussolini-Hitler-Stalin. In his "signings" of Executive Orders, Trump behaves like Chancellor Hitler in his attempt to live down the humiliation of Versailles. Trump is trying to live down the humiliation of President Obama by tearing down all the environmental treaties that was established by the former president to cleanse the environment. Trump hyperbolic speeches always integrates the Big Lie. A big lie is a propaganda technique whose expression was coined by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." Hitler claimed the technique was used by "the Jews" to blame Germany's loss in World War I.
Later, Joseph Goebbels put forth a slightly different theory which has come to be more commonly associated with the expression "big lie". Goebbels wrote the following paragraph in an article dated 12 January 1941, 16 years after Hitler's first use of the phrase when writing about Winston Churchill, a Trump favorite.
"The essential English [as well as the Trump] leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English [and the Trump administration] follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous."
In speeches, Trump uses the swagger of Bonito Mussolini. And in cunning Trump is Joseph Stalin personified.
Konrad H. Jarausch in Out Of Ashes: A New History of Europe In the Twentieth Century (2015) fleshes out the fear modernity that afflicted post-WWI Europe that too closely relates to present-day United States religious-political culture. And at certain junctures matches our 21st century situation in America. Jarausch write that frightened by the speed of change, many Europeans rejected modernity and resented modernism as its cultural expression. Conservative religious groups abhorred science, [and still do], preferring to place their faith in scripture instead. Artisans disliked machine technology, priding themselves in their skilled craftsmanship. Critics of capitalism denounced industrialization, looking back to a more stable corporate order. Psychologists worried about the neurasthenia of urbanization and longed for a healthier rural life. Members of the embattled elites feared the rise of the masses and denounced the loss of deference and hierarchy. Idealists attacked the rise of materialism, altruists complained about the spread of hedonism, moralists condemned the prevalence of licentiousness, and sexists deplored the advance of feminism. Finally defenders of taste decried both the experiments of the avant-garde and the crudeness of popular culture. Feeling provoked, a host of traditionalists attributed the collapse of conventions values, and order to modernism, symbolized by the [Other] and loathed its effect as chaos to be halted at any price.
By electing Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.
Among the leaders of anti-modernism were members of the clergy, on the defensive against the claims of science that undercut biblical authority by providing an alternate explanation of creation.
FUHRER FROM THE FLOPHOUSE/TOWER
The ascent of a "bizarre misfit" like Adolf Hitler to power in a cultured country like Germany continues to strain credulity. His central role in the rise of the Nazi movement can be attributed to his exceptional abilities, the cult of the Fuhrer,
And the polycratic competition between collaborators that reserved all decisions ultimately for him. Though he was often underestimated by his competitor, part of his success was also due to his extraordinary personality, a strange mixture of talents and liabilities. Highly effective as propaganda, the Charlie Chaplin parody in The Great Dictator has actually made understanding Hitler's ascendancy more difficult by ridiculing his odd mannerisms. But poking fun at his outlandish personality traits fails to clarify the reasons why so many people would go along with such an exalted individual. To explain this surprising bonding, Max Weber's notion of "charismatic authority" offers an important clue, because it links an aura of leadership with a mass following. The secret of Hitler's success lay in the peculiar relation between his personality and the public.
THE CREATION OF DONALD TRUMP
Trump, like Hitler mythologized his background, which seemed to have encouraged him to transform himself as a non-political politician. Trump has appropriated various parts of Hitler's childhood and youth, especially his dogmatism.
The fact that Mr. Trump is signing executive orders that undoes environmental protecting should not come as a surprise. David Horowitz in Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America (2017) sees the government's protection of the environment and Obamacare as a pretext for governmental socialist totalitarian state control "in which every individual is at the mercy of the rulers." He declares that ever-expanding control of the individual and 'the private sector' is integral to the Democratic Party's agenda to create a progressive future and remold the people who inhabit it. Progressives are results-oriented and control-driven. Their dedication to social engineering brings with it a disdain for constitutional order and, in particular, for deliberative bodies, like congress, that reflect the diverse, unruly and frustrating predilection of the population at large. James Madison warned of this danger in Federalist #47: 'the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.'
The environment provides the perfect pretext for progressives in Washington to expand their control over the lives of Americans, whom they obviously regard as subjects rather than citizens. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever. The environmental movement to 'save the planet' is a textbook case of the dream of a secular redemption that inspires the left and fuels its appetite for power. If the goal is saving the planet, why allow constitutional obstacles like the separation of powers or the sovereignty of the people or truth to get in the way? While poll after poll shows that climate change ranks way down on the list of Americans' concerns, progressive elites are confident that the public is wrong.
Then Horowitz goes on to demonize Bernie Sanders, whom he calls a "zealot of the environmental left opinion that 'climate change' is, in fact, the greatest threat to national security--greater than ISIS or al-Qaeda. . . listen to what the scientists say, you're going to see countries all over the world struggling over limited amounts of water and land to grow their crops and you're going to see all kinds of conflict.' And Hillary's view of environmental challenge that 'climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time. It threatens our economy, our national security, and our children's health and futures.'
Horowitz charges that these opinions are a continuation of the progressive drive to remake America's energy infrastructure without the consent of the people.
John Higgs in Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History Of The 20th Century (2015) writes that the post-WWII years was an exciting time to be alive. A rising tide of affluence benefited entire populations and suggest that the future could only get better. The American Dream was the American reality. The mix of individualism, advertising and corporate growth was a potent of cocktail indeed.
But, at some point in the 1970s, things changed.
The strange attractor-like shift that occurred in the years leading up to 1980 was not apparent at the time. Economic growth continued as expected, but its impact on society began to change. Princeton economist Paul Krugman calls the shift in American inequality that began at the end of the 1970s the "Great Divergence," while New Yorker journalist George Packer refers to the years after 1978 as the "unwinding." The benefits of economic growth slowly removed themselves from the broader middle class, and headed instead for the pockets of the very richest. Good jobs evaporated, social mobility declined and the 'millennial' generation born after 1980 are expected to be worse off than the postwar 'baby boomers.' Life expectancy rates have started to fall [for the White middle class] at least. At the same time, inequality has increased to the point when in 2015, the combined wealth of the eighty riches people in the world was equal to the poorest half of the world's population, some 3.5 billion people.
This retreat of the American Dream, which had promised a future better than the past, is the result of a number of complicated and chaotically linked events from the 1970s. The intellectual justifications for the policies that led to the Great Divergence are commonly referred to by the term neoliberalism. Neoliberalism was a school of economic thought that dated back to the 1930s, but it only became the orthodox belief system for politicians and corporations following the election of Margaret Thatcher as the British prime minister in 1979 and the arrival of the economist Paul Volcker as Chairman of the US Federal Reserve in 1979, [as well as the election of Ronald Reagan as president of the US in 1980]. Neoliberalism, at its heart, argued that the state was just too dumb to be left in charge of people's well-being. It just didn't understand the nature of people in the way that the markets understood them. It had only a fraction of the information needed to make good decisions, and it was too slow, inept and politically motivated to put even that knowledge to good use.
As the neoliberalists saw it, the role of the state was to put in place a legal system that protected property rights and allowed for free trade and free markets, and to protect this system by military and police forces. State-owned industries needed to be placed in private ownership and run for profit. At that point the state had to step away and not interfere. Private enterprise would take care of the rest.
Neoliberalism was always going to create inequality, but it claimed that this was for the greater good. If a small elite became immensely wealthy, then this wealth would 'trickle down' to the rest of society. Or in a phrase which came to symbolize the 1980s, 'greed is good.' Wealth did not trickle down, needless to say. It passed upwards from the middle class to the very top. Few economists now take the idea of the trickle-down effect seriously, but the thinking behind it still causes much of the discussion about global economics. It is still common to hear the very rich described as 'wealth creators,' rather than the more accurate 'wealth accumulators.'
The Limits Of Growth
In 1972, the Club of Rome global think tank produced an influential book called The Limits to Growth. The Limits to Growth examined the implication of exponential growth in a number of categories, from human population to food production and resource depletion and from that it generated a number of potential future scenarios. In one of those scenarios, the world stabilized in the mid-to late twenty-first century and fell into a sustainable system. In the other two scenarios, it didn't. The result was societal and economic collapse.
The Limits to Growth stressed that it was not attempting to make definitive predictions and was instead attempting to understand the behavioral tendencies of the global system. That said, a number of follow-up studies were undertaken over thirty years after its publications. Unfortunately those are the projections that point to overshoot and collapse, rather than the one that points to stabilization. Increasing inequity of wealth seems to make the situation worse. It is the rich and powerful who are most able to change the system, but they are the last to be affected by collapse and have a greater investment in maintaining the status quo.
The reaction to The Limits to Growth was telling. It was rejected out of hand not by those who engaged with its data or arguments, but by those who were ideologically invested in the neoliberal project. It threatened constraints on individual behavior and was dismissed for those reasons. It was not necessary to study the research into desalinization. The environmental perspective had to be wrong, because it was incompatible with individualism. Less than a century after our understanding of ourselves had been dominated by the top-down, hierarchical framework of masters and subjects, determent to the desires of the individual had firmly cemented itself as our unshakable new omphalos.
Environmentalism, from this perspective, was anti-human scaremongering which failed to take into account mankind's ingenuity. Imagination was a non-limited resource and humans could adapt and solve problems as they developed.
The clash between individualism and environmentalists is perhaps best illustrated by the global reaction to climate change. By the late 1980s, it had become clear that the release of greenhouse gases on an industrial scale was affecting the climate in a manner which, if it continued, would be catastrophic. Crucially, there was still time to prevent this. The issue quickly reached the global stage thanks in part to influential speeches by Margaret Thatcher, most notably her 1989 address to the United Nations general Assembly. Thatcher was a trained chemist with a good grasp of the underlying science. "The problem of global climate change is one that affects us all and action will only be effective if it is taken at the international level," she said. "It is no good squabbling over who is responsible or who should pay. Whole areas of our planet could be subject to drought and starvation if the pattern of rains and monsoons were to change as a result of the destruction forests and the accumulation of greenhouse gases. We have to look forward not backward and we shall only succeed in dealing with the problems through a vast international, cooperative effort."
This did not sit well with oil corporations. Selling hydrocarbons was a far easier way to achieve short-term profitability than a long-term research program into alternative energy infrastructure. The technical challenges involved in producing carbon-free energy at a price and quantity that rivaled oil were, as scientists would say, "none-trivial."
The oil corporations and free-market think tanks began exercising their influence, in both government and the media, in an effort to prevent he international action on climate change that Thatcher spoke of. Their main tactic was a stalling approach which promoted a fictitious sense of doubt about the scientific consensus. This was an approach borrowed from the tobacco industry, which had used a similar disinformation campaign to cast doubt on the links between smoking and lung cancer. Those links were first discovered in 1950, but the tobacco industry was able to pretend otherwise for over four decades. Their campaign was highly successful in corporate terms because, even though hundreds of thousands of people died in one of the most unpleasant ways possible, they made loads of money and nobody went to jail.
In a similar way, the disinformation campaign of the oil industry was able to postpone action on climate change. It made it politically impossible for the United States to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which aimed to set binding obligations on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized nations. After every typhoon, drought or flood, news programs could be relied on to broadcast politicians angry at the suggestion that the extreme weather events now occurring could be linked to science which says that extreme weather events
Will unceasingly occur. Even Margaret Thatcher had to amend her views after it became clear how much they offended her political allies. While her 1980 talks displayed clear scientific understanding of the situation, her 2003 book, Statecraft, fell back on the political talking points that cause climate scientists to bang their heads on their desks in despair. Curbing climate change was a front for a political viewpoint that she disagreed with, and for that reason no efforts to curb climate change should be made. Ideology beat science. Individualism beat environmentalism. So carbon continued to be emitted, topsoil continued to decrease, and the ice sheets on the poles continued to melt. The debt which funded the consumer activity that caused all this continued to grow. As a result, the window when runaway climate change could have been prevented now appears to have closed.