Fire and Fury: The unsexy but still shocking revelations

Host Gregory Wilpert and guest Doug Henwood discuss some of the more surprising (though less headline-making) aspects of Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The big take-away here? The sheer extent to which Ol’ Donnie’s mindset is mired in the 1950s, which, like everything else Wolff reveals, isn’t so much hot news as a nauseating confirmation of what everyone suspected. But he really does think that doing away with every piece of regulation and legislation governing business since the 1950s — the alleged mid-century Golden Age — is going to “Make America Great Again”.

But as anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of economy and ecology knows, that’s bullshit. Big Coal is dead, Big Oil is dying, Big Steel is moribund too. The places that are hurting for jobs since those industries collapsed aren’t going to see them coming back, for the simple reason that once those resources are exhausted, there’s nothing to replace them. And the measures being taken to prolong the agony of those industries’ dying, such as fracking, are economically as well as ecologically disastrous. The cost, in all senses, is too high; just ask anyone who can no longer drink the groundwater because it’s poisoned with fracking chemicals. Or anyone trying to make a living farming on contaminated, frack-quake-ridden ground. The same places could have been converted into green-technology hotspots, but the foot-dragging of legislators, hobbled by industry lobbyists, has prevented that. What little help has come in, has not kept pace with the crumbling of the industrial base…or the infrastructure. People are leaving those once-prosperous industrial belts in droves, just as the Okies and Arkies did with their untenable farmlands during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. What’s left of those once-thriving towns is too small and poor to sustain itself.

So, no greatness is forthcoming in any sense of the world. What’s happening now is designed simply to line the pockets of the fattest old-industry cats with as much dinero as possible before it all goes to hell in a handbasket…and it will. In fact, Donnie seems determined to do away with not just Obama’s “Green New Deal”, but the actual FDR-era New Deal as well. To say his mind is mired in the 1950s may be understating it by a full century. In terms of what he’s trying to do for the barons of industry (whom he desperately wants to join but apparently can’t), he’s firmly mired in the 1850s. Yes, the slave era. Given the fact that he’s not at all averse to importing (temporary, always temporary) workers for Mar-a-Lago and his flailing wineries from what he himself calls “shithole countries”, it’s hard to imagine him wanting anything less than outright slavery. So he’s all for eroding the laws saying you can’t hold slaves, to the point where they become essentially meaningless. No enforcement, no oversight…in effect, no laws.

It’s no coincidence, either, that he’s busy slagging certain countries as “shitholes”; they are the banana republics of the 20th century, and the slave exporters of the slave era. The very places, in other words, that capitalism got its imperialist start at sucking wealth out of. With the exception of Haiti, which is still being punished and bad-mouthed, two hundred years after the fact, for daring to liberate itself in a gigantic slave revolt. Today’s Haitians are still being enslaved, but this time just for paltry wages, where previously it was for nothing at all. Patwa was lying when he said Haitians were being punished by God for a “pact with the devil”; they are, rather, being punished by US-based capitalism, which is no god but a devil unto itself.

The US would be well advised, however, to follow Haiti’s lead, and kill all of its own corporate-capitalist slavers now. Otherwise, the next two-hundred-year punishment will fall squarely on the people’s heads. Because capitalism, when taken to its logical extreme, doesn’t liberate anyone worth a tinker’s damn. It invariably ends in slavery, fascism, and death camps.

Ask Europe how that worked out for them if you don’t believe me.

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