After writing up the previous post yesterday, I still felt like I haven’t let it all out. I’m thinking now not only about what the Trumpsidency will mean for climate policies in the US or anywhere else, but also about the giveaways it has provided us with on the petty state of capitalism in the Western societies. Something is definitely brewing, and Trump has been a master in grasping that. We shouldn’t let him have the last word on that, however.
Protesting in the US after Trumpsidency, even if organised for a good cause and needed in my opinion too, might lead to a civil divide, which is never going to be good for any country. People should be able to work together towards improving their livelihoods, not work against each other. Once again, this is what Naomi Klein, among others, has been advocating for years now – capitalism could be seen as a reason for the swings towards the extreme right-wing views recently.
Problem of opposing other people’s views is that if you will force it on them, it will never work out – people will protest and oppose you in turn. Consequences of people disagreeing with the fate others decided for them can be dire – this was the main reason for the II World War. Germans were disappointed with sanctions imposed on them, they were unhappy, nothing was working out for them and so they let a charismatic leader lead them. They didn’t do it for the wrong reasons, they only wanted to live a better life. And this is something that has been repeated over and over by commentators over the past few days – Trump won the presidency because he tapped into the white working-class Americans’ worries and anger.
Worries and anger caused by the inequality triggered by the materialistic elite-favouring system we all know too well – capitalism.
Protests in the US against Trump are needed – the disagreement with his views and rhetoric needs to be heard across the country and the rest of the world. It would be catastrophic if people didn’t protest – voicing discontent and disappointment right now is desperately needed. However it will never be enough – what is needed even more is a proposed solution. A solution to the increasingly painful inequality across the capitalistic societies.
People who have voted for Trump need to have a different choice, and the left should be able to provide to them and make sure that it is appealing. This is not an easy task, and I have no idea how it could be brought about, but I know it is possible. People are not bad, they are not evil, and Trump wasn’t chosen because people really hate immigrants and gays, they are just so upset that they are easily able to believe that these groups of people, who are different than them and who they might not understand, are the reason for their misfortunes and tough lives.
Working class Americans haven’t been supported by the system for a long time (despite my affection for Obama, I do think he was ignoring a lot of issues within the country and was quite unambitious, maybe not because he wanted to but still) and if someone like Trump, seemingly so powerful and dominant, offers these people a promise of a better life, of course they will take it. And of course it will feel good to let their anger out by insulting people they do not understand. And of course they will fight for a chance to finally take their lives and the great country they love back. And it’s just so sad to see a person, such as Trump, who gets so much support and could use it for leading people to build something great, to use it for promoting hatred and differentiating instead.
So sad to see regular, normal people choose this hateful rhetoric, advocate it and defend it so passionately.
A need for something new, something different, a need for a fresh start for all has never been clearer. If we want to avoid the amplification of the extreme right-wing beliefs on a scale leading to a catastrophe, some kind of solution needs to be proposed by the liberals. The protesters are doing a great thing showing their fellow nationals that the Trump rhetoric might not be the right way for everyone, but they need to provide some kind of solution for everyone, something that would make everybody’s lives better.
Despite having said all that – how to build something great for everyone? How different would it have to be, and in what ways? What could be the alternative to the system we currently have? It would have to be different and people are of course afraid of changes and the unknown. And even if there was a solution, liberals are known for not being particularly good at advancing their ideas, and so it could be even harder to direct people towards a change, even if for the benefit of all.
A few proposals – a moderate version of capitalism? Changes in the electoral system? Community-led societies? All of the above probably are still not radical enough as even if successful in the beginning, then would evolve once again into something what we’re experiencing today. The current state of things didn’t happen overnight – it was a process rolling out for the past few decades.
I have seen Micheal Moore’s videos of raiding the Trump Tower, and as much as I agree with his and other protesters’ discontent and I see the reasons for why they’re doing it, I also see the anger, the relishing of opposing and attacking Trump in some way, and I don’t know, it kind of scares me. Hatred is giving birth to hatred, on both sides of the barricade, it would seem more clear than ever now. And it is scary, it is scary to think that people who could live together peacefully, creating something great, helping each other and collaborating, are doing anything possible just to prove being wrong to one another, fighting against each other.
But this is the way capitalistic system has taught us to live – our materialistic societies are founded on the assumptions of the need of proving to be the best, earning more than your friends, owning more than your parents before you, getting promoted before any of your colleagues, etc, etc, etc… Our whole lives consist of competitions where we need to prove we are the ones who are always right and the best, all the effing time. Needles to say, this is not healthy, neither for us, nor for our societies. Capitalistic competition is a competition founded on the wrong assumptions. Is it really this ridiculous to wish for a system where people are working together, not against each other?
I guess I unfortunately know the answer. Seems like the human nature is weak, or maybe not so, but humans seem to relish the possibility of being the best and proving it to others at every occasion (something I call insecurity ot self-doubt). Our egos are taking over in almost every aspect of our lives. Maybe it could be changed, if not with us then with our children and I hope that we won’t have to rely on the III World War in providing a focal point to these desperately needed changes in our societies.
Young people, not all of course but a large chunk, seem to be susceptible to liberal ideas. As I was noting in my previous post, Bernie Sanders received massive support from the millenials – he was more popular among this specific demographic than the other presidential candidates combined. The problem was, of course, the low turn out among this demographic. However, as seen now during the Trump protests in the recent days, it is this demographic that is most vocal. Young people can and will get involved in political issues, however it has to be for something they believe in and identify with, for something they think is worth fighting for.
Young people want a change, and they do not want it to be a change for Trump, they do not want it to be a change for fascism, they do not want to fight and hate and spit on one another. Bernie Sanders was so popular because he was fighting for equal rights, gender, racial tolerance and economic equality for most of his life and never stopped. His ideas sparked inspiration among young Americans and this is what gives me hope.
This is something that I want to believe in, believe that people are good and want to live peacefully and want to be able to be equal with one another. This is something that makes me believe that maybe people will be able to see a better way out of this, a better way out of the capitalistic misery other than Trump, other than fascism, other than hatred and anger.
This is something that I think we shouldn’t be giving up, we shouldn’t be giving up the fight for peace, however contested that might sound. We shouldn’t be fighting against each other, though. We should be able to find and provide solutions for every single one in our societies. A way of living a good life for all. How to do it – I do not know.