The President of the world power swears by the proletariat! Ruthless Criticism

Translated from GegenStandpunkt 3-19

What a surprise

The President of the world power
swears by the proletariat!

And yet it doesn’t really exist anymore. The industrial worker is a dying species: isn’t that one of the achievements specific to modern capitalism, that it long ago, starting in America, converted the world of work into squeaky clean services as its real cash cow, and that Silicon Valley reinvented with this in mind? Ironically, the President of the USA has a completely different view. He ran a long barnstormer of a campaign attesting that the country he wants to rule is in an unbearable economic decline and linking its poverty rate to the disappearance of jobs for America’s incomparably rugged workers in such great industries as coal mining and steel production; recklessly or maliciously squandered to rival countries by unpatriotic bureaucrats and technocrats. And conversely, in the third year of his presidency, he is already presenting a national record of success that offers up, above all else, the winning back of jobs for America’s proletarian heroes of production, who no Chinese or Mexican worker can hold a candle to. [1]

Whether all the numbers in the balance sheet are correct – it doesn’t really matter. Rather, what matters is that the head of the world power fully equates its economic global success with one message: the good news about the resurrection of the incomparable American proletariat. The correctness of this doesn’t depend on any statistics. Trump’s proof of this truth is moral in nature. The president conducts it by morally rejecting any doubts: anyone who thinks that the American proletariat is anything but in every respect the most capable, best positioned, most successful proletariat in the world is guilty of contempt for this breed of human and its incomparable qualities. Anyone who wants to know anything else about it, other than that no competitor reaches its greatness, wants to bad mouth it and thus indicts himself for the crime of anti-patriotic hatred. Anyone who in Year 3 of Trump’s rule discovers in America’s working class something like misery in the sense of a need for help, disqualifies himself as a traitor. Since – this is the crux of the message that raises the president’s track record above all doubts – in a country as great as the United States of America governed by him, nobody can be at home other than an equally great people of natives, who have the unconditional right, and who also joyfully exercise this right, to see themselves as the greatest people in the world and their homeland as the most incomparable of all.

The renaissance of the American proletariat is an idealistic class struggle from above: a moral gift of the rule to all those who are willing to accept it. Jobs, yes, they are also part of it, insofar as they exist, and in reality precisely those that exist; but above all those in which the patriotic American believes, and believes deeply because no one less than the president of the nation “under God” grants those who need a job the unquestionable right to consider themselves to be what he certifies they are in the name of the nation: great!

It’s a real gift because it comes from the right sender: the top boss who ultimately must know. From a president who, first of all, commands over the strategically, politically, militarily, economically, morally, alright: altogether the by far strongest state power in the world; and secondly, who, as a person, not only represents the unconditional primacy of this power with an explicitness that has hardly ever been achieved before, but presents it and lives it out as if it were his private possession and his personal luxury. The latter is decisive because it makes what would otherwise only be a compliment to the people into a personal gift to all who are willing to accept it: every follower is invited to identify directly with Trump’s pride in himself and his power by his enthusiasm for the man. Whoever cheers for him thereby participates in the greatness of the nation, which takes shape in the person of the boss, in his hubris that rises above any criticism and any challenge, above any defeat and especially above any irony. Trump’s aggressive bad manners, made directly public and palpable via Twitter, reveals not simply his private character, it is his political strength of character: with his appearances he vouches that there is actually nothing that America can be embarrassed about, for which any real American could possibly be ashamed – which is why half of all fake Americans, namely those whose patriotic hearts do not beat faster at Trump’s appearances, must be quite intensely ashamed of themselves.

This gift – for it is to be perceived and accepted as something beautiful – has a prerequisite, and apparently it also largely meets this one necessary prerequisite: Trump serves – and builds on – a deeply felt need to be proud of the greatness of the nation, but especially of oneself as a part of this nation. It is not contentment, happiness, a pleasurable life or the like that is brought up with the patriotic audience, but the idea of having contributed to America’s greatness, which, if nobody else feels it, then one feels it all the more, and it is now finally appreciated from the very top as a contribution to the great patriotic cause. That is the proletarian human dignity that Trump bestows on his supporters. Not success, but effort in the everyday world of competition with all its accompanying effects; undiscouraged or even discouraged, but for that reason only trying more intensely for success, great, of course, in life, which is a struggle, for which one not only has a gun, but the right to a weapon; practically proven toughness in life: that is the situation in life and constitutes the living self-confidence which Trump’s offer to participate in the enjoyment of American greatness aims at. Or the other way around: to be a great American with a right to pride is not a cakewalk, but hard work; work that nothing and nobody embodies as directly and vividly as the nostalgic ideal figure of the tough coal miner or steel worker; class-struggle curios as if from the picture book of the real socialist cult of the proletariat: that is the content of the moral renaissance that the president gives to the proletariat of his country. It is the harshness of its struggle for a living, distorted into a kitschy ideal image of productive labor activity, which makes the patriotic American worker feel the greatness of his nation and experience the greatness of his contribution to it in one and the same act of false consciousness, and which he finds confirmed by Trump as a legal title to pride, in turn always one by dint of another.

This is what the head of the world power vows when he conjures up the American proletarian: it is the stupidity of pride in having the short end of the stick in capitalistic competitive operations, appreciated by the commander of the superpower of the competition as a feeling of identity with its global success, staged and conveyed to supporters as an unconditional right to patriotic brazenness.

Footnote

[1] Exemplified by Trump’s speech in Orlando:

“Since the election, we have created six million new jobs. Nobody thought that would be possible... We have lifted more than six million Americans off of food stamps and we’re getting off of welfare and back into the workforce and they’re so happy... The unemployment rate is the lowest rate it’s been in over 51 years, think of that... These are incredible numbers. And today, right now, as we speak, almost 160 million people are working, that’s more than ever before, it’s the first time ever, the number of people is almost 160 million and we’re going to be breaking that number soon. Women filled 60 % of the new jobs created last year and women’s unemployment is now the lowest it’s been in 74 years. Wages are rising at the fastest rate in many decades, and really what’s nice is they’re rising the fastest for the lowest income Americans... It’s been an incredible story... Great job. To get relief to working families, we passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history, the largest... Our record-breaking regulatory reduction campaign has saved every American household an average of $3,000 per year, and we’ve ended the last administration’s cruel and heartless law on American energy... The United States is now the No.1 producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world...We are reversing decades of calamitous trade policies. When I came into office, we inherited one of the worst trade deals ever negotiated, the Trans-Pacific Partnership... TPP would have dealt the death blow to the US auto industry, which, by the way is doing great. Many, many plants are now under construction in Michigan and Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Ca- Carolina, Florida, they hadn’t built one in decades and now they’re all over the place... And we’re replacing the NAFTA disaster with the brand new USMCA... That will create at least 75,000 new jobs for American auto workers and give a massive boost to our farmers and ranchers, and growers all across the Sunshine State... Thanks to our tariffs, American steel mills are roaring back to life... In the eight years before I took office, on average, we lost two thousand manufacturing jobs a month. Since my inauguration, we’ve added 16,000 manufacturing jobs a month. That didn’t happen by accident. Remember the statement from the previous administration you’d need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing. Well, we’ll tell sleepy Joe that we found the magic wand.“