this article sprang from a post on Rigorous Intuition, and you will still find it in the text. thanks everyone!
MARCH 1, 2019
Other People’s Money, Other People’s Blood: Which Trump Do We Fight?
by NICHOLAS LEVIS
Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s incendiary testimony to the House Congressional Oversight Committee on 27 February, calling the president “a racist, a con-man and a cheat,” highlighted not for the first time the contradiction between condemnations of Trump as the unwanted, kitschy, proto-fascist, poisoned flower of American capitalism — a “legitimate businessman” and global television star who had a strong shot at the presidency handed to him by an unprecedented sustained overexposure in the US corporate media starting more than a half-year before the 2016 presidential primaries — and the attempt, which began even before Trump’s shocking victory in that election, to instead style his ascent as the product of a deeply hidden foreign intervention: a conspiracy! The Kremlin, we are told, its hackers, the compromised Trump 2016 campaign, and the journalistic outfit Wikileaks captured armies of US zombie followers and introduced division to American society for the first time through small ad purchases on social media, and then timed the public releases of e-mail troves commandeered from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, just at the right moments to iceberg Clinton’s unsinkable Titanic.
While there is no shortage of compatriots who see the children ripped from their parents at the border and the clean-water regulations rolled back, such as they were, and other atrocities too numerous to name here, and don’t really care which of these two narratives damages or ousts the White House occupant, the contradiction between these two Trumps — the rotted symbol of the American good life and the treasonous Russian agent — exposes larger realities we cannot afford to ignore. The question of which Trump we fight is fateful, and not only for those who position themselves to the left of the Democratic Party establishment. By confirming what investigative journalists and an attentive reading of news had already shown to be true about Trump’s businesses for decades, Cohen’s performance bore out that the first narrative remains undeniable, even as the second is unprovable. The first, however, is dangerous to the American ruling class and its managerial and policy-making power-elite, for it undermines their still widely-held capitalist creed. The second, which has been shorthanded as #Russiagate, can certainly be viewed as a tale of convenience adopted to cover up the epic failure and general odiousness of the Clinton campaign, and to give the non-FOX corporate media a never-ending bone to chew on for the ratings. But it is potentially much more than that. As a propaganda narrative it could serve to establish, at least temporarily, a new socio-ideological hegemony of how politics are interpreted: a new creed for Americans that could relieve a persistent crisis of legitimation for both American Empire and its metropolitan Power Elite, at a time when they find themselves divided and bereft of vision. It would, I say, except that it is a failure, and has been so since its inception. If I’ve used too much fancy academic talk, please allow me a paragraph of theory and a bit more of historical context to clarify it. Then we will return to the Cohen micro-episode. Okay?
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/01 ... les-blood/