by Ramin Mazaheri exclusive for the Saker Blog
In any sane, modern nation a financial crisis combined with a (due to sub-standard) health care crisis would almost certainly produce election victories for progressive, big-government candidates.
Few call the US sane, and many say it’s not even modern. Iranian relatives of mine visit they US and say: that place is a falling-down dump – and it’s not like the TV show “Friends”, neither. The problem is that they had already seen places like South Korea, China and other modern nations.
Of course South Korea has the technological ability to smart-test and smart-track, and probably smart-cure, the Corona virus into remission: when I was there in 2013, covering the Korean nuclear war hysteria/diversion (version 14.0), I realised Korea had passed a major human threshold when I found that they had done away with physical keys – doors locks are digitised. That is like building a better mousetrap; the door key must be one of the oldest, least-improved upon inventions in human history, but young Seoulians only see them in history books.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating: millions are going to be unemployed in the US as a result of a hugely, hugely drastic shutdown of the West’s two native continents. It defies all Marxist logic that neo-imperial Rome would do this, so I’m quite at a loss. Either it’s mass hysteria, or the 1%ers believe all must be sacrificed to protect the health of the Hamptons, or the West’s leaders don’t know what they hell are doing (as I recently discussed here). The Corona conspiracy thing – sure, nothing is impossible… just give me proof I can print, first.
The reality is that my focus on the economic impact of Corona is just not shared by my many of my journalistic colleagues – they just don’t care about economics, period. Trying to talk economics with them is how they must feel trying to talk Kardashian with me – my thoughts are entirely superficial (as well as unprintable).
So none of them can likely concentrate enough to comprehend this brief paragraph: the West has decided to add an “Everything-Is-Tanking Bubble” on top of the “Everything Bubble”. For those who have followed economic trends since way back in 2008, “Everything Bubble” is really “Everything Bubble 2”, of course. Quantitative Easing and Zero Interest Rate Policies – a.k.a. “helicopter money” and “no-strings attached central bank loans, because the loans will surely trickle-down” – have only re-inflated the 1%er dominated asset classes like stocks and real estate to new record-dangerous levels.
The markets are tanking – and by that I mean every market (although crypto has held on – S. Koreans are big fans). Safe havens like gold are also tanking, so even The New York Times knows that this phenomenon is “weird”. “Weird” is a word that adolescents love to use because it is so vague and can cover anything – it is thus nearly useless,, and one would think that the world’s greatest journalistic enterprise could find better writers than that… but no. It’s a “weird” time precisely because the rich, investor class knows that central banks have since 2008 foolishly wasted all their ammo and can now only print paper.
And what’s wrong with massive money printing? Nothing, sometimes.
It has taken 12 years but we are finally seeing a “People’s QE” possibly being passed in the US. (No MSM is using that phrase, of course – that would be “weird”.) Surely it’s going to be well-written: it is being cobbled together and slammed through Congress as fast as possible in order to prevent more “rich people” markets from tanking. Anyway, giving some $1,000 per American might actually see QE invested into the “real” economy, and thus improve it far more than using it for stock buybacks ever did.
This is good news. I’m all for the downfall of neo-imperial Rome… but I do hate to see the lower classes suffer, and suffer they already are. The stay-at-home orders in the helicopter Mom-dominated Northeast, Chicago and West Coast are being met with a universal cry: “So how do I pay my rent?”
A People’s QE… finally. If, and that’s a big “if”, it is actually passed. Newspaper editorial boards across the country are already screaming that it will be wasted by 99%-er peons, or that it will be uselessly saved, or that we will anger the vengeful one true god – the markets – with such an intervention. How dare we blaspheme? WWHD – What Would (Alexander) Hamilton Do?
Well, does Trump want to get re-elected?
If so, he better jump all over this Huey Long moment.
Huey Long was the Depression Era governor of Louisiana who famously promised “a chicken in every pot”, and was assassinated for it of course.
He was rather character assassinated in the tremendously fine classic novel, All The King’s Men by poet Robert Penn Warren, whose main flaw was that he likely was – like most poets – totally disinterested by economics, that most un-metaphorical of disciplines. The 2006 movie version was an artistic assassination of the novel, but who in 2006 Hollywood was pushing economic populism? Who in Hollywood ever pushed economic populism?
Despite rejecting race-baiting Long is synonymous with the evils of populism in the US. Go watch some of his speeches on youtube: it is incredible to see the type of body language he used, as well as other politicians did back then. If he’s not pounding the lectern he is theatrically twirling an upraised fist over and over before smashing it into his palm. Nobody can do stuff like that in 21st century America – soccer Moms would cower, and hipsters too.
But the Depression Era was not about niceties. And neither is Trump, of course. The screen shot of him crossing out “Corona” virus on a speech and replacing it with “Chinese” virus exemplifies this. Trump is terrible – a neo-fascist – and we all knew this going in. Another Long slogan was “Every man a king”, but Trump always viewed only himself as the one true king.
Well, I can report that in France many fellow Muslims have told me that they have seen the light: many will vote for Marine Le Pen in the 2nd round of the 2022 presidential election IF Macron is the other option (ugh!). Why? Because economics is more important that racism; identity politics is for fake-leftists – class warfare for real ones. Nobody, Muslim or not, wants to vote for Le Pen in 2022, but more Macronism? Nobody in the 99% should vote for that twice.
Maybe Trumpism can be different? He’s certainly running out of time, but maybe Corona is when Trump becomes the not-neo-fascist populist which many had initially hoped for?
Maybe Trump becomes the 21st century Huey Long, which is what the overwhelming majority of America wanted in 2016, given that: no, you stupid MSM journalist, the average Trump voter is not a rabid White supremacist, merely “White Trash” (To use seemingly the only ethnic slur which has not been “reclaimed” in the PC era – it is, of course, a class slur more than an ethnic slur).
“Ramin, why are you writing books about socialism but pushing Trump, then Le Pen, now Trump again and then probably Le Pen again! You are too complicated – no wonder you are unmarried!”
Well that’s not holding back on me, LOL! I can take the tough criticisms, though – can’t dish ‘em out, otherwise. And, fool that I am, I chose to be a journalist so….
I am “pushing” Trump because it seems certain that the Democratic candidate this November will be the senator from America’s tax haven state; the right-hand man of guy who said to Latino media (here),“The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had said the same policies back in the 1980s I’d be considered a moderate republican,” Barry Obama; and a guy whom in me evokes no sense of warm, sentimental, safe, elderly, youth-fearing nostalgia – Joe Biden.
Biden is terrible. Biden has been a corporate tool his whole career, and that’s why he was placed on the dais next to Obama in 2008, as we all know. Hell, Biden is now senile – that doesn’t get better, you know?
Biden in office means People’s QE remains the same-old Corporate QE. Biden in office means nothing changes – status quo-ism reigns. How can we advance socialism if – out of fear of big, bad, racist Trump – we keep cowering in status-quoism?
So I reject that I am “playing devil’s advocate” – I am not an adolescent (nor French), and I know the devil doesn’t need any more help than he already has. (Or “she” already has – I don’t want to micro-trigger someone here.)
Can Trump become Baby Huey? Well, for those who really want to know: Listen to me – hear what I say: No, I don’t think Trump can.
Trump has never been a neo-populist but a neo-fascist. He is a race-baiter and totally in bed with corporate domination of the lower classes. The MSM can’t talk about neo-fascism and the reality of it in America – because they support it of course – thus they have focused exclusively on the race-baiting part; that allows the soccer moms, hipsters and snowflakes a chance to virtue-signal about how terrible racism is while doing nothing about it structurally other than posting a yard sign about how “Hate doesn’t live here”.
But one can’t blame my imagination for getting fired up when – after a decade of covering QE from Paris – I read about a QE which may not totally go directly into the pockets of private bankers, stockholders, landlords and luxury goods owners. Full disclosure: I, too, am currently rather desperate for $1,000.
Trump is going to have to be some sort of a leftist populist to get re-elected because millions are going to be unemployed in the US. The lower classes will demand it, even in America.
Hell, the custodial class – whom nobody in the US writes about it – is seemingly going to be decimated by corona, right? Why are there no political cartoons lauding them as heroes – only for doctors? Nobody cares about the custodial worker class in the West – not only are they poor, they are also non-White. Such an unheard of view can only be thought of by someone who has embraced socialism in their heart, and one who views no worker as disposable Trash.
But Western capitalism-imperialism certainly does view workers of all colors as disposable. Something drastic has to be done about it – I doubt Trump cares, but he does seem to prefer being president to going back to starring in a reality show.
The Deep State undoubtedly and immediately attacked Trump for his effort to rejigger US foreign policy and free trade policy, but he does appear so very, very ethically malleable; he certainly can connect with the average American. Could he be a new Huey?
Watch some Huey Long, railing here against “the 4%” and you’ll see that the answer is no, of course. Why? because Trump’s huge ego would be tremendously insulted if anyone said he was part of “the 4%” and not the 1%; not part of the .1%; not the .01%!
Unlike Huey Long: “How many men ever been to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what they intended for nine tenths of the people to eat? The only way you’d ever be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of dat grub he ain’t got no ‘bidness with!”
Huge applause indeed! That’s hilarious and awesome American politics! No wonder they shot him.
The US cannot do better than that, they have proven – America is not even close to socialist revolution. Yes, there are socialists in the US of course, but a Baby Huey is surely the best they can do this November. Hell, they ran to Biden even before the Corona crisis and they probably will stone the “rabble rouser” “socialist” Sanders now.
And it’s not like race-baiting isn’t still ruining the American psyche. But we have the MSM to thank for that, along with doing everything they could have done to inflame – rather than calm – the Corona crisis.
And $1,000 isn’t going to cut it. Not by a long shot.
So no matter how you look at it 2020 is looking tough for America – somebody might even have to pound a lectern?
PS – I am not complicated, LOL! It is Western politics which are unnecessarily complicated! And contradictory! Don’t blame me for trying to bring some sense to it all.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.