In my earlier posting, Some thoughts on the upcoming election, I concluded this way:
The stage has been set for dramatic changes, of one kind or another, in the world order. It may seem we’ve stumbled into this situation through ‘failed policies’, but that would be mistaking theater with reality, rhetoric with strategy. We are at this juncture precisely because the oligarchs want to bring about a shift in the world order. As to whether nuclear war is part of their transition plan, as a depopulation mechanism, we can only guess.As for ‘this damn election’, it ‘just happens’ to come at the same time as the pivotal challenge from Russia. One of the two clowns will be the designated story teller for the coming shift. It would appear that Hillary would be suitable for war, and Trump for a multi-polar world, but what do I know.
As it turns out, Trump won, and he has already confirmed to Putin that he intends to follow-through with his campaign pledge to build better relations with Russia, and in particular to work together to defeat ISIS in Syria. I suggest that this commitment to Putin is a significant development, one that says much about what we can expect from the Trump presidency.
For one thing, it indicates that his campaign promises were more than just political rhetoric. I’m sure some of them were rhetoric, as with all politicians, but if he’s serious about a more cooperative foreign policy, then we may assume he’s serious about following through with some of his other big proposals as well – some of which we may like and some of which we may not. (I like the one about reversing globalization, but I hope he forgets about the wall.)
Second, he is indicating by this action that he intends to be a buck-stops-here, hands-on, decision-making President. We can tell this because he had his talk with Putin before he had even appointed his cabinet, and before he had time to work out some kind of relationship with the new Congress. He’s declaring that he will be in charge, that he has an agenda, and he’s moving ahead with it – essentially saying, “the rest of you can catch up with me later”.
Whereas Obama came in saying he wanted to build a consensus, and ended up going along with the neoliberal momentum, Trump is coming in like the new CEO of a failing company, hired because he claims he can turn things around. If a coherent change of direction is to be achieved, he is exhibiting some of the leadership qualities that will be required.
Third, reflecting again on the goals of the oligarchy, Trump’s outreach to Putin suggests that the path to a multi-polar new world order is likely to be a peaceful one, rather than one imposed in the aftermath of nuclear conflict.
At the same, we must recognize that Trump has been appointing people to his cabinet who are aligned with the neoliberal establishment, or even further to the right than that. How do we reconcile these choices with the signs above, that he intends a real shake-up? There is a two-part answer to that question.
The first part of the answer is that we can assume Trump has the covert backing of the oligarchy. As Woodrow Wilson said, having learned it the hard way:
Nothing in politics ever happens by accident.
That is to say, CEO Trump is being brought in as a vehicle to implement the oligarchs’ change-agenda. He knows his back is covered by the Godfather himself, so to speak. The word will soon trickle down to Washington insiders that it is not nice to mess with Boss Trump; he’s been ‘named’ by the mob.
The second part of the answer is that his cabinet is not about helping him develop an agenda, rather it’s about advising him on how to promote an already existing agenda. What Trump needs around him are people who understand his political opposition. From that perspective, his establishment appointments make a great deal of sense.
As to the nature of the oligarchs’ agenda, apart from rapprochement with Russia, we need to wait for a few more signs before much can be said. I don’t think we’ll need to wait long.
Meanwhile, here are a few perspectives that I recommend to your attention: