"In books, documentary films, and investigative reporting, I have documented a range of trends: the rise of Superbrands, the expanding power of private wealth over the political system, the global imposition of neoliberalism, often using racism and fear of the “other” as a potent tool, the damaging impacts of corporate free trade, and the deep hold that climate change denial has taken on the right side of the political spectrum."(9)
"The goal [van Trump en de zijnen] is all-out war on the public sphere and the public interest, whether in the form of antipollution regulations or programs for the hungry. In their place will be unfettered power and freedom for corporations. It’s a program so defiantly unjust and so manifestly corrupt that it can only be pulled off with the assistance of divide-and-conquer racial and sexual politics, as well as a nonstop spectacle of media distractions. And of course it is being backed up with a massive increase in war spending, a dramatic escalation of military conflicts on multiple fronts, from Syria to North Korea, alongside presidential musings about how “torture works.”"(10)
"The main pillars of Trump’s political and economic project are: the deconstruction of the regulatory state; a full-bore attack on the welfare state and social services (rationalized in part through bellicose racial fearmongering and attacks on women for exercising their rights); the unleashing of a domestic fossil fuel frenzy (which requires the sweeping aside of climate science and the gagging of large parts of the government bureaucracy); and a civilizational war against immigrants and “radical Islamic terrorism” (with ever-expanding domestic and foreign theaters)."(13)
"This, then, is the beginning of a road map for shock resistance."(16)
"First, we need a firm grasp on how shock politics work and whose interests they serve. That understanding is how we get out of shock quickly and start fighting back. Second, and equally important, we have to tell a different story from the one the shock doctors are peddling, a vision of the world compelling enough to compete head-to-head with theirs. This values-based vision must offer a different path, away from serial shocks—one based on coming together across racial, ethnic, religious, and gender divides, rather than being wrenched further apart, and one based on healing the planet rather than unleashing further destabilizing wars and pollution. Most of all, that vision needs to offer those who are hurting—for lack of jobs, lack of health care, lack of peace, lack of hope—a tangibly better life."(16)
"All this work is born of the knowledge that saying no to bad ideas and bad actors is simply not enough. The firmest of no’s has to be accompanied by a bold and forward-looking yes—a plan for the future that is credible and captivating enough that a great many people will fight to see it realized, no matter the shocks and scare tactics thrown their way."(17)
"So we need, somehow, to fight defense and offense simultaneously—to resist the attacks of the present day and to find space to build the future we need. To say no and yes at the same time."(24)
"So we need, somehow, to fight defense and offense simultaneously—to resist the attacks of the present day and to find space to build the future we need. To say no and yes at the same time.
The Trump administration, far from being the story of one dangerous and outrageous figure, should be understood partly in this context—as a ferocious backlash against the rising power of overlapping social and political movements demanding a more just and safer world. Rather than risk the possibility of further progress (and further lost profits), this gang of predatory lenders, planet-destabilizing polluters, war and “security” profiteers joined forces to take over the government and protect their ill-gotten wealth. "(26)
"Trump won the White House on a campaign that railed ceaselessly against the loss of manufacturing jobs—the same kind of jobs he has outsourced at virtually every opportunity."(36)
"It’s also why no labor scandal is ever going to stick to him. In the world he has created, he’s just acting like a “winner”; if someone gets stepped on, they are obviously a loser. And this doesn’t only apply to labor scandals—virtually every traditional political scandal bounces off Trump. That’s because Trump didn’t just enter politics as a so-called outsider, somebody who doesn’t play by the rules. He entered politics playing by a completely different set of rules—the rules of branding."(38)
"In Trump’s world, impunity, even more than lots of gold, is the ultimate signifier of success."(38)
"The Trump Organization has said it will not make any new deals for foreign properties, to prevent an appearance of impropriety. But this isn’t just an international question. If a US city or state government grants a Trump development a break on taxes or regulations, are they really doing it because they think this particular business will help their community—or because they want something from the White House? Same goes for any government or business—foreign or domestic—that chooses a Trump property for an event or as a place for employees to stay. Do they really think it’s the best option, or are they trying to curry favor?"(43)
"And this points to a difficult truth. With every alleged ethics violation, with every brazen lie, with every deranged tweet, this administration leaves the public sphere more broken and degraded. Even if corruption (or treason) ultimately costs Trump the White House, what will be left behind will be wreckage—proof of the fundamental premise of Trump’s political project: that government is not just a swamp, it’s a burden. That there is nothing worth protecting. That private is better than public. And if that’s all true, why not wreck the place before you leave—figuratively if not literally."(44)
"Is there any escape? The essential immorality of Trump’s brand does present unique barriers to holding this administration accountable. And yet there is hope. In fact, Trump’s animating life force—the quest for money—may actually make him more vulnerable than any president before."(46)
"The campaign showed that any brand can be jammed, even one as defiantly amoral as Trump’s—you just need to understand its weak points."(47)
"The first season of Survivor—so wildly successful that it spawned an army of imitators—was in 2000. That was two decades after the “free-market revolution” had been kicked into high gear by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, with its veneration of greed, individualism, and competition as the governing principles of society. It was now possible to peddle as mass entertainment the act of watching people turn on each other for a pot of gold."(50)
"Every week, to millions of viewers, The Apprentice delivered the central sales pitch of free-market theory, telling viewers that by unleashing your most selfish and ruthless side, you are actually a hero—creating jobs and fueling growth. Don’t be nice, be a killer. That’s how you help the economy and, more importantly, yourself."(50)
"Since the election, we’ve heard a few mea culpas from media executives acknowledging that they helped Trump’s electoral rise by giving him such an outsized portion of their coverage. And that’s true, they helped enormously, but the hand-wringing doesn’t go nearly far enough. They are also responsible because the biggest gift to Trump was not just airtime but the entire infotainment model of covering elections, which endlessly plays up interpersonal dramas between the candidates while largely abandoning the traditional journalistic task of delving into policy specifics and explaining how different candidates’ positions on issues such as health care and regulatory reform will play out in voters’ lives. (...)
This is worth underlining: Trump didn’t create the problem—he exploited it. And because he understood the conventions of fake reality better than anyone, he took the game to a whole new level."(53-54)
"As with The Apprentice, Trump’s side career in pro wrestling exposed and endeared him to a massive audience—in stadiums, on TV, and online. Pro wrestling might be largely invisible as a cultural force to most liberal voters, but WWE generates close to a billion dollars in annual revenue. And Trump did more than pick up votes from this experience—he also picked up tips. As Matt Taibbi pointed out in Rolling Stone, Trump’s entire campaign had a distinctly WWE quality. His carefully nurtured feuds with other candidates were pure pro wrestling, especially the way he handed out insulting nicknames (“Little Marco,” “Lyin’ Ted”). And most wrestling-like of all was the way Trump played ringmaster at his rallies, complete with over-the-top insult-chants (“Lock her up!” “Killary”) and directing the crowd’s rage at the arena’s designated villains: journalists and demonstrators. Outsiders would emerge from these events shaken, not sure what had just happened. What happened is that they had just been to a bizarre cross between a pro-wrestling match and a white supremacist rally."(54)
"Whether or not it’s true is beside the point. It’s part of rousing the crowd, part of the theater. The Apprentice may be off the air, and Trump may have retired his WWE career, but the show is still on. Indeed, it never stops."(55)
"He’ll edit reality to fit his narrative [mijn nadruk], just as he learned to do on The Apprentice, and just as he did on his very first day as president, insisting, against all objective evidence, that his inauguration crowds had been historic."(57)
"If we know anything for certain, it’s that hard facts don’t matter in Donald Trump’s world. With Trump, it’s not so much the Big Lie as the Constant Lies."(57)
"In Trump’s world, and according to the internal logic of his brand, lying with impunity is all part of being the big boss. Being tethered to fixed, boring facts is for losers."(58)
"Of course, Trump’s successful attempt to sell his white working class voters on the dream of a manufacturing comeback will eventually come crashing down to earth. But what is most worrying is what Trump will do then, once it’s no longer possible to hide the fact that coal jobs aren’t coming back, and neither are the factory jobs that paid workers enough to provide their families with a middle-class life. In all likelihood, Trump will then fall back on the only other tools he has: he’ll double down on pitting white workers against immigrant workers, do more to rile up fears about Black crime, more to whip up an absurd frenzy about transgendered people and bathrooms, and launch fiercer attacks on reproductive rights and on the press. And then, of course, there’s always war."(59)
"Given that Trump ordered the use of a weapon that had never been deployed in combat before, and given that he did this just twelve weeks into his presidency and with no obvious provocation, there is little reason to hope he will be able to resist putting on the show of shows—the televised apocalyptic violence of a full-blown war, complete with its guaranteed blockbuster ratings."(60)
"Climate change isn’t more important than any of these other issues, but it does have a different relationship to time. When the politics of climate change go wrong—and they are very, very wrong right now—we don’t get to try again in four years. Because in four years the earth will have been radically changed by all the gases emitted in the interim, and our chances of averting an irreversible catastrophe will have shrunk.
This may sound alarmist, but I have interviewed the leading scientists in the world on this question, and their research shows that it’s simply a neutral description of reality. The window during which there is time to lower emissions sufficiently to avoid truly catastrophic warming is closing rapidly."(69-70)
"For me, her words cut to the heart of why this was not just another election cycle. Why it was not only legitimate but necessary to question Hillary’s web of corporate entanglements. Resnick-Day’s comments also highlight one of the big reasons why Trump’s presidency is harrowing: the most powerful man in the world is a person who says global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese, and who is feverishly trashing the (already inadequate) restraints on fossil fuels that his country had put in place, encouraging other governments to do the same. And it’s all happening at the worst possible time in human history."(71)
"Trump’s collusion with the fossil fuel sector is the conspiracy hiding in plain sight."(74)
"So Trump’s rescue plan for the fossil fuel sector is multipronged: bury the evidence that climate change is happening by stopping research and gagging agencies; cut the programs that are tasked with coping with the real-world impacts of climate disruption; and remove all barriers to an acceleration of the very activities that are fueling the crisis—drilling for more oil and gas, mining and burning more coal."(76)
"So far, though, the market isn’t responding, at least not by much. The price of oil got a little bump after Trump was elected but has held pretty steady since. From a climate perspective, this is good news: cheap gas may encourage short-term consumption, but it discourages a lot of the long-term investments that lock us into a disastrous future. The concern—and it is a real one—is that Trump and Co. may well have more tricks up their sleeves to try to push up oil prices and realize their goal of setting off a fossil fuel frenzy.
The reason we need to have our eyes firmly fixed on this dynamic is that nothing drives up the price of oil quite like war and other major shocks to the world market—a scenario we’ll dig into in Chapter 9."(79)
"For many years, I wondered why some people were so determined to deny global warming. It’s strange at first glance. Why would you work so hard to deny the scientific facts that have been affirmed by 97 percent of climate scientists—facts whose effects we see all around us, with more confirmation in the news we consume every day? That question led me on a journey that informed my book This Changes Everything—and I think some of what I discovered when writing that book can help us make sense of the centrality of climate vandalism to the Trump administration.
What I found is that when hard-core conservatives deny climate change, they are not just protecting the trillions in wealth that are threatened by climate action. They are also defending something even more precious to them: an entire ideological project—neoliberalism—which holds that the market is always right, regulation is always wrong, private is good and public is bad, and taxes that support public services are the worst of all."(79)
"Neoliberalism is a very profitable set of ideas, which is why I am always a little hesitant to describe it as an ideology. What it really is, at its core, is a rationale for greed."(81)
[Niet zo'n handige formulering, vind ik. Het is wel degelijk een ideologie, of hij nu winstgevend is of niet.]
"So what does this have to do with the widespread refusal by the Right to believe that climate change is happening, a refusal deeply embedded in the Trump administration? A lot. Because climate change, especially at this late date, can only be dealt with through collective action that sharply curtails the behavior of corporations such as ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs. It demands investments in the public sphere—in new energy grids, public transit and light rail, and energy efficiency—on a scale not seen since the Second World War. And that can only happen by raising taxes on the wealthy and on corporations, the very people Trump is determined to shower with the most generous tax cuts, loopholes and regulatory breaks."(81)
"In short, climate change detonates the ideological scaffolding on which contemporary conservatism rests. To admit that the climate crisis is real is to admit the end of the neoliberal project.(...) to avert climate chaos, we need to challenge the capitalist ideologies that have conquered the world since the 1980s. If you are the beneficiary of those ideologies, you are obviously going to be very unhappy about that. That’s understandable. Global warming really does have radical progressive implications. If it’s real—and it manifestly is—then the oligarch class cannot continue to run riot without rules. Stopping them is now a matter of humanity’s collective survival."(82)
Terugblik op alle problemen en achtergronden tijdens de verkiezingscampagnes in de VS.
"There is no shortage of sexual predators on the liberal side of the political spectrum, but the litany of allegations, accusations, and hush money that swirls around Trump’s inner circle is unlike anything we have seen before. No matter the allegation, it is met with a wall of denial, of powerful men vouching for other powerful men, sending a message to the world that women are not to be believed."(86)
"On top of those losses, there are also the ground-shifting uncertainties associated with living in a changing country, a nation rapidly becoming more ethnically diverse, and where women are gaining more access to power. That’s part of progress toward equality, the result of hard-fought battles, but it does mean that white men are losing economic security (which everyone has a right to) and their sense of a superior status (which they never had a right to) at the same time."(89)
"To a terrifying degree, skin color and gender conformity are determining who is physically safe in the hands of the state, who is at risk from vigilante violence, who can express themselves without constant harassment, who can cross a border without terror, and who can worship without fear.
Which is why it’s short-sighted, not to mention dangerous, to call for liberals and progressives to abandon their focus on “identity politics” and concentrate instead on economics and class—as if these factors could in any way be pried apart."(90)
"Except this is exactly the wrong conclusion to draw from the 2016 elections. Clinton’s failure was not one of messaging but of track record. Specifically, it was the stupid economics of neoliberalism, fully embraced by her, her husband, and her party’s establishment, that left Clinton without a credible offer to make to those white workers who had voted for Obama (twice) and decided, this time, to vote Trump. True, Trump’s plans weren’t credible, but at least they were different."(91)
"As the civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander wrote in her book The New Jim Crow, the politics of racial hierarchy have been the ever-present accomplices to the market system as it evolved through the centuries."(95)
"In truth, nothing has done more to help build our present corporate dystopia than the persistent and systematic pitting of working-class whites against Blacks, citizens against migrants, and men against women. White supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia have been the elite’s most potent defenses against genuine democracy. A divide-and-terrorize strategy, alongside ever more creative regulations that make it harder for many minorities to vote, is the only way to carry out a political and economic agenda that benefits such a narrow portion of the population."(96)
"But the reduction of the current crisis to just one or two factors at the exclusion of all else won’t get us any closer to understanding how to defeat these forces now or the next time out. If we cannot become just a little bit curious about how all these elements—race, gender, class, economics, history, culture—have intersected with one another to produce the current crisis, we will, at best, be stuck where we were before Trump won. And that was not a safe place.
Because already, before Trump, we had a culture that treats both people and planet like so much garbage. A system that extracts lifetimes of labor from workers and then discards them without protection. That treats millions of people, excluded from economic opportunity, as refuse to be thrown away inside prisons. That treats government as a resource to be mined for private wealth, leaving wreckage behind. That treats the land, water, and air that sustain all of life as little more than a bottomless sewer."(97-98)
"It was hard to watch. Trump was already waging war on the most vulnerable workers in the economy, and there was talk of budget cuts so draconian they would mean mass layoffs for public sector workers like bus drivers. So why were these labor leaders, representing around a quarter of all unionized workers in the United States, breaking the most sacred principle of the union movement—solidarity with other workers? Most of the unions whose leaders toured the White House had been loyal to the Democrats for decades. Why choose this moment, when so many were in pain, to heap praise on Donald Trump?"(100)
"Subsequently, a few people wrote to me to ask if this might be the silver lining in Trump’s presidency. Wasn’t it a good thing that trade deals that many progressives had been criticizing for decades were now on the chopping block or, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, set to be reopened and renegotiated to “bring the jobs back”? I understand the desire to find bright sides to the daily chaos unfolding in the White House. But Trump’s trade plans are not one of them."(101)
"The long list of gifts the Trump administration has already handed out to corporate America makes it clear that Trump’s strategy for “making America great again” by reviving manufacturing is to make American manufacturing cheap again. Without all those pesky regulations, with far lower corporate tax rates, with Trump’s all-out assault on environmental protections, American workers will indeed be closer to competing on cost with workers in low-wage countries like Mexico."(103)
"One of the most insidious parts of many trade deals is the aggressive protection they provide for patents and trademarks, which often puts lifesaving drugs and critical technologies out of reach for the poor. The Trumps have built a global empire that relies, above all else, on being granted trademarks and licenses and having them fiercely protected—so we can expect the parts of deals concerning intellectual property to become more harmful, not less."(105)
"Unlike today’s hypernationalist right-wing movements that rail against “globalism,” our movement was proudly international and internationalist, using the novelty of a still-young Internet to organize easily across national borders, online and face to face. Finding common ground in how those deals were increasing inequality and looting the public sphere in all our countries, we called for open borders for people, the liberation of medicines, seeds, and crucial technologies from restrictive patent protections, and far more controls over corporations.
At its core, the movement was about deep democracy, from local to global, and it stood in opposition to what we used to call “corporate rule”—a frame more relevant today than ever. Our objection was obviously not to trade; cultures have always traded goods across borders, and always will. We objected to the way transnational institutions were using trade deals to globalize pro-corporate policies that were extremely profitable for a small group of players but which were steadily devouring so much of what used to be public and commonly held: seeds, water rights, public health care, and much more."(107)
"We were arguing for a model of trade that would start with the imperative to protect people and the planet. That was crucial then—it’s urgent now.
The movement was even starting to win. We defeated the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. We brought World Trade Organization negotiations to a standstill. And the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund could no longer speak of “structural adjustment”—meaning forcing neoliberalism on poor countries—in the open."(108)
"So what the hell happened?
The short answer is: shock happened. The September 11 attacks, and the whole era of the so-called War on Terror, pretty much wiped our movement off the map in North America and Europe—an experience that started me off on an exploration of the political uses (and misuses) of crisis that has gripped me ever since. (...) Our movement had always been a very big tent—a “movement of movements,” as we called it (a phrase that has come back into the lexicon). But after September 11, large parts of the coalition got spooked by the “with us or with the terrorists” rhetoric. The nonprofits who rely on large foundations feared losing their funding and withdrew, as did some key unions. Almost overnight, people went back to their single-issue silos, and this remarkable (if imperfect) cross-sectoral alliance, which had brought together such a diversity of people under a pro-democracy umbrella, virtually disappeared. This left a vacuum for Trump and far-right parties in Europe to step in, exploit the justified rage at loss of control to unaccountable transnational institutions, direct it toward immigrants and Muslims and anyone else who makes an easy target, and take the project of corporate rule into new and uncharted waters."(109-110)
"Around the world, far-right forces are gaining ground by harnessing the power of nostalgic nationalism and anger directed at remote economic bureaucracies—whether Washington, NAFTA, the WTO, or the EU—and mixing it with racism and xenophobia, offering an illusion of control through bashing immigrants, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women."(111)
"Politics hates a vacuum; if it isn’t filled with hope, someone will fill it with fear."(111)
"The good news is that the progressive anti-free-trade coalition has finally started to revive in the past couple of years. In Europe—particularly in Germany, France, and Belgium—there has been a big recent surge of unions and environmentalists coming together to oppose corporate trade deals with the United States and Canada."(111)
"Donald Trump stood before the world and proclaimed he had one qualification to be president: I’m rich. To be more specific, he said, “Part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” He presented his wealth as evidence that he was “very smart,” and indeed superior in every respect."(113)
"Indeed, governments of all stripes have been happy to hand over more and more of what used to be seen as public policy challenges to a tiny group of very high-net-worth individuals."(116)
"The divide between the Davos class and everyone else has been widening since the 1980s. But for a lot of people, the breaking point came with the 2008 financial crisis.
After forcing decades of grinding austerity on people, Treasury secretaries and finance ministers and chancellors of the exchequer suddenly found trillions of dollars to rescue the banks; people witnessed their governments printing vast sums of money. They had given up so much—pensions, wages, decent schools—when in fact, contrary to what Margaret Thatcher claimed, there were alternatives. All of a sudden it turned out that governments can do all kinds of things to interfere in the market, and have seemingly unlimited resources with which to help you out if only you are rich enough. At that moment, everyone on earth saw that they had been lied to."(116-117)
Over Bernie Sanders, de enige presidentskandidaat in de VS die Klein openlijk gesteund heeft.
"The hostility of so many powerful US liberals to Bernie Sanders—and the determination to hold him back when he was on a winning streak—was both troubling and revealing."(120)
"Yes, he faced unfair smears in this regard. But the more important lesson is that without Bernie’s weaknesses on race and gender, he could have won, no matter how hard the Democratic Party establishment tried to hold him back."(121)
Over de shockdoctrine in allerlei delen van de wereld.
"As I delved deeper, I realized that this strategy had been a silent partner to the imposition of neoliberalism for more than forty years. That “shock tactics” follow a clear pattern: wait for a crisis (or even, in some instances, as in Chile or Russia, help foment one), declare a moment of what is sometimes called “extraordinary politics,” suspend some or all democratic norms—and then ram the corporate wish list through as quickly as possible. The research showed that virtually any tumultuous situation, if framed with sufficient hysteria by political leaders, could serve this softening-up function. It could be an event as radical as a military coup, but the economic shock of a market or budget crisis would also do the trick."(128)
"The last half century shows how deliberately—and effectively—the shock doctrine strategy has been deployed by governments to overcome democratic resistance to profoundly damaging policies. And some kind of democracy-avoidance strategy is needed, because many neoliberal policies are so unpopular that people reliably reject them both at the polls and in the streets. With good reason: as the tremendous hoarding (and hiding) of vast sums of wealth by a small and unaccountable global class of virtual oligarchs makes clear, those who benefit most from these radical social restructurings are a small minority, while the majority see their standard of living stagnate or slip, even in periods of rapid economic growth. Which is why, for those who are determined to push through these policies, majority rule and democratic freedoms aren’t a friend—they are a hindrance and a threat.
Not every neoliberal policy is unpopular, of course. People do like tax cuts (for the middle class and working poor, if not for the super-rich), as well as the idea of cutting “red tape” (at least in theory). But they also, on the whole, like their taxes to pay for state-funded health care, clean water, good public schools, safe workplaces, pensions, and other programs to care for the elderly and disadvantaged. Politicians planning to slash these kinds of essential protections and services, or to privatize them, are rightly wary of putting those plans at the center of their electoral platforms. Far more common is for neoliberal politicians to campaign on promises of cutting taxes and government waste while protecting essential services, and then, under cover of some sort of crisis (real or exaggerated), claim, with apparent reluctance and wringing of hands, that, sorry, we have no choice but to go after your health care."(129-130)
"The most frequent midwife by far has been large-scale economic crisis, which time and again has been harnessed to demand radical campaigns of privatization, deregulation, and cuts to safety nets. But in truth, any shock can do the trick—including natural disasters that require large-scale reconstruction and therefore provide an opening to transfer land and resources from the vulnerable to the powerful."(132)
"This cold-blooded enthusiasm for exploiting the weakness of others has shaped Trump’s career as a real estate developer, and it is a trait he shares with many members of his administration. It’s worrying for what it tells us about not only the atmosphere of chaos his team appears to be consciously cultivating but also, far more alarmingly, how they might exploit any larger crises yet to come."(134)
"In Fear City, a recently published book about this little-understood chapter in America’s past, historian Kim Phillips-Fein meticulously documents how the remaking of New York City in the seventies was a prelude to what would become a global tidal wave, one that has left the world sharply divided between the one percent and the rest—and nowhere more so than in the city Donald Trump calls home. It’s also a story in which Trump plays a starring, if unflattering, role."(135)
"Right from his breakout moment, his attitude toward the public sphere was that it was there to be pillaged, to enrich himself."(137)
"Senior members of Trump’s team have been at the heart of some of the most egregious examples of the shock doctrine in recent memory. What follows is a brief overview of their exploits (which, by nature of just how many Goldman Sachs executives Trump has appointed, is by no means exhaustive)."(137)
"In New Orleans after Katrina, some of the key players who now surround Trump showed to what lengths they will go to decimate the public sphere and advance the interests of real estate developers, private contractors, and oil companies. Today, they are in a position to take Katrina national."(152)
"Many of the figures who surround Trump are passionate about dismantling Social Security. Several are equally fervent in their distaste for a free press, unions, and political protests."(152)
"So the questions we need to focus on are these: What disaster, or series of disasters, could play the enabling role? And what tasks on the toxic to-do list are most likely to rear their heads at these first opportunities? It’s high time for some disaster preparedness."(154)
Uiteraard kan een terroristische aanslag door Trump en de zijnen aangegrepen worden om allerlei maatregelen te nemen waardoor protest en zo verder onmogelijk wordt en zaken als martelen en zo weer geaccepteerd worden.
"There is another reason why this administration might rush to exploit a security crisis to start a new war or escalate an ongoing conflict: there is no faster or more effective way to drive up the price of oil, especially if the violence interferes with oil supplies making it to the world market."(161)
"Which is why we need to be very clear that a state of instability and uncertainty is not something that is feared by core figures in and around the Trump administration; on the contrary, many will embrace it. Trump has surrounded himself with masters of chaos—from Tillerson to Mnuchin. And chaos has a long track record of sending the price of oil up. If it rises to $80 or more a barrel, then the scramble to dig up and burn the dirtiest fossil fuels, including those under melting ice, will be back on. A price rebound would unleash a global frenzy in new high-risk, high-carbon fossil fuel extraction, from the Arctic to the tar sands. If that is allowed to happen, it really would rob us of our last chance of averting catastrophic climate change."(164)
"Just as Trump could not be unaware that his anti-Muslim actions and rhetoric make terror attacks more likely, I suspect that many in the Trump administration are fully cognizant of the fact that their frenzy of financial deregulation makes other kinds of shocks and disasters more likely as well. Trump has announced plans to dismantle Dodd–Frank, the most substantive piece of legislation introduced after the 2008 banking collapse. Dodd–Frank wasn’t tough enough, but its absence will liberate Wall Street to go wild blowing new bubbles, which will inevitably burst, creating new economic shocks.
Trump’s team are not unaware of this, they are simply unconcerned—the profits from those market bubbles are too tantalizing. Besides, they know that since the banks were never broken up, they are still too big to fail, which means that if it all comes crashing down, they will be bailed out again, just like in 2008. (In fact, Trump issued an executive order calling for a review of the specific part of Dodd–Frank designed to prevent taxpayers from being stuck with the bill for another such bailout—an ominous sign, especially with so many former Goldman executives making White House policy.)"(165)
"What is worrying about the entire top-of-the-line survivalist phenomenon (apart from its general weirdness) is that, as the wealthy create their own luxury escape hatches, there is diminishing incentive to maintain any kind of disaster response infrastructure that exists to help everyone, regardless of income—precisely the dynamic that led to enormous and unnecessary suffering in New Orleans during Katrina."(168)
"What matters isn’t their stated views on the science of climate change. What matters is that not one of them appears to be worried about climate change. The early catastrophic events are playing out mostly in poor parts of the world, where the people are not white. And when disasters do strike wealthy Western nations, there are growing numbers of ways for the wealthy to buy their relative safety."(169)
"This insouciance is representative of an extremely disturbing trend. In an age of ever-widening income inequality, a significant cohort of our elites are walling themselves off not just physically but also psychologically, mentally detaching themselves from the collective fate of the rest of humanity. This secessionism from the human species (if only in their minds) liberates them not only to shrug off the urgent need for climate action but also to devise ever more predatory ways to profit from current and future disasters and instability."(170)
Allerlei voorbeelden van verzet.
"All of these acts of solidarity and expressions of unity reflect the fact that, after decades of “siloed” politics, more and more people understand that we can only beat Trumpism in cooperation with one another—no one movement can win on its own. The trick is going to be to stick together, and have each other’s backs as never before."(189)
Over onder andere de occupy-beweging als reactie op de financiële crsis van 2008. Europa deed het beter dan de US, vindt Klein.
"More importantly, this wave of protest and occupations did not produce a fundamental change in the economic model, one that could shift us off the road headed toward that world of Green Zones and Red Zones. When the failures of our current model revealed themselves in a manner more spectacular than at any point since the Great Depression, we did not collectively seize that moment to grab the wheel of history and swerve."(195)
Volgt een analyse van de gemiste kansen in de VS na 2008, die van de Obama regering en allerlei linkse organisaties.
"Even after all their failures, the attitude in Washington was still: the banks know best, the auto companies know best, our job is just to get these industries on their feet as quickly as possible so they can get back to a gently tweaked version of business as usual."(198)
"By the time the 2008 financial fiasco was unfolding, that utopian imagination had largely atrophied. A great many people knew that the appropriate response to the crisis was moral outrage, that gifting the banks with trillions, refusing to prosecute those responsible, and asking the poor and elderly to pay the steepest costs was an obscenity.
Yet generations who had grown up under neoliberalism struggled to picture something, anything, other than what they had always known."(203)
"It is this imaginative capacity, the ability to envision a world radically different from the present, that has been largely missing since the cry of No first began echoing around the world in 2008. In the West, there is little popular memory of any other kind of economic system. There are specific cultures and communities—most notably Indigenous communities—that have vigilantly kept alive memories and models of other ways to live, not based on ownership of the land and endless extraction of profit. But most of us who are outside those traditions find ourselves fully within capitalism’s matrix—so while we can demand slight improvements to our current conditions, imagining something else entirely is distinctly more difficult."(204)
"With unleashed white supremacy and misogyny, with the world teetering on the edge of ecological collapse, with the very last vestiges of the public sphere set to be devoured by capital, it’s clear that we need to do more than draw a line in the sand and say “no more.” Yes, we need to do that and we need to chart a credible and inspiring path to a different future. And that future cannot simply be where we were before Trump came along (aka the world that gave us Trump). It has to be somewhere we have never been before.
Picturing that place requires a reclaiming of the utopian tradition that animated so many transcendent social movements in the past. [Mijn nadruk] It means having the courage to paint a picture of a different world, one which, even if it exists only in our minds, can fuel us as we engage in winnable battles. Because, as Oscar Wilde wrote in 1891, “a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.”"(205)
Het verhaal over Standing Rock Sioux Reservation en de acties tegen de Dakota Access pipeline.
"After all the times American soldiers have been called upon to protect oil and gas wealth and to wage war on Indigenous people at home and abroad, it was unbearably moving to see these soldiers show up, voluntarily and unarmed, to join an Indigenous-led fight to stop yet another water-poisoning, climate-destabilizing fossil fuel project."(208)
"We had come together to figure out what connects the crises facing us, and to try to chart a holistic vision for the future that would overcome many of the overlapping challenges at the same time. Just as in Standing Rock, more and more people are starting to see and speak about these connections—pointing out, for instance, that the economic interests pushing hardest for war, at home and abroad, are the very same forces most responsible for warming the planet. And that the economic precariousness that the union representative was speaking about, and the attacks on Indigenous land rights and on the earth itself that were referenced by Arthur Manuel (who died suddenly at the start of 2017), also flow from the same place: a corrosive values system that places profit above the well-being of people and the planet [mijn nadruk]. The same system has allowed the pursuit of money to so corrode the political process in the United States that a gang of scandal-plagued plutocrats could seize control of the White House.
The connections between so many of the emergencies that compete for our time and care are clear. Glaring, even. And yet, for so many reasons—pressure from funders, a desire for “clickable” campaigns, a fear of seeming too radical and therefore doomed—many of us have learned to sever those natural connections, and work in terms of walled-off “issues” or silos. Anti-austerity people rarely talk about climate change. Climate change people rarely talk about war or occupation. Too seldom within the environmental movement are connections made between the guns that take Black lives on the streets of cities such as Ferguson and Ottawa and the rising seas and devastating droughts destroying the homelands of Black and brown people around the world. Rarely are the dots connected between the powerful men who think they have the right to use and abuse women’s bodies and the widespread notion that humans have the right to do the same thing to the earth.
So many of the crises we are facing are symptoms of the same underlying sickness: a dominance-based logic that treats so many people, and the earth itself, as disposable."(215-216)
"As we have seen, Trump and his cohorts are intent on pushing the world backward on every front, all at once. Only a competing vision that is pushing us forward on multiple fronts has a chance against a force like that.(...) it’s time to unite around a common agenda that can directly battle the political poison spreading through our countries. No is not enough—it’s time for some big, bold yeses to rally around."(216-217)
"What we need are integrated solutions, concrete ideas for how to radically bring down emissions while creating huge numbers of unionized jobs and delivering meaningful justice to those who have been abused and excluded under the current extractive economy."(220)
"And yet some very clear common themes emerged that made a synthesis possible.
One such theme was that we have a system based on limitless taking and extracting, on maximum grabbing. Our economy takes endlessly from workers, asking more and more from them in ever-tighter time frames, even as employers offer less and less security and lower wages in return. Many of our communities are being pushed to a similar breaking point: schools, parks, transit, and other services have had resources clawed back from them over many decades, even as residents have less time to fill in the gaps. And of course we are all part of a system that takes endlessly from the earth’s natural bounty, without protecting cycles of regeneration, and while paying dangerously little attention to where we are offloading pollution, whether it be into the water systems that sustain life or the atmosphere that keeps our climate system in balance."(222)
"... it was clear to all of us that this is what a system addicted to short-term profits and wealth is structurally required to do: it treats people and the earth either like resources to be mined to their limits or as garbage to be disposed of far out of sight, whether deep in the ocean or deep in a prison cell."(222)
"the words care and caretaking came up again and again—care for the land, for the planet’s living systems, and for one another. As we talked, that became a frame within which everything seemed to fit: the need for a shift from a system based on endless taking—from the earth and from one another—to a culture based on caretaking, the principle that when we take, we also take care and give back. A system in which everyone is valued, and we don’t treat people or the natural world as if they were disposable."(222)
"Though many of us (including me) had originally thought we were convening to draft a list of policy goals, we realized that this shift in values, and indeed in morality, was at the core of what we were trying to map."(223)
"It was an attempt, in short, to show how to replace an economy built on destruction with an economy built on love."(223)
"In a way, we asked ourselves this: what are the qualities that we value most in people? Those included: generosity, hospitality, warmth, and wisdom. And then we asked ourselves: what do those qualities look like when expressed in public, as policy? We discovered that one of the things those qualities reflect is openness. Which means nurturing a culture that welcomes those in need, rather than greeting strangers with fear and suspicion; that values elders and the knowledge they have accumulated over lifetimes, as well as the ways of knowing that long predate this very recent invention called Canada."(225)
"So we decided that we didn’t want to be buying renewable power from ExxonMobil and Shell, even if they were offering it—we wanted that power generation to be owned by the public, by communities, or by energy cooperatives. If energy systems are owned by us, democratically, then we can use the revenues to build social services needed in rural areas, towns, and cities—day cares, elder care, community centers, and transit systems (instead of wasting it on, say, $180-million retirement packages for the likes of Rex Tillerson). This turn toward community-controlled energy was pioneered in Denmark in the eighties, with government policies that encouraged and subsidized co-operatively owned wind farms, and it has been embraced on a large scale in Germany. (Roughly half of Germany’s renewable energy facilities are in the hands of farmers, citizen groups, and almost nine hundred energy cooperatives; in Denmark in 2000, roughly 85 percent of the country’s wind turbines were owned by small players such as farmers and co-ops.) Both countries have shown that this model carries immense social benefits and is compatible with a very rapid transition. There are some days when Denmark generates far more power from its wind farms than it can use—so it exports the surplus to Germany and Sweden."(225-226)
"The math is clear: the money for this great transition is out there—we just need governments with the guts to go after it."(228)
"The reaction from the corporate press ranged from confusion (how can there be a platform without a party? why drop it in the middle of an election campaign?) to rage. One of Canada’s national newspapers declared The Leap’s call for a country based on caring for each other and the planet “madness”; another one deemed it “national suicide.”"(231)
"At first there was a lot of pressure on The Leap team to start our own party, or run candidates in existing ones, using the manifesto as its platform. We resisted those calls, wanting to protect The Leap’s movement roots, and not wanting it to be owned by any one party. The vitality of The Leap today, especially since Trump’s election, lies in the people, inside Canada and out, who are using it more and more as the basis for their own local work and electoral platforms."(233)
"Many people are, and as they do, we’re seeing a rekindling of the kind of utopian dreaming that has been sorely missing from social movements in recent decades.[mijn nadruk]"(234)
A state of shock is produced when a story is ruptured, when we have no idea what’s going on. But in so many ways explored in these pages, Trump is not a rupture at all, but rather the culmination—the logical end point—of a great many dangerous stories our culture has been telling for a very long time. That greed is good. That the market rules. That money is what matters in life. That white men are better than the rest. That the natural world is there for us to pillage. That the vulnerable deserve their fate and the one percent deserve their golden towers. That anything public or commonly held is sinister and not worth protecting. That we are surrounded by danger and should only look after our own. That there is no alternative to any of this.
Given these stories are, for many of us, part of the very air we breathe, Trump really shouldn’t come as a shock. A billionaire president who boasts he can grab women by their genitals while calling Mexicans “rapists” and jeering at the disabled is the logical expression of a culture that grants indecent levels of impunity to the ultrarich, that is consumed with winner-take-all competition, and that is grounded in dominance-based logic at every level. We should have been expecting him. And indeed, many of those most directly touched by the underbelly of Western racism and misogyny have been expecting him for a long time."(237)
The Leap Manifesto voor Canada.