Deja Vu… all over again

Soon after the 2016 US Presidential elections I started to wonder about the reasons for Donald Trump’s accession to the White House. As a part of my research, I interviewed a number of DT supporters and asked them why they voted for this candidate. Here is what these people told me:

  • DT is a much better choice than Hillary Clinton.
  • DT is a successful businessman and, therefore, he is not as corrupt as other politicians. In fact, DT is not a politician at all and I really hate professional politicians.
  • DT hates Muslims as much as I do.
  • DT hates immigrants (especially the Latinos) as much as I do. On the same note, DT will build the Wall, which will eliminate illegal immigration.
  • DT will get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something better.
  • DT will lower my taxes and will slash the Government’s wasteful spending.
  • DT wants to cooperate with Putin (i.e. Russia) and I feel that the two countries should unite to fight against the Muslims.
  • DT will get rid of all liberal policies (which I hate), such as: climate change treaties; American support of the United Nations and even NATO; aid to foreign countries; free-trade agreements; etc.
  • DT will strongly support Israel and will relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
  • DT will bring back millions of American jobs lost to the off-shoring, free trade, etc.
  • DT will return the control of the Supreme Court to the conservatives.

Much of the wish list above sounds naive, but that will never discourage hopeful supporters. In fact, many of the DT voters may not even care to notice in 2020 that most of the 2016 promises were not implemented as they hoped.

Be as it may… However, something about the list makes me uncomfortable, as if I haven’t heard a satisfactory answer. Then I happened to listen to a lecture about the work of Friedrich von Hayek, a famous Austrian – British economist. In 1940 he wrote a book called “The Road to Serfdom” in which he analyzes the uneasy relationship between Capitalism and Fascism. Here is an interesting quote from this book:

“The progress created by the resourceful few, while it brings long-term benefits to the society at large, comes at the expense of some established social groups. Fascism and Nazism are the desperate attempts by social losers to regain the rewards denied them in the marketplace through force and ideological special pleading .”

This is the answer I was looking for! Our society is being rapidly revolutionized by three mega trends: Immigration, Globalization, and Automation. These trends are spearheaded by “the resourceful few”, who reap astronomical profit from the progress. The “few” amount to 1% of the population (or 0.1% of the American households, per Marc Faber) that own more assets than the bottom 90%.

The “social losers” on the bottom either know about this math or can sense that the famous American “level playing field” is disappearing. They can clearly see that the well-paying jobs are getting scarce, the personal debt increases, while the professional politicians work for and together with “the resourceful few”.

The November 2016 election has shown that our society has already reached the dangerous tipping point when a simple-minded demagogue can beat the well-entrenched Establishment of both American parties. Make no mistake about it, he may do it again in 2020! All it will take is a simple message, a promise to return the suffering masses to their former glory. Somehow, the rest of our political Establishment can not offer any other idea that can compete with that.

Good night and good luck!