The majority as a sect III

Movement, Subordination, Allegiance / Side note: Trump as a sect leader

The parliamentary elections for the Bundestag will be one year from now. The political coordinate system is already quite crumbled, no matter if it will yet again be enough for a fourth term in office for Merkel or if Sigmar Gabriel will keep the SPD courageously above twenty percent. If you are looking for the reasons why it is crumbling may not seek for it where they are complaining the loudest – in the political operations. In a monthly series, that will be continued up to the parliamentary elections Felix Klopotek will analyze the “politics of the center”, in which rise and fall of the political morality will solidify exemplarily. “

Movement, Subordination, Allegiance / Side note: Trump as a sect leader
Everything has already been said to Trump. Does this not make somebody wonder? On the evening of 8 November we all went to bed with the certainty, fuelled by the media, that Hillary Clinton would win with a landslide and with the same kind of self-assurance the alpha journalists commented on Trump’s win just on time for the 9 o’clock news. This cannot be right. “Trumps fanatic supporters weren’t interested in what is true and right.” This might be, dear colleague, but you are not interested in it as well.
Josef Joffe spilt a lot of malice about Trump in an editorial for DIE ZEIT that was released in the end of October: “America’s blonde Mussolini”. You should not really take Joffe seriously as regards the content, at one time he was absolutely sure that Trump could never win, now he already knows that Trump will be enclosed institutionally, and in between Trump was just a “blonde Mussolini”, which is bullshit as the fascist Mussolini was a ruthless imperialist, while Trump won not least because of strictly isolationist messages. For commentators like Joffe it is not important what they are saying, but when they are saying it, it is the opportunism of the intellectual henchman. But there is one part in his piece about the “blonde Mussolini” is however remarkable: Joffe cannot manage without a side blow on Bernie Sanders who he, in the vulgar style of a late-anti-communist, can only calle a “self-appointed socialist” (where is the official inspection authority for socialists based anyway?). He smugly waives Sander’s program off as “cornucopia of goodies by the state”. What is meant by this? “Everyone can study for free, public health insurance, high minimum wages – redistribution in bulk.” Yeah, sure, redistribution is a no-go! After Trump’s election win the tenor in DIE ZEIT was also that the cultural elites, the gender-leftists, the snooty globalists, in short the left-wing of neoliberalism had been run down. Sanders had submitted a program to overcome neoliberalism a long time ago, but if you call it by its name its self-evident facts – good God, a public health insurance! – are mocked as goodies.

“Trumps fanatic supporters weren’t interested in what is true and right.”: That’s true, but that is not their revenge at the left-wing liberal, urban elites, but the faithful copy of their behavior. They haven’t replaced truth with opportunity: Top down redistribution (which is far from being socialism!) is not opportune.
Trump had vulgarised this program of meaning without truth, by speaking directly to the masses which is why the republicans let him carry on at first, because he did reach groups of voters that the party had lost maybe even fifty years ago. The rebellion inside the party, the Tea Party movement was supposed to be transformed into a societal one. The movement triggered by Trump has corroded the core of conservative thought with its calculated rage: Decency, moderation, protection of traditional modes of social together, believe in the ultimately God-given order and the immutability of the human nature (the latter laced with a bold pinch of racism) … passé. Trump is libertarian, Trump is hedonistic, Trump is vulgar, Trump glorifies antisocially pushing through, Trump demands subordination. The “freedom of speech” which Trump’s Breitbartdisciples are mobilizing against the allegedly intellectually-cultural hegemony of the left-wing and liberal purists – who, without a doubt, are annoying and whiney and are arrogantly-narrow-minded standing in the way of the emancipatory policy they took up as a cause, but are by no means as hegemonial as Ariana Rowlands and Milo Yiannopoulos are not growing tired of mentioning –, is nothing but combat equipment. It is not aiming at some liberating condition, the ideal of which would be the English-academic debating society, but exclusively serves to put down the opponent by staging oneself as the victim of this left-wing liberal hegemony.

The truth has to be expelled from the meanings, the first step for this is the subjugation of the supporters to the movement. The movement turns into allegiance, the allegiance turns into a sect. The quote from Peter Brückner’s great Essay “The majority as a sect”, which serves as the central idea for this column, could have originated during this fall (it referred to another fall, the German, 1977, when voluntary coordination and post-fascist emergency rule were in the air): “The sect, that is the social ground on which purity laws and orthodoxy bloom – just to palpable in the majority of the population as the intolerance that cannot bear any objections against the status quo (…): the ‘intolerance of ambiguity‘, that can fear its own doubt so much that it disgorges the cause of the doubt and makes itself narrow-minded, dogmatizes itself everyday.”

How this self-narrow-mindedness works? Since November 9th the commentators are outbidding themselves with analyses that do not matter anymore by no. There is not following another one here. Just the reference to a short interview Trump that he gave on the occasion of the construction of his Trump Tower in New York. The interesting part of this interview is for one thing that Trump was arguing in favor of investing into inner cities – back then inner cities wer considered waste lands of capitalism – Trump has proven to have a good nose with his bold idea to offer high-priced home property. The interviewer then calculates for him that his construction project would hardly be affordable for the working class … and this is wer the Trump-moment happens: compared to other buildings this were actually a very low price, he says. This is not the answer to the question. Trump doesn’t comment on the subject, he qualifies it. He stays on the side of the elite, the upper bourgeoisie, the high society, but he gives a wink to the workers: I’m a benefactor compared to the others.
If there were remedy, it would be this: Stick with your questions, don’t let yourselves be palmed off with the answers, inquire until they are so exasperated that they have to show their cards. At least then we would be a bit closer to the truth.

(Translation by Denise Oemcke)

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