In the runup to November’s presidential election, commentators from across the political spectrum predicted a round defeat for Donald Trump, not least because of the palpable disgust he elicited from elites. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was the recipient of a number of moneyed defections from the Republican Party and soaring capitalist confidence.
Trump’s hostility to free-trade; the threat his xenophobia posed to the maintenance of a cheap and precarious labour force for capital; and his general instability all seemed inimical to the interests of today’s globalized ruling class. Yet since the election, he’s seamlessly assembled a coterie of corporate bosses into his transition team, and markets, after wobbling initially, have stabilized and even risen. Meanwhile, the Left is trying to make sense of his infrastructure proposals and promises to workers.
Arun Gupta spoke to Leo Panitch about Trump’s economic agenda, his relationship to transnational elites, and how neoliberalism’s crisis could mean revitalization for the Left.
Arun Gupta was an editor of the Guardian Newsweekly and founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal. He is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York and author of the upcomingBacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction: A Junk-Food-Loving Chef’s Inquiry into Taste. He blogs atarunkgupta.com. Leo Panitch is a professor of political science at York University and the co-editor of the Socialist Register. His latest book, with Sam Gindin, is The Making of Global Capitalism.
This interview was first published by Jacobin.
Read more in The Bullet.