Trump and #Vexit – A Decentralist Perspective

Trump is a decentralist dream. Let’s hope he succeeds in destroying the federal government. Then we can start over where the Articles of Confederation left off before they were replaced by the US Constitution in 1788.

“Progressives” who are in the “resistance” and especially corporate Democrats have this whole Trump thing all wrong. For some decentralists like me, Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It all depends if you see the US from a left-right perspective or from a Centralist (Empire) vs Decentralist view.

From the left-right perspective of even the “Berners,” the US is a democracy that is in need of some minor reform, in order to scale back the power of corporations and Wall St. Don’t say anything about the empire, because that will get you in trouble. Even Bernie votes for Israel 100% of the time, and hardly ever criticizes the empire, unlike his more principled fellow democratic socialist in Great Britain, Jeremy Corbin, who is more anti-imperial and peace-loving. From this standpoint we have to oppose everything that Trump stands for, and keep all the New Deal and Great Society programs from previous eras, in order to maintain a decent quality of life for the masses. We have to support the left against the right. This is despite the fact that both major parties are controlled by the same financial interests, and that voting never changes anything. Money always wins. They have it and we don’t.

From the perspective of decentralists like Calexit or Vermont exit advocates, the US is a failed republic and military/corporate/oligarchic empire, in the process of becoming a fascist police state; similar to the decline of the Roman Empire. The national government is too big, too unresponsive, and too controlled by the deep state to reform. Politicians come and go, but the policies remain the same. From our view there is no way it can be fixed, but must be devolved back to states or regions, and start over from a decentralized, perhaps bio-regional level. Politics is ineffective as a vehicle for change, because as Chris Hedges points out, all the levers of power have been captured by corporations, and all the avenues of reform have been shut down. Dissent is shut down: There is no peace movement, there is no labor movement, there are just a few minor protest movements, which the powers that be can ignore or crush. Power must be removed from the national government and relocalized.

So where does Trump fit into all this? One of the foremost prognosticators on empire is Johann Galtung, the “father” of peace studies. In a recent essay in Motherboard[1] December 7, 2016 he predicts the demise of the empire within 4 years by 2020 (He made this prediction in early 2000s). That may seem unbelievable, and predictions are notoriously hard to make, but he has been right before. Here’s what he says about Trump:

“He [Trump] blunts contradictions with Russia, possibly with China, and seems to do also with North Korea…he may still, stupidly, fight more unilateral wars and worsen domestic contradictions relating to minorities.

Motherboard asked Galtung whether he thinks Trump would speed up his forecast of “collapse”, or slow it down. Even if we give Trump the benefit of the doubt, he said, and assume that he “prefers solving underlying conflicts, particularly with Russia, to war—in other words for the US not be imperial—then yes, that still speeds up the decline from above, and from the center… Of course, what he does as a President remains to be seen.”

As we know, it took less than three months for the deep state to reverse all of Trump’s campaign promises to reduce tensions with Russia, stop foreign military interventions, focus on domestic issues like infrastructure and jobs, and “drain the swamp”. The neo-conservative swamp is fully back in the saddle again (Play Aerosmith song[2] for reference). By relentlessly attacking Trump as a Putin stooge, the CIA, media, and military industrial complex (ie: “deep state”), with the complete support of the Democratic Party in this McCarthyite witch hunt, was able to force Trump to do the bidding of the neo-cons and attack Syria and resume hostility to Russia. Mission Accomplished. Trump is now “Presidential”, since he has committed his first war crimes. Actually it is the second counting the botched special forces raid in Yemen, that killed 40 civilians, but who’s counting.

With regard to Galtung’s prediction, Trump has reversed all the promises that would slow down collapse and has accelerated all of them such as hostility to Russia, China, AND North Korea, and increased foreign intervention instead of ending it.   For examples are his recent Tomahawk missile attack on Syria in response to the chemical weapon false flag in Idlib, and the “Mother of all Bombs” (MOAB) PR drop on Afghanistan. So Trump is accelerating all 15 contradictions leading to Galtung’s prediction for demise of empire.

Trump is also dismantling the national government at a pace unheard of in US history. His wrecking crew of zealots want to destroy every agency that they are heading. See this article in Salon[3] for details. Scott Pruitt appointed to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “has devoted his office to battling the EPA, bringing “multiple lawsuits … intended to prevent the EPA from doing its job” on behalf of the fossil fuel industry and agribusiness”.   Andy Puzder as labor secretary, “has praised robots as the ideal workers, while violating his own workers’ rights”. Tom Price as secretary of health and human services, “like House Speaker Paul Ryan, wants to privatize Medicare and downsize Medicaid”. Attorney general Jeff Sessions “history of racism disqualified him as a federal judge in the 1980s, and should remain disqualifying to this day.” Betsy DeVos as secretary of education “is a leading advocate of privatizing education, without oversight or standards, which has substantially increased segregation in Michigan”. Rick Perry as energy secretary, “campaigned for president in 2012 on a promise to eliminate the department he’s now slated to head.” While reformers see this as disastrous, for a decentralist this is fantastic news! The sooner the federal government collapses the better, given all the evil it does in the world. They even have a first-strike nuclear policy now.

Trump’s budget proposal is consistent with these priorities. This article[4] has a concise summary of the budget. To summarize, Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security increase by $59.5 billion. Savage cuts to Health and Human Services, State Dept., Education, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Labor, Transportation, Energy, Commerce, Interior Justice, Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency, and big tax cuts for the wealthy. No doubt this will create incredible suffering, there is no way around it. Trumpcare replacing Obamacare will make a bad system even worse. The problem is that it is too late to stop the collapse of the empire. At this point the sooner we get it over with the better. Just think of the tax savings. Over 50% of your tax money goes to war. The public could stop it in two weeks with a tax revolt, but they don’t.

The American public will not rebel. Most people make a cost-benefit analysis for themselves because solidarity is dead. “How are things for me?” is the question they ask. If they are doing ok, they will not stick their neck out. Things have to get much worse, and Trump will do it. Jefferson wrote about this in the Declaration of Independence, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” We saw this during the Vietnam War as most people in the US supported the war as long as only poor people were getting drafted, while there were deferments for college students.   When the selective service lottery resulted in middle and upper class kids coming home in boxes, suddenly the public sentiment towards the war changed, and opposition increased. As long as only poor people suffer, no one cares. Witness the destruction of the working class for the last 40 years, by exporting the economy to China and Mexico. No one cared so they elected Trump.

America is isolated by two oceans from the rest of the world, and therefore has virtual impunity from their imperial actions. The public has not rebelled against the US imperial wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, or thousands of drone attacks, all resulting in the death of millions, because there are no consequences to people in the US. They have not rebelled against the Wall St. takeover of the economy because both parties feed off their campaign money, and the stock market is doing great for those with stocks.  They have not rebelled against the legalized bribery of the political campaign system because both major parties live from it. The police state has now made dissent and rebellion dangerous. It is too late. The public is disempowered, and they think voting every 4 years is democracy. They will not rebel. So what is a decentralist to do? 22% of Vermont citizens now support secession[5], but the rest are ok staying in the empire. The cost-benefit analysis doesn’t pay for them yet, even though 67% think the federal government doesn’t represent their interests.

Here is my hope and Galtung’s prediction: The greed of the oligarchy is going to destroy itself. They keep taking more because nothing is stopping them. Trump is the perfect vehicle. The federal debt is $20 Trillion, which is 100% of GDP. The debt will accelerate by $2 Trillion a year under Trump’s budget, which has red ink as far as the eye can see. Increase military spending and cut taxes? In 1980 George H.W. Bush called the same thing “voodoo economics”. Trump is voodoo economics on steroids.

The wrecking crew, the massive debt and continued deficits, the foreign military conflicts, the domestic contradictions, and the pain on the average American is going to increase. The only remaining piece is the demise of the dollar as the world reserve currency. Russia and China have created an alternative to the SWIFT credit card system, so they can’t be blackmailed again. The Yuan is now part of the IMF basket of currencies for special drawing rights. Russia and China are buying gold and selling US Treasury bonds. Russia has a budget deficit of 3% of GDP. Compare that to 100% for USA. The status of the dollar allows the US to run a huge trade and budget deficit. This will end as soon as the dollar falls.

Trump is a decentralist dream. Let’s hope he succeeds in destroying the federal government. Then we can start over where the Articles of Confederation left off before they were replaced by the US Constitution in 1788.

Gary Flomenhoft is a Vermont decentralist and secessionist who denies the legitimacy
of the US government, which consistently commits all four Nuremburg war
crimes: crimes against peace (aggressive war), conspiracy to commit crimes
against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.  He is an original
member of the 2nd Vermont Republic (2VR) currently seeking refuge from
collapse of the empire in the outer reaches of a vassal state.











2VR is a citizen movement committed to restoring Vermont to an independent republic, free to pursue life, liberty and happiness unimpeded by the demands of an imperial, corrupt and disintegrating United States.