Faculty Writing: Trump’s Neofascism and Violence Without Agenda

In an interview with Jewish Currents, Ajay Singh Chaudhaury discusses the interrelation of capital, global crisis, and fascist ideology. Positioning Trumpism as part of a developing globalized neofascism, he writes: “Capitalism’s ideological underpinnings are increasingly, and rightly, questioned, not only on the left but also in the business press, which keeps talking about better capitalisms—responsible capitalisms, green capitalisms, stakeholder capitalisms—no matter how implausible. A specter is clearly haunting the world’s boardrooms—not the specter of communism, but a free-floating anxiety of crisis management. This is reflected in public opinion polling worldwide, showing a decline in the legitimacy of both capitalism and liberal democracy. Neofascism is developing as a mode of crisis governance for capital in a moment in which capitalism is malfunctioning, even on its own terms. Both climate change and secular stagnation—the long global decline in economic growth—are forces that apply so much pressure on capital.”

For The Nation, Rafael Khachaturian discusses the decades-in-the-making antidemocratic and authoritarian tendencies ingrained in American society and political institutions. On the foundations Trump left in place, he writes: “Exceptionalist interpretations of the Trump period as an unprecedented break with “responsible governance” have obscured the dynamics of the far right, the de-democratization happening under previous administrations, and the countermajoritarian nature of American political institutions that brought Trump to power and through which his presidency has left its biggest impact. Only by tracing these continuities with the past history of the United States, both domestically and transnationally, can we take some critical distance from the last four years and begin to understand the persistence of the social conditions that made them possible.”

Appearing on Ian Masters’ radio program Background Briefing, Suzanne Schneider elaborates on the arguments made in her Washington Post article on right-wing violence and political participation. Discussing the so-called performative violence enacted in the halls of the Capitol building, “The reconstitution of freedom as something like violence at its core… mimics the general onset of neoliberalism in the last forty fears that has always stressed that the state needs to retreat from all places it can potentially intervene to make the social order more just.”

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