Donald Trump’s anger at China is one of many signs of the advance of neo-fascism in American politics at a time when neither Congress nor the courts seem interested in limiting the power of the president. Trump’s unique form of neo-fascism was initially expressed by his attempts at “betrayal” against critical journalists and the proclamation of a white ethnic nationalism through the declaration of a “state of emergency”.
This allowed him to criminalise immigrants held in concentration camp-like detention camps, as well as confiscation of taxpayers ‘ money for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico never approved by Congress.
The rising fascism is taking ever more drastic forms because of Trump’s efforts to determine the investment regulations of US companies and to provoke a trade war with China.
At the end of August, Trump announced that he would intensify the trade war with China by introducing an additional 5 percent duty on Chinese goods worth US $ 250 billion. Thus, on 1 October, a tax of 30 per cent will be achieved, combined with special taxes of 15 per cent on further imported goods worth 300 billion US dollars, which came into force on 1 September. Nevertheless, the biggest controversy is not Trump’s sabre-rattling with China in itself, but his unilateral attempt to prevent American companies from continuing to do business with China. On Twitter announced Trump:
....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
This” instruction “was politically motivated and is in line with Trumps”America First “Agenda, visible also at the following statement:“We do not need China and frankly we would be better off without it”.
For those who defended the neo-fascist head of state with the Argument that the statement was not meant seriously and he did not really want to order US companies around: Trump saw this quite differently. He stated on Twitter that his decision was admissible under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.
For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2019
According to a New York Times report, this law has been used primarily to prosecute terrorists and drug traffickers, and was originally intended to enable a president to denounce criminal Regimes, not to cap economic relations with one of the country’s most important trading partners on the basis of a customs dispute.
One sign of how much Trump goes further than George W. Bush’s “War Against Terror” Years is the warning from Bush’s former adviser on international economic relations that any use of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in these circumstances and for these purposes would be an abuse.
The law should only be applied in cases of an extraordinary threat to national security and in real national emergency situations, not “to live out the resentment of the president”.
This argument of Trumps is not particularly surprising given that it has long been disregarded the rule of law and has shown little interest in consulting Congress and the courts on the issue of the granting of laws and decrees. This president governs by issuing decrees and will not allow him to face such inconvenient obstacles as constitutionality and judicial or Congress Supervision.
A closer look at the 1977 law to which Trump refers shows that a president is in fact entitled to regulate foreign trade in times of emergency. However, the powers granted by the law are not as far as President Trump claims. It allows the executive to prohibit the import or export of goods and any foreign currency transactions in which a foreign state or a citizen of the same has any interest at a time of “unusual and extraordinary threat” to national security and economy.
The crucial point here is the fact that this power can only be granted in times of “unusual and extraordinary threat” — with no rational Argument, the law could be interpreted as including simple trade disputes between competing heads of State. Nor is the law applicable to trade disputes that occur in a “strong and good” economy — as Trump himself said in August — or the best economy that ever existed.
President Trump would like to dance on two weddings at the same time: on the one hand, he calls for a national economic emergency, on the other he celebrates the economic vitality and growth of the United States.
Trump is well aware that its escalating trade war with China threatens a recession for the American economy. The Problem is: He is too arrogant and too vain to ever admit that the increasing economic instability is a consequence of his own actions. It will not change its course, nor will it, to prevent the upcoming recession.
In his growing despair and in response to a self-induced “crisis”, Trump is now going to demonize individuals of US domestic politics. For example, the head of the US Federal Reserve (Fed), Jay Powell, would be there: when the beginning of the US President’s trade war with China also made itself felt on the stock exchange, Trump Powell called for an immediate cut in interest rates to prevent further uncertainties in the economy.
The head of the central bank initially refused to stimulate the economy by saying that the Fed was limited in its ability to stimulate the economy due to the uncertainty and volatility created by the trade war of Trumps. He was then ventilate on Twitter by a Hyper the Trump with the following words insults: “Who is our enemy, Jay Powell, or President Xi?“
The impact of a declining economy on Trump’s political future should not be underestimated. A president with a 40 percent approval rate cannot afford to lose further public support if he wants to be re-elected in 2020.
A massive economic recession will almost certainly lead to a significant decline in the already weak approval rate, which means that reaching a second term for President Trump is becoming more and more distant if economic conditions continue to deteriorate by the end of 2019 and 2020.
While the US President misses so enemies at home and abroad, is the ultimate irony in this case is that Trump is himself his worst enemy and he will have caused the looming recession.
Recent political events indicate that the United States is actually facing an emergency, even if it is not an economic downturn. The Nation is rather haunted by the epidemic of neo-fascism.
With neo-fascism, I believe in this context that a political System characterised by extreme forms of nationalism, racism and xenophobia, authoritarian disregard of the rule of law and, more recently, the active efforts of the government to impose new ‘rules of play’ on the capitalist economy, contrary to the neo-liberal principles of the ‘free market’. This icing on the cake of fascism is known from the Nazi Germany of the third Reich and gives the government the Power to make important investment decisions for private companies.
U.S. capitalism has long been characterized by an authoritarian organizational structure: Corporate hierarchy to exercise Power at the expense of employee participation in the workplace and at the same time prevent the trade Union movement and democratic conditions in the workplace. But the variant of corporate neo-fascism which Trump tries to introduce exceeds all forms of fascism which has existed in modern history. Governments have in the past assumed the role of a junior partner in strengthening the plutocratic power of the business class over politics. In the capitalism of the “free market”, they do not constitute a legitimate driving force in setting investment conditions for the economic and private sector.
Most Americans use the term “fascism” only reluctantly on Trumps policy, since the idea that the US could ever become a fascist Nation has always been strictly rejected. The Ethos of the “it can’t Happen Here” was very well documented by the US author Sinclair Lewis more than 80 years ago, which means that Americans have always been blind to the neo-fascist elements of politics that unfolded right before their eyes.
But ultimately, the”fascist/non-fascist” opposition is very problematic, dangerous and self-destructive for those who still respect the principles of democracy and the separation of powers. Because if the Americans with the question, “Is it fascism?“wait until the neo-fascist state has been fully institutionalized, then this debate will be purely academic and completely meaningless. The time to discuss a fascist threat is when it becomes apparent not after it has been implemented.
Time is running out for those who stop Trumps neo-fascist policy and restore the rule of law in the country. Congress would have the opportunity to put an immediate end to Trump’s efforts to impose corporate neo-fascism on the American economy.
It is precisely the state of Emergency Act, which Trump refers to, that the president must consult Congress in every possible case before exercising any of the powers granted by the state of Emergency Act and that he must “consult with Congress regularly for the entire duration of the exercise of such powers”.
It must provide the legislature with regular information on how the emergency powers are used. According to this, the Congress is free to reverse the “state of emergency” declared by Trump. This is possible because this has abused his political Power by pursuing an authoritarian, self-aggrandizing policy that gives the President unprecedented power to enforce any corporate, neo-fascist regime.
Due to the inability of Trumps as head of state, the Congress should immediately initiate a withdrawal procedure. The president’s incompetence, for example, is expressed in his recent allegation that God had “chosen” him to define trade policy, and in his efforts to confer dictatorial powers of emergency in order to lead his trade war with China.
Since Trump’s neo-fascist policy has so far received little headwind, there is growing concern that it will become even more powerful through its measures taken in the trade war. Apart from legislative or judicial measures, there is little in the way of the president’s Mission to eradicate the remnants of the division of powers laid down in the American Constitution. In the absence of a withdrawal procedure or a national strike and national mass protests, Trump’s neo-fascist policy will probably become more pronounced in the future.