By George Monbiot
25 November 2016
(The Guardian) – Please don’t read this unless you are feeling strong. This is a list of 13 major crises that, I believe, confront us. There may be more. Please feel free to add to it or to knock it down. I’m sorry to say that it’s not happy reading.
1. Donald Trump
The next occupant of the White House will be a man who appears to possess no capacity for restraint, balance or empathy, but a bottomless capacity for revenge and vindictiveness. He has been granted a clean sweep of power, with both houses and the supreme court in his pocket. He is surrounding himself with people whose judgment and knowledge of the world are, to say the least, limited. He will take charge of the world’s biggest nuclear and conventional arsenals, and the most extensive surveillance and security apparatus any state has ever developed.
2. His national security adviser
In making strategic military decisions, he has a free hand, with the capacity to act even without the nominal constraint of Congress. His national security adviser, Michael T Flynn, is a dangerous extremist.
Trump’s team is partly composed of professional lobbyists hired by fossil fuel, tobacco, chemical, and finance companies, and assorted billionaires. Their primary political effort is to avoid regulation and taxation. These people – or rather the interests they represent – are now in charge. Aside from the implications for the living world, public health, public finance and financial stability, this is a vindication of the political model pioneered by the tobacco companies in the 1960s. It demonstrates that if you spend enough money setting up thinktanks, academic posts, and fake grassroots movements, and work with the corporate media to give them a platform, you can buy all the politics you need. Democracy becomes a dead letter. Political alternatives are shut down. [more]