Searching for A Method in Madness: The World-View of Donald Trump
Indeed, it is rather easy to convince myself that Trump is mad if I look at Facebook. A number of Facebook posts confirm a number of psychologists said so. Indeed, we are at a time of implosion of Facebook itself, proving that it may be just showing you what you already believe. So, more you click on posts that claim Trump is mad, you see more posts that says so. Madness is indeed in the eyes of the beholder!
This allowed the fissures to develop within the Developed economies: Banlieues of Paris, ghost towns of Northern England, Belgian ghettos and Appalachian villages were suddenly spaces outside, without any remedies to be found in the broken democracies that would elect only those who had financial resources to run increasingly sophisticated and costly campaigns. This phenomena is now much discussed, and cited as the reason behind Trump and Brexit. However, this could equally be seen as the decisive turn in the fortunes of democracy, which thrived in the post-war years on the promises of across the board prosperity. There can not be a government 'by the people' when it's not 'for the people', and it was easy to see it backwards. Indeed, this is, paradoxically, both the reason why billionaires are suddenly in politics, and why Trump got elected. But it is new kind of politics when democracy is no longer an end in itself.
Technology, too, were disrupting itself, as it created the economic possibilities of local manufacturing, reduced the dependence on fossil fuel and brought out dying cultural identities that were being steamrolled in the broadcasting culture. Suddenly, the world pointed to a more fragmented, local world, than the flat global one that the Liberal Economics is built around. And, together, all of this is a profound change, an alteration of long term economic trends as it existed for last two hundred years, setting off a 'second machine age', or, even more significantly, a reversal of long term cycles lasting five hundred years, when the global balance shifted from Eurasia to the Atlantic World at the end of Fifteenth Century (with Columbus reaching North America and Vasco Da Gama finding the sea route to India), as Eurasia becomes the theatre of prosperity all over again.
Thus, if one stops looking for ideological comfort in democracy, linked financial markets and familiar institutional and cultural frameworks, and instead look for commercial and political opportunities in a fast growing market, Trump's approach may make more sense. From his street-smart vantage point, using America's military dominance as a leverage to get a prominent position in the world's fastest growing consumer markets make abundant sense; guaranteeing European or Japanese security indefinitely, for him, is an unnecessary financial strain for America - worse, it is about subsidising potential commercial and political competitors.
In summary, we are in a brave new world, where fundamental transformations are underway. President Trump's apparent madness may be symptomatic of an America searching for new leverage, and exploration of a policy shift from the Atlantic to Eurasia, from a Liberal Equilibrium to a new period of unleashing creative destruction in foreign policy. The discontinuities of personnel notwithstanding, there is a certain consistency in his methods and messages; certainly more consistency than his predecessors, who spun webs around themselves in proclaiming peace (and Obama getting a Nobel Prize) and bombing people, promoting democracy and then crushing the movements when they did not throw up predetermined answers, and allowing a new Russian resurgence and ceding space to China in Asia and Iran in the Middle East. Trump isn't palatable to the rest of the world, but he is predictable, and should perhaps be viewed as one last flourish of a world system in crisis.