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This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism. His Name Was Hunter S. Thompson.
 After following the motorcycle guys around for months, Thompson concluded that the most striking thing about them was not their hedonism but their "ethic of total retaliation" against a technologically advanced and economically changing America in which they felt they'd been counted out and left behind. Thompson saw the appeal of that retaliatory ethic. He claimed that a small part of every human being longs to burn it all down, especially when faced with great and impersonal powers that seem hostile to your very existence. In the United States, a place of ever greater and more impersonal powers, the ethic of total retaliation was likely to catch on.   

What made that outcome almost certain, Thompson thought, was the obliviousness of Berkeley, California, types who, from the safety of their cocktail parties, imagined that they understood and represented the downtrodden. The Berkeley types, Thompson thought, were not going to realize how presumptuous they had been until the downtrodden broke into one of those cocktail parties and embarked on a campaign of rape, pillage, and slaughter. For Thompson, the Angels weren't important because they heralded a new movement of cultural hedonism, but because they were the advance guard for a new kind of right-wing politics. As Thompson presciently wrote in the Nation piece he later expanded on in Hell's Angels, that kind of politics is "nearly impossible to deal with" using reason or empathy or awareness-raising or any of the other favorite tools of the left.

[...]  though Thompson's depiction of an alienated, white, masculine working-class culture -- one that is fundamentally misunderstood by intellectuals -- is not the only one out there, it was the first. And in some ways, it is still the best psychological study of those Americans often dismissed as "white trash" or "deplorables."

by das monde on Wed Feb 8th, 2017 at 11:59:00 AM EST
Yes Hillary really put her foot in it there, revealing how much she had been absorbed by the elites and helping to crystallise opposition perspectives of her. A really bigly faux pas. It's true.

However at the risk of being dismissed as a white intellectual, it is hard to see hells angels as the vanguard of a new revolution: rather they are more likely the residue of the old, left behind by new technology and globalisation - trends they are unlikely to be able to reverse despite their ethic of "total retaliation".

Trump will have his day and wreck his destruction.  It will make damn all difference to globalisation or its losers.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 8th, 2017 at 02:41:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump will have his day and wreck his destruction.  It will make damn all difference to globalisation or its losers.

I agree with the first sentence but not the second. Trump is already making a difference in that he is tipping the outcome of the form of governance globalization will take towards a loose oligarchy of totalitarian states - some of the communist variety others of the 'Western' fascist variety. Who are the major players? The USA, China, Russia, India and the EU are about it unless the EU collapses, in which case it will be replaced by a disparate collection of relatively minor states at odds with each other. The last is, in fact, a reasonable definition of the present EU, but there still remains the whole. Only if that whole reforms itself so as to heal its internal wounds can it really hold its ground going forward, especially absent US support.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2017 at 03:08:18 PM EST
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That's an interesting take. It certainly chimes with some other commentary I've read about attitudes in some rural areas

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 8th, 2017 at 09:08:19 PM EST
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