DE TE FABULA NARRATUR
Empires and Tariffs
Dylan Riley’s suggestive comments about Bonapartism have both a superficial and a possibly more profound resonance for the present: in the former column, as a star of Page Six and reality tv, Trump as parody of Reagan, without his movie career or even his stint as governor of someplace by way of apprenticeship to power; in the latter, the sense of tensely balanced class interests, overhanging and to a degree independent of the conflicts raging beneath.  See Dylan Riley, ‘American Brumaire’, in this issue. It’s not clear to me that either gets us much closer to deciphering the ‘American carnage’, however, in part because the political context that inspired Marx to describe mid-nineteenth century France in this way, with its nostalgic and put-upon peasants, was so different. (In part, also, because it is too soon to tell if the monster bursting out of the rhetoric is not itself just another form of rhetoric, rather than a historically new formation, as the Bonapartist analogy implies.)
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- Mike Davis: Election 2016 Opening an NLR symposium on the US transition, Mike Davis argues the vote was not a critical realignment but a razor-thin margin for the Republican, mobilizing rustbelt discontent while locking in the Christian right.
- JoAnn Wypijewski: Politics of Insecurity Exploration of the fractured subjectivity, racialized legacies and multiple, entwined insecurities of the American working class—the millions taken for granted by Clinton, relentlessly wooed by her opponent.
- Dylan Riley: American Brumaire? The electoral watersheds of 2016 signalled a rejection of the global-neoliberal formula of rule, but no viable establishment alternative exists. In its absence, Riley argues, Trump may offer a neo-Bonapartist substitute for a coherent hegemonic project.
- Perry Anderson: Passing the Baton Leaving the White House with record ratings, why couldn’t Obama’s efforts secure it for his former Secretary of State? The legacy that helped Trump into office—and prospects for America’s newest left.