Solutions For An Unfair World ~ Bitter Tears, Bon Courage
There is more on the horizon than only Trump, and it is all the more dangerous. Almost every morning we wake up with what he has said or tweeted the night before, and we go to bed with what he has said or tweeted during the day. Much of what he is doing creates a lot of uncertainty. It is no coincidence that since his arrival the word ‘war’ does not sound as something from a distant past anymore.
Still we should not let ourselves be blinded by his innermost feelings. The world is ravaged by phenomena which are at least as dangerous as Trump. In the first place we should mention Rupert Murdoch, the kingmaker. His media-empire, with television channel Fox at the front, is influencing the way people think and the choices many politicians make. The many hours that Trump spends watching Fox News has deep consequences for his political posturing.
In this context it is a big problem that competition law and the American anti-trust policy have been almost completely put to sleep by neoliberalism. In the second chapter I mentioned that these instruments should be used much more actively. It turns out that the domain of the media is where the (re-) activation of competition law and the anti-trust policy is most necessary.
It is a big threat for democracy if one media-conglomerate disproportionately influences the political, social, economic and cultural debate, as well as the whole of public opinion about essential issues. We have to give a high priority to the breaking up of dominant media-conglomerates in our own country and in Europe as a whole. But we should not hesitate to call the ambassador of the United States to account and tell him or her that we in Europe are bothered by the fact that there is just one media-conglomerate in the US that has all the political strings in its hands and puts our lives in danger. As ‘good’ allies we are entitled to say so, aren’t we? Isn’t Trump himself continuous ‘knocking sense’ into us? What keeps us from letting loose our accumulated wisdom upon him?
What is at least as dangerous as Trump is the inability of Europe to conduct its own policy on issues that touch upon peace and security. Isn’t it too ridiculous for words that our relations with Russia are being determined by Trump and Tillerson, and that we have to wait for the outcome of their beating around the bush, while we are heading for war? The same goes for Syria and for the relations with Iran. One day NATO is nonsense, and then suddenly the next day it is Trump’s mainstay. This keeps us from thinking for ourselves about the kind of defence policy we need and about organising disarmament-conferences. If the taxes on corporations are considerably lowered in the US, this will lead to a trade war which eventually will end in a race to the bottom. If bank regulation will be rendered a farce in the US, this will endanger financial stability in the whole world.
It is clear: a bigger danger than Trump himself is a Europe which will be waiting like a lapdog for the whims of its boss. Indeed, there is more on the horizon than only Trump, and it is all the more dangerous: it’s Europe’s lethargy.
Europe, oh Europe, what a nice part of the world have you become after the two terrible world wars of the 20th century. How can this soft power survive in a world in which hard power seems to be all that really counts? This Europe is stricken by a crisis. The only ones that can rescue us from this fate are we ourselves. If we don’t do this, Trump will dictate our policy, which is not a very beckoning perspective.
We have shed bitter tears, because the US have chosen a president who considers the world as one of his casinos. But the humanistic values we have cherished over the decades should keep us on track and give us bon courage.