Monday, 12 December 2016

Trump's Victory -- What It Says to Us, What It Makes Me Think

Trump has won, despite everything. I think Americans must now stop demonstrating against a democratically legitimated result and stop shouting childish slogans like "Not our President". We must understand the phenomenon, now, if we are to do something about it in future.
   I shall not here try to narrate and analyze the small details of the contest, what kind of people voted Trump etc. Most probably, traditional Republican voters voted Trump, and traditional Democratc voters voted Hillary. The more interesting question is: why did many of those who in the past regularly voted Democratic candidates and Obama in the last two elections this time voted Trump? Nor shall I go into the minor and superficial causes of Trump's victory and Hilary's defeat. I shall rather focus on some basic points and causes of some basic trends that had been clearly noticeable for quite a few years now, almost everywhere – in the USA and parts of Europe, but also in Asia and Latin America (Africa is quite a different category). They are (1) failure and retreat of what is generally called "leftist, democratic, progressive, liberal and egalitarian" forces and policies, and (2) simultaneous ascendancy of what is generally called "conservative, reactionary, nationalistic, authoritarian and anti-egalitarian" forces and policies. I cannot here critically examine all these terms. Let us take them in their currently usual meanings. Examples for these trends are not hard to find. In shorthand: France (decline of PS, rise of Front National), Holland (Gerd Wilder's party), Germany (decline of SPD, rise of AFD), Brexit, ruling parties in Poland, Hungary etc, rise of Islamist forces in Arab and Muslim majority countries, rise of Hindu nationalist forces in India (PM Modi), the Philippines (President Dutarte's murderous anti-drugs policy), impeachment of Labor Party President Dilma Roussef in Brasil etc.

Things Are Changing Fast – Minority In Their Own country

Ever since Trump's victory was announced, the melody of a famous German song written by Bert Brecht is continuously going through my head. In my English translation it reads as follows:1

At the bottom of the Moldau, the pebbles are rolling
There lie three Kaisers buried in Prag.
The great remain not great, and the small not small,
The night lasts twelve hours, then the day does come.

The times change, the great plans of the Powerful
Come to a halt. And even though
They proceed like bloody cocks,
The times do change, no violence can that stop.

Brecht was a communist. When he wrote this on the inevitability of times changing, he surely meant to say (at least this is my interpretation) the bad days of the Kaisers (the capitalist bosses) will soon be over and better days for the small people (the working class) will come.
    But Brecht died in 1956 and communism/socialism was wound up by communists/socialists themselves in 1989. So why am I quoting this song today? Because deep down, away from the superficial hustle and bustle of daily politics, things have still been moving, though most people have been too busy to note that at the moment. Because, in other words, in 1989, history did not after all come to an end2, when the big bosses thought they had won the cold war once and for all.
    I recently  read an article by Robert P. Jones in the online New York Times3 in which the author, while trying to explain the result of the election, cited the (for me) astounding fact that

"between Barack Obama’s 2008 election and 2016, America has transformed from being a majority white Christian nation (54 percent) to a minority white Christian nation (43 percent)." On election day, "this anxious minority swarmed to the polls to elect as president the candidate who promised to 'make America great again' and warned that he was its 'last chance' to turn back the tide of cultural and economic change."

Let me here also quote a promise that Trump had made to his followers: "The forgotten men and women of America will not be forgotten anymore." This quote (partly also the previous one) refers to those once proud skilled working class whites, generally called in the USA the middle class, who in the wake of the financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession of 2008ff had lost their houses and savings, many of whom were literally rendered homeless paupers. It also refers to those who had lost their jobs in the wake of the large-scale closure of manufacturing enterprises or their relocation in Mexico, China, South East Asia etc. These working-class white Christian people plus the blacks and Latinos, at least the majority of them, were formerly voters of the Democratic Party. This time, these millions of losers of neo-liberal globalization voted in large numbers for Trump, the anti-establishment candidate, because they have been feeling betrayed, left out, without any hope of regaining any time soon their lost status and self-esteem, simply forgotten by the elites and the two established parties. About a week after the election, toward explaining its result, Berni Sanders said: while Trump recognized that there are millions of people today – working-class people, middle-class people, low-income people – who are living in despair and turning to alcohol, drugs and suicide, the Democrats did not.4  Hilary Clinton had even called them a "basket of deplorables", so that a leftist author called Trump's victory the "Revenge of the Deplorables"4 Remember also that during this same process, the rich, called in American political jargon "the one percent", became enormously richer.
    This hugely negative economic change would have sufficed to understand the rage of the Trump voters. But simultaneously also taking place has been what Jones calls a tide of cultural change. Actually, it is more a radical change in the ethnic composition of the American population. Culturally, the Blacks and the Latinos are not much different from working-class white Christians. All Latinos and the vast majority of the Blacks are also Christians. All Blacks and most Latinos, except the newcomers, speak averagely good American English. Moreover, Spanish is a European language like English, and all new-comer Latinos and Blacks are eager to learn English. All want to and are eagerly trying to integrate themselves into the American labor force. But still, because they look different, come from non-European and, what is more important, poorer regions of the world, and are late-comers, they cannot feel and also are not regarded as belonging to the ethnic group5 comprising the progenies of the early and not so early white settlers and recent white European immigrants in North America. The latter ethnic group has been thinking for about 240 years now that the USA is their country. There is no denying, however, that for many of them, especially white and devout Christians, it has also been culturally shocking that Blacks and LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) were so vociferously claiming and even occupying normal to prominent places in society.
    White Americans already had difficulty in socially integrating the freed black slaves and their descendants, when, several decades ago, not only large numbers of Latinos, but also people from many other
non-European regions and belonging to different ethnic and religious-cultural groups began immigrating in the USAAsians, Arabs, Persians, Africans etc. Most of them came legally. They also got the Green Card (work permit). The almost continuously growing US economy needed their labor power and their intelligence, and their contributions to building up the prosperity and power of the USA was appreciated. Racial segregation was formally (though not in reality) ended. People started calling the USA a great melting pot. But not for long. Economic crises became more frequent. Racial conflicts and violent race riots appeared in American towns and cities. And then neo-liberal globalization wreaked havoc in the economy and social structure of the country. Now the White Christians have already become a minority in their own country. They are now increasingly feeling they are losing their country.

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

For several years now, successive governments of the USA have been trying to deport the 11 million illegal Latino immigrants. There cannot be any economic reason for that, because unlike in the EU, almost all illegal immigrants in the USA are working in the economy, which needs these cheap unskilled laborers for bad jobs that white skilled workers do not generally want to take. They are also not demanding, nor will they get, any help from the state. Maybe it is part of the last-ditch attempt by the white-Christians to prevent further erosion of their power and numerical strength in their own country. But apart from those who are caught while crossing the border, it is very difficult to do.
    It is well known that, generally speaking, in times of economic crisis xenophobia increases. The disadvantaged locals look for weak scapegoats for their perceived sufferings. They cannot attack the capitalists or their political agents, who govern the country, but they can attack the immigrants who came from relatively poor countries in large numbers to work and make money here. This has been taking place in the UK before and after the Brexit referendum, where even Polish legal immigrants – white, Christian, and EU-citizens – are being attacked and sought to be driven out of the UK. This is also taking place in Germany in the wake of the large-scale forced entry of non-European non-white asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. The "disadvantaged" locals want to "take their country back". In the UK, the pro-Brexit voters believed they already had lost their country. A German extreme rightist politician said in a speech (in my free translation): "If the Afghan immigrants are deported, they have a country to go back to. But if we lose our country, we have nowhere to go." German authorities know how difficult it is to deport an illegal immigrant. They cannot any more deport all. It is too late. In the USA, large sections of the White Christian working class feel they have already lost "their country" and also their economic basis. Jones, who has recently published a book on the subject,6 thinks the overwhelming support that Trump received from the White Christian working class voters is the expression of rage of this group of Americans against their plight.  He concludes his article with the words: "The waning numbers of white Christians in the country today may not have time on their side, but as the sun is slowly setting on the cultural world of white Christian America, they’ve managed, at least in this election, to rage against the dying of the light."7

The contradictions of Globalization

The two changes mentioned above – economic and ethnic/cultural – are interconnected through both being results of the process of economic globalization: It is this that resulted in the forced or voluntary immigration of hundreds of millions of non-white and non-Christian people in the USA as well as the large-scale relocation of American industries and other businesses in other countries. Ricardo's theory of free international trade was based on the justifiable assumption that everybody, every businessman and every nation desires to become as rich as possible. He showed, in my opinion convincingly at the abstract theory level, that all nations participating in free international trade would prosper (a win-win deal, as we say today) if they concentrate on producing and selling at the world market not only those goods in which they have an absolute advantage but also those in which they have what he called a "comparative advantage". That is roughly also what happened in the economic history of the world: participating nations did prosper. But it has not proved to be an unmitigated benefit for all in all nations That is why we see that for many years now, all over the world, there has been a lot of
dissatisfaction with and opposition to further development of free international trade, that is since long also coupled with further development of free flow of investment capital from one country to another. The most well-known examples thereof are the protest movements against multilateral and bilateral trade agreements such as NAFTA, MAI, CETA, TPP, and TTIP.8     Nobody can say that this opposition has been totally unjustified. To explain it in one sentence, the assertion of the protagonists of free international trade and investment that "when the flood tide comes, it lifts all boats" has proved to be wrong. Because not all citizens of a nation sit in a boat, and not all nations possess an ocean-going boat. What I mean to say thereby is that a part of the population of a nation and many nations of the world can be and have indeed been left behind and forgotten in the process of global economic development. Especially this section of the US-American population – the proletariat of the "rust belt" of America for example – chose Trump as their leader, particularly because he promised to role back the (in their eyes) evil tide of economic globalization.
    It is a more
fundamental rejection of economic globalization than what I have heard (and read) from the anti-CETA and anti-TTIP movement´s of European environmentalists, leftists, Attac-activists etc. Most of the better known points of the latter's criticism of these proposed trade agreements are so insignificant that they could easily be invalidated by small concessions. That also happened in the case of CETA, when the German and Canadian Economy Ministers made some concessions in the face of strong opposition to it. In contrast, the main argument of the millions of US-American victims of globalization (the unemployed and now unemployable) has been that they have lost the very source of their livelihood, the manufacturing industries, without any chance of getting an equivalent alternative one. That is why they and their leader Trump are for protectionism.
    This explains another difference. In Germany, where I live, (maybe also in the other highly developed EU-countries) the great majority of the leftist and environmentalist opponents of globalization have consistently refused to call their movement an
anti-globalization one. They assert theirs is only a globalization-critical movement. They want to say thereby that they do not deny that there are economic advantages of this process, for all concerned parties. Their opposition to the various proposed international trade agreements has therefore never been fundamental.
    I have found very little sensitivity among such merely critical activists to some real and
more serious issues associated with economic globalization. They are as follows:
    (1) It
divides the working class of the world more effectively than anything that the bourgeoisie could think up before. When a manufacturing unit is shut down in Pennsylvania and relocated in Mexico, several hundred American workers lose their livelihood, but in Mexico several hundred hitherto unemployed workers got these jobs, albeit with less wages. When, in the 1990s, Siemens decided to close down their cell phone production factory in Bochum and relocate it in Hungary, the German workers bitterly fought to defend their jobs. They were even ready to accept wage cuts. But they ultimately failed. At a meeting held in solidarity with these German workers I raised the question: what should the Left say to the unemployed Hungarian workers who were eagerly waiting to get these jobs? The answer I got from a local left leader was simply: "Workers must fight to defend every job." That was all.
    (2) As we have now seen, it even gives rise to
animosities between ethnic groups of people who become competitors for jobs in one and the same proposed factories and other economic opportunities. Such competition, of course, exists even between cities in one and the same country (e.g. in Germany, where it is called Standortwettbewerb). But it never becomes ethnic animosity. If factories and businesses cannot or do not want to leave developed countries in favor of those poor countries that at the moment do not have any comparative advantage other than lowest wages, or if the latter are not enough to strongly attract international capital (the majority of the sub-Saharan African countries, for example), then the masses of poor and/or unemployed people of these countries simply migrate, legally or illegally, into the more prosperous countries and regions. In the Republic of South Africa, this recently led to ethnic riots (2015) between workers who are citizens of the RSA and the legal or illegal immigrant workers from the other African countries, all blacks, mind you. The story of unwelcome illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East into the EU and physical attacks on them are well known.
    (3) Competition between states to attract investments leads inter alia to
downward pressure on wages, social benefits, and other conditions of work, in short, to a race to the bottom. Mr. Lafontaine, a leading German politician once said (roughly): "In the matter of wages, we simply cannot win the rat race against China"
    (4) Globalization facilitates
tchnological development, the secret of increase in labor productivity, and that leads, through concomitant growth in automation, to further unemployment.
    (5) Since most technological developments are resource-intensive, they ipso facto cause more
environmental degradation.

Contradictions of Trump's Anti-Globalization Program

Actually, all critics and opponents of globalization should now be rejoicing. After all, Trump has announced he would withdraw the US signature from the TPP and renegotiate the NAFTA. And the TTIP is now dead. I too rejoiced at this prospect, but for
reasons different from those that motivated Trump and his supporters to oppose these. Trump wants to "make America great again", not I. What does "great" mean in this context?
    If the American manufacturing sector revives, well, then probably many new jobs will be created in it, and many more goods would be supplied to the American economy by America-based companies and less goods of similar kinds would be imported, say, from China, India or Bangladesh. But American workers would not work for Bangladeshi wages. That is not what they voted Trump for. Prices of goods made in the USA would rise. Wouldn't American consumers, including working class ones, miss the damn cheap goods made in China? Wouldn't American industries, though revived, soon lose competitiveness at the world market?
Protectionism has a downside too. This surely would lead to a strong shrinking of the American economy and its national income as well as that of the whole world. Would America then still be able to maintain its hundreds of military bases all around the world and its huge weaponry, the basis of its military greatness? He surely does not mean any kind of spiritual or cultural greatness! Or does he?
    What is worse, a chain of retaliatory measures of other manufacturing countries – increasing import duties and competitive devaluation of the national currencies – would surely follow. Economic historians know how in the early 1930s, exactly such measures led to a deepening of the Great Depression. Certainly, a similar situation today would not be welcome to Trump and his admirers. That would not make America great again.
    And poverty would return to those formerly poor countries that had seen a little prosperity by exporting simple goods like clothing to rich industrial countries. I would not here take up the question what had made America great in the past? That is another topic. I would however like to see whether in the coming years, in such a situation, the USA would be able to become "great" again.
    It is a pity that the leadership of the
radical anti-globalization movement had to come from a Trump who is a racist and a petty white American nationalist (America First). But those who have been leading the globalization-critical movement refused to accept the fundamental reason why one should oppose economic globalization. They raised relatively minor objections to the various new agreement proposals, not the fundamental one. If we look at the most important arguments of their protagonists – business leaders and economy ministers – they can be reduced to just two sentences: (1) today, economic growth is not only good but also essential for the health of the economy and society, globally as well as for each particular nation (it generates profits and also jobs and income), and (2) the more we liberalize international trade and remove the various barriers to it, the more growth can be achieved. But if we reject the growth imperative from the calculation, their arguments lose all value. The leaders of the globalization-critical movements refused to do that. Those, however, who have understood the general global environmental crisis, and the climate crisis in particular, should (1) oppose any- and everything that promotes global economic growth; they should demand that the growth imperative be replaced by a stop growth imperative; they should (2) oppose any further labor-saving technological development, and (3) for the long-term, they should advocate a policy of planned contraction (de-growth) of all overdeveloped economies, and, simultaneously, a planned reduction of the global human population.
    Economic contraction is not the conscious purpose of Trump's anti-globalization program. But if we have a little good luck, it might,
by a roundabout route,
serve our purposes. Trump would then, after eight years, be remembered (and lauded) for having brought about a much needed worldwide economic contraction that would do good to our biosphere. At first he would of course be cursed by all but a few radical environmentalists, but he would later be remembered as

"A part of a part of that power that always
The evil wills, and yet the good achieves."9

    Similarly, by enforcing the deportation of a part of the 11 million illegal immigrants from South America, he might force the ruling elites of the subcontinent to adopt policies that would encourage and enable people to stay in their native countries. Such policies might include reversing the pro-globalization policies of the past decades, which, as we know, largely caused and hugely facilitated unwanted migration in other countries. That might also globally have a positive effect. Again, he would be cursed at first, but future presidents and prime ministers of other countries would laud him for having unwittingly taken the initiative for a real solution to the vexed worldwide refugee-immigrant problem.

Blind Alley of Identity Politics

Hillary Clinton's defeat by such a bad candidate like Trump is another proof of the negative value of identity politics. In the good days of the recent past, when the promise of prosperity for all within the capitalist framework remained plausible, it did no harm that other issues took priority over basic left, i.e., generally speaking, anti-capitalist and egalitarian, politics.
Leftists and progressives in the USA appeared to concentrate on issues like political human rights in distant countries, civil rights of the Afro-Americans, rights of native Indians and Latino immigrants, positive discrimination (affirmative action) and special rights for women, LGBT groups, ethnic groups etc. At times, it appeared as if such an exotic issue like same-sex marriage was more important to them than the election of the next President. The Democratic Party, which until recently collected all votes of leftist and progressive people, was, under President Clinton, allowed to change course in favor of a fully neoliberal-globalized capitalism.
    But then the big crisis came in 2008 and it is continuing. The economic and ecological world situation demanded most urgent attention to substantial political-economic questions. But Berni Sanders, who offered this change in priority, was rejected as the Democratic Party candidate. Many American women's main argument for selecting Hillary was that, after a black President, it was now a woman's turn to be President. One female stalwart of recent American politics, Madame Albright, threatened those American women who would not support Hillary with the pronouncement that they would land in hell (Maybe she did not really mean it literally). A famous feminist, Gloria Steinem, accused young women who were supporting Berni Sanders of not having the ability to think for themselves and supporting Sanders only because their boy-friends were doing so (she later apologized). This argument – it is now a woman's turn – was put at the top, although it was known that Hillary was the candidate of Wall Street, that she was a very belligerent hawk in US politics, and that, if elected President, she would cause further escalation of the war in Syria.
    Identity politics is the
bane of all universal and substantial politics, especially of left and ecological politics. For its adherents, to look after the particular interests of their own identity group is the most important goal, fighting for and defending those interests is the primary task. Interests of the whole humanity, or even of the nation, are only secondary matters for them. It is divisive, and it corrodes all unity against capitalism. What is good in many Scots saying they are Scots, not British, and they cannot and do not want to live with the Brits in the same state? What is good in the Catalans' efforts to achieve a separate state of their own because they do not want to share their wealth with the other ethnic groups?10 It is not that they are somehow being discriminated against in their current united polity, in which case they would have some justification for demanding separation. All these separatist movements distract the people from the real and most urgent problems of mankind.
    In India, Dalits11 indeed suffer de facto discrimination in Hindu society. But instead of trying to make a united front with progressive people of the other sections of the Indian population for
overcoming the caste system, their movement has in reality become one for perpetuating the system. For, years ago, they succeeded in getting laws passed that guarantee them a certain percentage of government jobs and seats in universities and other institutions. In a country like India, where both good jobs and good educational opportunities are in short supply, the beneficiaries of such privileges would never desire to abolish the privilege of belonging to the officially attested Dalit castes. This politics has done more harm than good. It has generated more conflicts among people at large. Identity groups are today fighting other identity groups.

Conclusion: Social Entropy

Seen globally, one can today safely generalize that the six decades long effort to bring development, prosperity, modernization, Enlightenment and democracy in the whole world has failed. On the same path, there is little hope of a better future, except for a few fortunate ones. Even
in Germany, where the economic and social situation is among the best in the highly developed countries, pessimism is spreading among discerning people. Most recently, Oliver Nachtwey, a researcher on the state of German society, described Germany as a society in fear of decline (Abstiegsgesellschaft).12 There, even skilled workers cannot hope any more that their children would have a better life than they had, even university students cannot be sure they would have a secure and well-paid job after graduation. The good days are over and will certainly not come back any more That must also be the basic reason why also the social climate in Germany has become harsher. According to a latest official report, the incidence of politically motivated crime has sharply increased. It states inter alia that in 2016 every second respondent said that because of the Muslims he feels "like a foreigner in his own country"; 41 percent of the respondents said that Muslims must not be allowed to immigrate into Germany.13 Sandra Navidi, an insider of the global finance market, shows in her book Super Hubs14 that, actually, it is not the elected politicians, but the very well connected finance elites of the world (like e.g. George Soros and Wall Street bankers) who rule over the world economy. She said in a TV interview that even the super-rich are nowadays fearing the backlash, that they are on the look out for safe havens where they could flee to in the event of a big crisis.
    It has become clear to most honest observers that things will not become better under the present system. They have become conscious that a sort of
social entropy is at work. In the EU one is more and more talking of a centrifugal force that is working against the union. Politically conscious people are saying everywhere: we need an alternative; activists are saying they are searching for an alternative to this system. But till now no alternative has emerged, that has convinced the majority of citizens in any country. Only several ideas are circulating, many of which are mere illusions based on expectations of technological miracles.
    I would here like to submit an
impossibility theorem, which I formulated in an earlier blog as follows: It is impossible to fulfill the continuously growing demands, wishes, aspirations and ambitions of a continuously growing world population, while our resource base is continuously dwindling and the ability of nature to absorb man-made pollution is continuously diminishing. It is a lunatic idea that in a finite world infinite growth is possible.15  Mass discontent is therefore bound to continuously rise.
    In this situation, large masses of deprived and frustrated citizens of the rich countries are not looking forward to a better future in a democratic-leftist or eco-technological utopia; they are
looking backward to a nationalist-rightist solution to their problems. That is how "populist" figures like Trump are getting elected. And in Europe, such possibilities are growing.
    Actually, far-sighted and discerning observers of world affairs could foresee such a development. About 20 years ago, when the great East Asian crisis16 had broken out and was ruining the economies and societies of that region, John Gray17 wrote:

“The regime of laissez-faire [he used this term to mean neo-liberal globalization] is bound to trigger counter-movements which reject its constraints. Such movements – whether populist and xenophobic, fundamentalist or neo-communist – can achieve few of their goals; but they can still rattle to pieces the brittle structures that support global laissez-faire.” (P. 20)

And Gorge Soros,18 the arch speculator, who himself profited enormously from this system, feared that “elections in Indonesia could well produce a nationalistic, Islamic government inspired by Mahatir's [Prime Minister of Malaysia] ideas" (P. 133). He believed he could “already discern the makings of the final crisis". He wrote:

"It will be political in character. Indigenous political movements are likely to arise that will seek to expropriate the multinational corporations and 'recapture' the national wealth. Some of them may succeed … . Their success may then shake the confidence of the financial markets, engendering a self-reinforcing process on the downside. Whether it will happen on this occasion or the next one is an open question." (P. 134)

Even an US-American leftist professor could foresee the rise of such a person like Trump. Richard Rorty wrote in 1997:

"One day, there will be a rift in America. A considerable part of the voters will come to the conclusion that the 'system' has failed, and they will look for a strong man whom they could elect. He will assure them that after he is elected the dirty bureaucrats, shady lawyers, overpaid fund managers, and postmodern professors would have nothing more to say. Once such a strongman is elected, nobody would be able to say what would happen. In 1932, the predictions that were made on what would happen if Hindenburg would make Hitler the Chancellor proved to be incredibly optimistic." (retranslated from a German translation)*19

I have expounded my conception of the final crisis of capitalism in my two theoretical books,20  in which I have also dealt with the question what we should and could do in the present situation of the world. It is a very difficult question. It must be addressed, but I think I should finish this essay here with the words: we must prepare ourselves for the worst and try to do our best. That's all.

Notes and References

1. The first two lines of the original German text reads as follows:

"Am Grunde der Moldau wandern die Steine
es liegen drei Kaiser begraben in Prag.

2. This is an allusion to philosopher Francis Fukuyama's theoretical claim that with the fall of the socialist system "history" had come to an end

. Jones, Robert P "The Rage of White, Christian America", NOV. 10, 2016

4. Scheer, Robert: "
Revenge of the ‘Deplorables’ " in Truthdig online, Nov 9, 2016

5. For understanding the terms ethnicity and ethnic group, see
Weber, Max (…) "The Concept of Ethnicity"; and

Smith, Anthony D. (…) "Structure and Persistence of Ethnie";

both in:

Guibernau, Montserrat, and Rex, John (eds.) (1997) The Ethnicity Reader. Cambridge, UK:
Polity Press.

6. Jones, Robert P. (2016): The End of White Christian America. (The USA …).

7. See note 3. Jones here uses a line of a famous song of Dylan Thomas.

8. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is an agreement signed by
Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) was a proposed investment agreement among OECD states. Negotiations on it was begun in 1997 and dropped in 1998.
(Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) is a tentative
free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.
TPP (Transpacific Partnership) is a tentative free trade agreement between the littoral states of the Pacific Ocean.
TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is a proposed
trade agreement between the European Union and the United States.

9. Mephisto's self-introduction in Goethe's Faust I. Sarkar's translation.

10. See my blog (2014)
Unity Or Separation? -- Did The Scots decide Sensibly?

11. Dalits is the collective term used in India for all castes of the lowest rung in Hindu society. All Indian aborigines are generally included in this term.

12. Nachtwey, Oliver (2016) Abstiegsgesellschaft.
Berlin: Suhrkamp.

13. Integrationsbericht 2016 (as reported in K├Âlner Stadtanzeiger)

14. Navidi, Sandra (2016) Super-Hubs–Wie die Finanzelite und ihre Netzwerke die Welt regieren. Verlag FBV bei Amazon.

15. Sarkar, Saral (2016) A Historic Event or a Fraud? -- Critical Thoughts on the Paris Climate Accord.

16. see my book The Crises of Capitalism (see note 20)

17. Gray, John (1999) False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism. London: Granta.

18. Soros, George (1998) The Crisis of Global Capitalism. London: Little, Brown.

19. Rorty, Richard (1997) Achieving Our Country. The quote here is taken and retranslated from:

Lepenies, Wolf (2016) "
US-Philosoph sah schon 1997 das Szenario Trump voraus."
DIE WELT . 8.11.2016

20. Sarkar, Saral (1999) Eco-Socialism or Eco-Capitalism? A Critical Analysis of Humanity's Fundamental Choices. London: Zed Books.

Sarkar, Saral (2012) The Crises of Capitalism. A Different Study of Political Economy. Berkeley: Counterpoint.