Alexei Bayer and Bill Humphrey for The Globalist: “Look at commodities-export strongmen like Chavez and Putin if you want to understand Trump.”
Foreigners see Donald Trump as one of those outlandish characters the New World periodically produces and then thrusts upon the international stage.
It is, however, far more than a bewildering one-man show. The rise of Trump underscores that we are witnessing a split of the United States of America into two distinct nations.
It is, perhaps, a return to form for a country that has often split politically (and once militarily) between its economically developed regions and its farm- or mineral-driven regions.
One of those two nations remains closer to the image that America has projected toward the outside world for nearly two centuries – an industrialized, highly innovative nation and a modern society that is open, liberal, tolerant and democratic.
The other America is once again displaying the characteristics of a commodity-exporting nation, as it did for much of U.S. history.
Poor role models worldwide
It is therefore only logical that — in order to understand Trump and above all the folks who cast their votes for him – it is fitting to look at other modern commodity-export-dependent nations, such as oil-rich Russia, Venezuela and so on.
Commodity exporting nations are a mess everywhere – from Algeria and Azerbaijan to Zambia and Zimbabwe.
They live off the distribution of free-flowing revenues which require a strong state. Friends and family of those who control the distribution obviously get a lot more. These nations tend to be ruled by charismatic strongmen who safeguard the interests of their cronies while feeding nationalist rhetoric to the masses.
Naturally, the masses hate immigrants and outsiders, because they represent additional mouths to be fed by crumbs from the strongman’s table. They are full of disdain for neighbors who aren’t fortunate enough to have natural resources in their soil.
Commodity exporters don’t need representative democracy, appointing their leaders by popular acclaim and very often for life. Read more