For a month now Trump has refused to approve any budget that does not include funds for the construction of a wall on the Mexican border. The democrats have rejected his request for the allocation of USD 5.7 billion for these purposes. As a result, the American government has not been functioning all this time.

This is the longest shutdown of the US government in the country’s history. Approximately a quarter of the federal government stands idle. Funds have not been allocated for the salaries of 800,000 employees. In January all these people, including prison guards, airport employees and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have not received their first salary of the year. Owing to the shutdown, some international airports have been forced to close their terminals: as a result of the government shutdown, the security services have experienced significant shortages of manpower. And even though the employees of the security services are on the federal payroll and vested with particular responsibilities, and are required to work by law even if they are not paid their salaries, according to the US mass media a number of them have taken sick leave as a mark of protest against the situation. The most dangerous consequences of the shutdown arise from the partial suspension of the operations of the US Food and Drug Administration, with 41% of its employees forced to stay at home.

According to the estimates of S&P Global, the shutdown had already cost the American economy approximately USD 3.6 billion by 12 January. At this rate, this week the losses will be bigger than the cost of the “Mexican” wall.

The BBC notes that the chaos in the USA is indicative of political dysfunction and undermines any faith that the public has in the authorities. The American business world is also worried. A number of businessmen with medium-sized and small operations are incurring losses, in particular in cases when they need to obtain certain official documents, licences, permits, etc. One of them is quoted by the BBC as saying: “In another week or so, that’s when the panic is going to set in.”  There is no end in sight to the political standoff in the USA.

President Trump wants to build a wall on the border with Mexico and create corresponding protective infrastructure over 1,609 km (the entire border is 3,100 km), asserting that this would resolve the problem of illegal migration and the drugs entering the USA. The democrats are not the only ones to oppose the construction of the wall. According to opinion polls, more than half of Americans (51% to 58%) are against the allocation of budget funds to build the wall, while approximately three-quarters (73%) expect the country’s relations with Mexico to worsen.

Nevertheless, Donald Trump intends to push through his decision. The US President has declared that if the congressmen don’t back down, he may introduce a state of emergency in the country. «If we don’t make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that,” promised Trump.


At first glance, all of this, just like many other exotic elements of the political behaviour of Trump and his administration, looks at the very least strange. However, this is only an external impression. In actual fact, neither Trump nor his entourage are by any means stupid or impulsive. They are implementing their own form of “shock therapy” for America,  blackmailing political opponents and individuals, creating a permanent state of hysteria in society, and virtually demonstrating on a daily basis the dysfunctional nature of the entire existing political system, the helplessness and ineffectiveness of the construct “checks and balances”.

The “shock” is being applied to achieve the following goal: the authoritarian transformation of the political system and the subordination and relegation of the US Congress and judicial authorities to the background, the discrediting and destruction of the mass media that operate independently of big capital, the humiliation and consequent weakening of the authority and independence of experts, and also the future transformation of the Republican Party into a “vertically integrated” rigidly authoritarian grouping that is significantly influenced by the far right and outspoken nationalists.

Trump’s proximity to ultraright forces in the USA is abundantly clear. Recently well-known nationalist Patrick Buchanan called on Trump to introduce a state of emergency in the country in order to secure the allocation of funds for the construction of the wall by circumventing Congress.  Buchanan is considered one of the oldest and main proponents of the extreme nationalist wing of the Republican Party. He is known in particular for suppressing, when an employee of Reagan’s administration, the investigation of the US Department of Justice into the German scientists brought into the USA after World War II who had worked for the Nazi defence industry, while in 1990 he publicly denied that the Nazis had committed any atrocities in Treblinka. Incidentally, Buchanan is also a big fan of Putin and global Putinism. In 1990, when Trump temporarily left the Republican Party and toyed with the democrats, he called Buchanan “Hitler lover”, which was true. However, now the US President has complimented Buchanan in a tweet and listed him as no less than one of America’s “great people”.

Ever since the first days of Trump’s Presidency, the leading players on the financial market – major banks and investment funds on Wall Street – have supported and reacted positively to the policy of the new President and have created a positive economic background for him in every way possible, regardless of any actions that he has taken in domestic and foreign policy, his extremist rhetoric and style. It would arguably not be a gross exaggeration to compare such behaviour of the American business elite with the position of the biggest German corporations and banks in the period when the National Socialist German Workers’ Party came to power in 1933.

It is no coincidence that Trump is also starting to weaken even more the already inadequate half measures adopted after the 2008 crisis to enhance the stability of banks, including more rigid requirements on their capitalisation, annual stress tests, etc. Driven by the goal of gradually lifting controls on financial giants, the US President has reduced the budget of the financial monitoring service.

Incidentally, it is absolutely astonishing to read in the American press that even while he sits in the White House, Trump continues to receive colossal incomes from his real estate transactions. Furthermore, the biggest transaction of his firm last year involved the sale of a 46-building housing complex that is subsidised by the federal government in Brooklyn. Trump owned 4% of the shares of this complex and earned USD 36 million from its sale. And even though Congress naturally drew attention to this transaction and declared that this was a conflict of interests (for the beneficiary is none other than the US President), the lower house of representatives did not have the power to prevent this from happening. We are witnessing the privatisation of the state.


Now that Trump is in charge, the ties between the USA and such allies as France, Germany, Great Britain and Canada, which had at one time appeared inviolable, no longer look so stable. To all intents and purposes, the current US administration has other views about alliances and the need for them. It is highly unlikely that economic alliances are of any particular interest for the USA: the logic of economic nationalism and trade wars hardly incentivise such cooperation.

Perhaps what is most notable is the political-ideological proximity of Trump’s White House to personality-based regimes that have grown together with oligarchical capital. Such partnerships are based on a general interest in consolidating authoritarian systems of rule, the expansion of nationalism and isolationism, restrictions on human rights and freedoms, and a weakening of international integration and trade. As a rule, this is accompanied by actions to pressure opponents, whip up social hysteria, obstruct the self-organisation of unprivileged social strata, weaken and emasculate the significance of any activity by representative and other democratic institutes, and minimise any social and environmental obligations.

Judging by the external political line adopted by Trump, today the favoured informal partners of the White House in this “authoritarian internationalism”, notwithstanding tactical differences and even confrontations arising from time to time, are China, Putin’s Russia, Saudi Arabia, and his allies in the region, Erdogan’s Turkey, Brazil ruled by the recently elected ultra-right President Bolsonaro, right-wing parties in Europe, which are already in power or close to power in Italy, Austria, Hungary and Poland.  To a certain extent, even North Korea is one of the countries that are sympathetic to Donald Trump: it is no accident the Trump expressed his respect for Kim Jong-un, and behind the scenes admired the “love and devotion” felt by the North Korean people for their leader. This is in marked contrast, for example, with his attitude to Macron or Merkel.


There is no doubt that Trump, unless he is impeached, something that appears extremely likely at present, will run for a second term and can have high hopes of being re-elected. The success of his campaign will depend first and foremost on the situation in the economy and whether the democrats, aware of the danger looming over the US political system, will be able to nominate a remarkable and strong democratic candidate and conduct a powerful electoral campaign.

For the time being arguably Donald Trump’s eccentric character traits perform a useful function for both Trump and his political camp – facilitating the establishment of the necessary public climate. Incidentally, it is precisely such pathological character traits of well-known Russian personalities in Russia’s parliament, thanks to their positions in power and the assistance of the mass media translating such political pathology, that have contributed to the establishment of a distorted public climate favourable to the policy of the Russian regime today.

And now the USA is also becoming accustomed to the absurd.

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Donald Trump’s policy is not a conspiracy. Trump is implementing a policy dictated by the insurmountable causes and consequences of the global financial crisis, vast inequality, fears of globalisation and in general the course of political events of past decades combined with new extremely ambivalent phenomena in technologies and the economy. All this set the scene, laid the groundwork and shaped the policy of the current US President.  A policy objectively aimed at the establishment of authoritarian rule, relying on the interests of big business, nationalism and isolation. A reluctance and inability to see and understand the future have led to a policy of a return to the past with the slogan “Make America Great Again”. Such a journey into the past represents a move towards a proto-fascist system.