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Changing Representative Government Into Corporate Authoritarianism

Every day we hear bewildered pundits discussing the current executive administration and its internal motives and endgame.

It is true that many of the Administration’s actions are confusing. Despite the investigation into whether they conspired with a foreign government to influence the election, the State Department has balked at enforcing the law passed to sanction that same Russian Government, top Russian Officials are invited into the Oval Office with their Russian Media counterparts while American journalists are bared from attendance, and the three most senior Russian Intelligence Officials have been welcomed inside the U.S. Borders surreptitiously to meet with the CIA, despite one Official being sanctioned—a potentially illegal act in itself! The Administration has evidently decided that any meetings with Russian Officials at home or abroad will not be made public, forcing Reuters to scour the Russian media to discover when and where these meetings and interactions are taking place. Russian Intelligence must be dancing in their offices.

Simultaneously the Administration has made a sweeping effort to cut the number of Federal public servants in all Agencies, refusing to appoint high level officials such as Ambassadors and Deputy Chiefs in the Foreign Services and Cabinet Agencies. Countless lower-level career employees have either resigned or been let go. Many of those appointed to Cabinet positions have made public statements in conflict with the very existence of the Agencies they have been appointed to lead. Many of the Administration’s rollbacks of citizen protections and regulations allow them to further reduce personnel and cut budgets where they can to deteriorate the government’s effectiveness.

So why is this happening? I think the answer is simple. When the President aligned himself with Steve Bannon and Paul Manifort, he showed a desire to destroy the traditional institutions and norms that have shaped the U.S. Government and the way it has operated for at least the last fifty years. He did this for three reasons.

The first reason is that he sees himself (as does Putin), as a renegade and the Bannon/Breitbart credo of wiping away the current forms and norms of government appeals to his vision of challenging any authority not in alignment with his personal interests and desires. It plays, in a simple way, to his childish problems and behavior that caused his father to ship him off to a military school and his ultimate resentment and disgust with conventional means and methods. Of course he did learn something from his experiences there—that power is the ultimate drug and that the unquestioned authority to direct others is a means to achieving that power.

The second reason stems from his decades of contact with authoritarian governments and criminal cartels the world over. From Panama to Russia and its former satellites, to New York mobsters, Russian Oligarchs and others whose main concern is their own personal enrichment devoid of ideology, patriotism, and dedication to ideals of any kind, Trump has learned that ends justify the means and that self-aggrandizement is possible and profitable. Manifort is a perfect example of someone who converted to the example of Oligarchy as an end unto itself. Trump is cut from the same cloth. His admiration of tyrants and despots is directly related to his military school experiences and his admiration for those who reach the top (despite the nature of their actions to get there).

The third reason is his belief that his form of business acumen is superior to any form of institutional leadership and that the single-leader corporate model is how to achieve success for any organization in any circumstance—including Government. He does live by a credo of sorts. There are no rules that are binding, no laws that apply to him. There are no lies that can be told that cannot be denied. There are no debts that need to be repaid. There are no reparations or apologies that need to be made.

His current direction is a two-point spear toward his own enrichment.

If he can change the U.S. from its generational norms and organizational structures to force its other two branches, the Congress and the Judiciary, into accepting his authority in superseding their oversight through judicial appointments and Congressional cowing, his depopulation of the government of knowledgeable public servants will reduce the outcry and allow him to control any decision-making from a few positions at the top directly subservient to his whims. From there he can enhance and continue his world-wide business interests with many players. The President is critically placed to make business arrangements, should he choose to do so. Simply look at who he took with him to Davos and who was there to meet with him and that staff. Should he fail at this attempt he will be perfectly placed to take advantage of all the contacts and radical changes he has introduced to upset the traditional workings of the system enough to allow him to continue to profit and increase his commercial power. Then, when his term is over, or he is removed from office, he will have multiple opportunities to exploit the weaknesses he has engendered and will still enjoy significant popular power to continue to influence others to continue monkey-wrenching the Government in his shadow.

It all about power and positioning for the continued enrichment and prosperity of himself.

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James BlueWolf

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