The rise of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a clear symptom of the catastrophic normalization of authoritarian capitalism around the world. Many recent debates about his popularity, however, have missed this point: They are being framed in post-ideological terms that obscure the relation between Trump’s rise and the deepening contradictions of the global capitalist system.
In its recent worldwide restructuring process, global capitalism has forcefully embraced authoritarian values that promise to sustain capitalist growth. This results in disastrous consequences to personal freedoms and economic security and justice for large unemployable segments of the population. Trump’s brand of populist, protectionist and isolationist economic policies resonate with the current sharpening of the contradictions of the hegemonic global capitalist system, revealing how US neoliberal capitalism is in imminent danger of a transformation into authoritarian capitalism.