The Donald Trump Enigma (One That Got Away)

Following the horrible destruction of the Menie dune system in Aberdeenshire by Trump Golf Scotland, as well as supporting the Tripping Up Trump campaign* ever since its instigation, has been like waterboarding myself on a regular basis then coming up into the sunshine every time I realised that Donald Trump is just another representation of the system most of us are happy to be a part of. The recent UK network premier of You’ve Been Trumped has, at least been a shot in the arm for anyone who symbolically opposes everything Trump and his golfing empire stands for. As for creating real change…

Which is why something I originally wrote for Underminers, but which didn’t make the final cut, seems appropriate for digging out at this very moment. The campaign may have moved on, but the opposition to the capitalist engine remains stuck in neutral.

Donald Trump is merely a symbol, a preposterous parody, if you like, of the unrepentant capitalist system we meekly accept as our lot. If we are incapable of even undermining a parody then what chance is there of undermining the dark heartlessness of a tangible portion of the industrial world. Trump survives all the superficial attempts to damage his credibility – it figures that the system he represents thrives. Trump has succeeded thus far at Menie (unilaterally renamed the Great Dunes of Scotland) not because he is powerful but because he has successfully exploited both the corruption inherent in the system and the lack of any opposition to what he represents. It’s no good opposing Trump “the man” if you don’t oppose Trump “the purveyor of all that stinks in the capitalist system”.

Just one more reason why symbolic protest is no protest at all.

(*Sometime in 2009, I think, I found myself in conversation with some potential anti-Trump activists at an anarchist gathering. The discussion circled around the various forms of direct action that might actually make development a real struggle – I remember suggesting subtly moving surveyors poles and declaring constant Right To Roam as two possibilities. As it happened, Tripping Up Trump publically eschewed direct action, and denied taking part in a spate of “vandalism” in 2010. I believe them.)

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