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How Big Business and Neoliberalism Empower Populism and the Far-right

Click for a large cover of PRESIDENT TRUMP, INC..

‘An important book that deserves to reach a wide audience.’ – Noam Chomsky

With Trump in the White House, big business has direct power in government. Trump has stacked his cabinet with former employees of investment banks, big oil and international corporations. Now that big business has its representatives in the cabinet, it no longer needs to indulge in expensive lobbying. Under Trump, corporations control US policy. How and why did this happen and what does it mean for the bulk of the population?

T. J. Coles presents the background to Trump’s rise, tracing the history of economic neoliberalism. He shows what a ‘liberal economy’ means in practice: privatization of public resources, cutting ‘red tape’ for corporations and internationalizing volatile money markets. For ordinary working people, neoliberalism translates to ongoing falls in living standards, fewer protections for workers, spiralling housing costs and social cutbacks. As a consequence, many voters are turning their backs on mainstream politics, with some supporting far-right, populist parties, including the Trump faction of the Republican Party and UKIP in Britain – despite the fact that these parties support the very policies that make ordinary people poorer.

President Trump, Inc. exposes the Trump hoax. Trump sold himself as a maverick, but in reality big business has been lobbying Congress for years to do what he campaigned for: tearing up the international TPP trade agreement, keeping out low-skilled immigrants whilst fast-tracking specific foreign workers, and helping repatriate corporations to the US. Trump’s apparently personal agenda – to Make America Great Again – is actually big business’s wish list.

Coles concludes on a positive note, offering tangible hope. Real change, he notes, doesn’t come from the top-down. Millions of people all over the world are working at the local level to win power back from centralized elites for their communities. The first step in this process of true democratization is to understand what’s really happening, and Coles’ essential analysis provides a clear picture of the present reality.

T. J. COLES was awarded a PhD from Plymouth University (UK) in 2017 for work on the aesthetic experiences of blind and visually impaired people, with particular reference to the philosophy of neuroscience and cognitive philosophy. A columnist with Axis of Logic, Coles is the author of Britain’s Secret Wars and The Great Brexit Swindle (both 2016) and the editor of the forthcoming anthology Voices for Peace (2017).

Praise for The Great Brexit Swindle:

‘Love the fiery Johnny Rotten “Ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated?” vibe of this actually very nuanced, well-argued book.’ – Jane Graham, Books Editor, The Big Issue

‘Coles succeeds in addressing the issues clearly, while also making the whole situation quaintly amusing in a sort of goth-horror style.’ – Mike Scialom, Cambridge Business

Published in the UK by Clairview Books, 19 June 2017

£14.99; 222pp; 23.5 x 13.5 cm; paperback; ISBN 9781905570874