[Marxism] Trump, the Quintessential American

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 18 06:02:47 MST 2018

By Chris Hedges.

Donald Trump is part of the peculiar breed Herman Melville described in 
his novel “The Confidence-Man,” in which the main character uses protean 
personas, flattery and lies to gain the confidence of his fellow 
passengers to fleece them on a Mississippi River steamboat. “Confidence 
men,” as Melville understood, are an inevitable product of the amorality 
of capitalism and the insatiable lust for wealth, power and empire that 
infects American society. Trump’s narcissism, his celebration of 
ignorance—which he like all confidence men confuses with innocence—his 
megalomania and his lack of empathy are pathologies nurtured by the 
American landscape. They embody the American belief, one that Mark Twain 
parodied in “Pudd’nhead Wilson,” F. Scott Fitzgerald excoriated in “The 
Great Gatsby” and William Faulkner portrayed in the depraved Snopes 
clan, that it does not matter in the crass commercialism of American 
society how you obtain wealth and power. They are their own justifications.


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