As a result of the removal of Alex Jones from various social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify, Stitcher, and Pinterest, among others – Jones claims that the Infowars website has added 5.6 million new viewers of his service. While many people are hailing this as a disaster, something that has simply increased his views, I would disagree. I think there is naturally going to be a boost in views for something when it is banned. Give it some time and Jones’ audience will level out. I don’t think this is terribly significant in any way. (Even if we believe him about the subscription rise.)
At the same time, a shadowy online loose affiliation of individuals calling themselves QAnon are preparing to declare (I think) a war against the so-called “deep state” that they think is plotting to remove current US president Donald Trump. This is an internet based thing, something coming out of a few subreddits and 4chan imageboards. This organization is not strictly speaking a cohesive organization, but an amalgamation of individuals who share a similar mindset.
In their heart of hearts, they truly believe that there is a conspiracy against Donald Trump to remove him from office. What’s their evidence for this? The fact that there are large sections of the media that oppose many of his policies. Almost all of them are highly critical of his anti-human rights domestic policies and, to a degree, his foreign policy. These are the same people that still believe the Democrats run an underground pedophile ring out of a pizza shop. To put it in their own words: “impossible to believe that this is all an elaborate hoax.”
To them, the “deep state” is a behind-closed-doors cabal of leaders within the intelligence community that plot to run the government. They see it as a conspiracy against them to control their lives. They claim that the country is not a democracy, but somehow this Trump got elected president. In their view, there is a war going on behind the scenes for the future of the country. Of course, they’ve made it clear that they want a racially pure country that bars immigrants.
But what are they really seeing? To make it simple, they’re seeing capitalism without an ability to understand how systems work. When people cannot understand something they resort to conspiracy. Why? Becuase they can’t and won’t analyze the system they live in. Western liberal capitalism. To them, capitalism can do no wrong, with references to the Founding Fathers and all that entails.
The media is so critical of Trump – There is a reason for this. Trump’s domestic policy is horribly prejudiced on multiple levels, racist, sexist, etc. The capitalist class oppose this because to a large degree it causes social unrest. Social unrest is bad for profits, it creates market instability. That’s why the capitalist class (for the most part) want social tensions at a minimum. The irony is that capitalism perpetuates these divides via the very mechanisms of inequality in society. We can also point to alienation which adds a very real influence on the matter.
On the level of international relations, we see what appears to be a divided picture. When Trump breaks trade deals based on his own perception that he can do what he wants, he elicits the wrath of the capitalist class. They painstakingly work up those agreements in a way that it can be beneficial for both sides. In economics, we might see this as “comparative advantage”. Capital needs to flow where it needs to flow. There isn’t much room for debate.
On the other end, we do not see him attacked in any significant way when he carries out imperialist aggression. The media by-and-large gives him a pass on that. Why? Becuase the capitalist class needs the American empire to be reinforced and expanded in the face of the rising powers of Russia and particularly China. Earlier they were compliant in Obama making the same war choices. The media is dead silent when Al-Qaeda and ISIS are working with US-backed forces in Syria. They’re quite as their ally Saudi Arabia commits genocide against Yemen.
These nuances, differences in media approach to US policy are what these conspiracy theory people do not see. They only listen when Trump is criticized.
Trumps’ election despite a lack of democracy – The supporters of Trump are quick to claim that the US is not a democracy and that the deep state runs everything. If that is so, and Trump is anti-deep state, then how did he get elected? They have no answer for this unless they contradict themselves. To claim the US is a democracy is a half-truth.
The US, like all Western liberal democratic capitalist countries, is, in fact, a bourgeois democracy. That means every four years the people are given a choice between two different sets of interests among the capitalist class. Capitalism is a system of contradictions, this places different capitalists in conflict with each other. Those with similar interests fund one party over another. (Or in the case of the financial sector, they just fund everyone to get what they want.) The bourgeoisie presents you with two choices. (The battle over Obamacare is a good example.)
Trump clearly did muscle his way into the Republican Party to take leadership of it. Those of the Republican collection of capitalists had a choice: back Trump or lose to those who side with the Democrats. They may have preferred Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush, but that’s not what they got to work with. As we saw those business interests have gotten everything they’ve wanted from deregulation to massive tax cuts.
These two points alone clearly demonstrate how the bourgeoise government works in a way that explains why Trump supporters, QAnon, or whatever are able to see certain things but are unable to understand contradictions in other things that happen. What they lack is an ability to see how capitalism as a system works leading to the problems that manifest. But since to them, capitalism can’t be wrong, all problems must be the product of some kind of outside influence.
In this, we see their ideological weakness.