Donald Trump and the Society of the Spectacle | Tom Nicholas

Donald Trump and the Society of the Spectacle | Tom Nicholas


On January the 22nd 2017,
Kellyanne Conway, Counsellor to the US President, was invited on to the weekly
NBC show Meet the Press to discuss the recent inauguration ceremony of Donald
Trump. Something of a controversy had risen up over the past few days
surrounding the size of the crowd that had turned up to witness the event. Trump
himself had promised ‘an unbelievable perhaps record-setting turnout’
however, when it came to it, the ceremony drew a crowd only around a third of the
size of that which witnessed Barack Obama first take the oath of office in
2009. Not keen to admit defeat, however, the Trump administration had
gone on the offensive with Sean Spicer, then White House press secretary, defying
experts in crowd size and reporters on the ground to state that the event had
‘attracted the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period’. When
Conway, on Meet the Press, was asked by host Chuck Todd why the press secretary
would ‘utter a provable falsehood’, she responded that Sean Spicer had not lied
but, instead, given ‘alternative facts’. Conway’s use of that phrase drew a
barrage of criticism from the liberal wing of the world’s media. Trump had, of
course, regularly derided what he termed “fake news” on the campaign trail but
pundits and commentators had spent the previous few weeks wondering whether
moving into the White House might see him begin to act in a more composed and
statesman like manner. This episode seemed to not only disprove such a
thesis but also set the scene for a presidency which has often appeared to be
engaged in a war of attrition with the very fabric of reality. The response from
most of the mainstream media has generally been to ridicule each of
Trump’s lies as they have emerged. The website PolitiFact, for instance, keeps a
list of ‘all false statements involving Donald Trump’ in which each falsehood uttered by the president is recorded along side a brief
summary of why it is a lie or, at best, only partially rooted in reality. And such
reporting is important. We might, following a Edward S. Hermann and Noam
Chomsky, be aware that the ‘huge inequality in command of resources’ often
leads to the media offering only ‘limited critiques’ of those in power yet, here, it
does seem to be functioning as a public service, recording and countering the
pernicious lies of those in power. We seem to be living in an era of “fake
news”, often propagated by some of the very individuals who themselves have
popularized that phrase. In the age of Trump, Brexit and other populist
movements across the world, the political battleground, whether in relation to the
climate emergency, immigration, healthcare or whatever else often seems to be
less orientated around finding the best responses to certain issues but, instead,
around trying to figure out the truth of what those issues are in the first place.
Political debate seems to have been transformed into a call and response of
falsehoods and corrections, lies and “debunking”. Today, I want to go beyond that
tendency to just want to correct lies when we see them spoken to consider the
deeper effects of such a discursive turn. In doing so, I’m going to draw on the work
of Guy Debord who, in his 1967 book Society of the Spectacle, suggested that
society had become obsessed with images and appearances at the expense of
experience and observable truth. It’s a book that I’ve touched upon a number of
times before yet this video should be as
self-contained as possible. For it seems to me that Debord’s suggestion that our
culture and politics have become less and less grounded in lived experience has
much to tell us about living in an age of mistruth and what happens when a
society loses touch with that which is real. As always, if you have any thoughts,
suggestions or questions as we go along then please don’t
to pop those down below in the comments and, if you’re new around here and this
seems like your kind of thing, then please do consider subscribing. Finally,
if you would like to get your hands on the script to these videos and some
other goodies, then please do check out my Patreon page at patreon.com/tomnicholas.
With that out of the way however, let’s crack on with “Fake News”,
“Alternative Facts” and the Spectacular Politics of Donald Trump. Over the past
few years, there’s been an increased popular interest in Guy Debord’s 1967 treatise Society of the Spectacle. Although now over fifty years old,
mainstream journalists have turned to the book often as a potential source of
insight into the present world and in particular the rise to power of
President Donald Trump. Scanning through Society of the Spectacle, one can see why
it has proven so alluring. Debord begins by declaring that ‘in societies dominated
by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation
of spectacles’. Or, to put it in simpler terms, that contemporary capitalist society has
become increasingly obsessed with images and appearances over experience and
observable truth. Even prior to running for office,
Donald Trump offered an interesting case study of this phenomena. As the host for
The Apprentice, Trump would set a series of contestants a business-related task
each week before, at the end of each episode, inviting them into the boardroom
in Trump Tower where, from the comfort of his leather throne, he would decide who
would be fired and who would continue on in the competition.
Now, as opponents have been keen to point out of late, Trump’s own business career
has been far from flawless. He’s been involved in numerous bankruptcy
declarations and launched countless businesses that have quickly floundered.
Yet to the producers, to the contestants, to the viewers of the show, all of this
seemed irrelevant; he lived in a tower and had a golden toilet. There can be few
better indicators that society might have come to centre on, in Debord’s words,
‘an affirmation of appearances and an identification of all human social life
with appearances’ than a man who, by living in the right building and having
the correct taste in interior decor, came to be seen as a figurehead for an
economic system which he had failed to have much of a meaningful impact on.
Throughout his work, Debord was adamant that it is not only those who
find themselves the hosts of reality TV shows that have increasingly come to
rely on appearances in this way. As I explore in one of my other videos on Guy Debord, we all do. Many of us spend as much time on social media attempting to
appear happy, successful and fulfilled by life as we do actually seeking out
genuine self-fulfillment. Today, however, I do want to focus on those in the public
eye. For Debord does suggest that celebrities such as Trump have a special
role to play in the society of the spectacle. He argues that, such is the
power of the images of excess that surround us, we have come to view our
real lives as mundane and boring. Perhaps, for many, life under capitalism has made
it so. Stars, however, in Debord’s understanding of contemporary capitalism,
serve as ‘spectacular representations of living human beings’ and ‘project this
general banality into images of permitted roles’. Celebrities act as role
models that we can aspire to be like. Yet, in doing so, they tend to comply with certain societal norms and in
encouraging us to build our lives in their image therefore sustain the status
quo. Here, again, pre-presidency Trump provided a great deal of support to Debord’s argument. Trump’s wealth is primarily inherited
yet he has managed to distort this through curating an image of
himself as a self-made businessman who has earned his fortune through his mastery of
“the art of the deal”. Thus he continues to perpetuate the
grand narrative of American capitalism: that anyone can make it to the top if
they have the right skills and ambition. Multiple people have argued that much of
Donald Trump’s success in the Republican primary process and then in the 2016
presidential election itself can be attributed to his transferring of the
spectacle of celebrity to the political sphere. Douglas Kellner, for instance, has
argued that Trump ‘represents a stage of spectacle beyond Debord’s model of
spectacle and consumer capitalism in which spectacle has come to colonize
politics, culture and everyday life, with the chief manipulator of the spectacle
in the United States, Donald J Trump, now becoming president and collapsing
politics into entertainment and spectacle’. One way in which we might
suggest that this is so is in how Trump, first as candidate then as president, has
pivoted how he presents himself from being a personification of wealth and
exuberance to a champion of the working class. Despite his multiple affairs he
has also managed to endear himself with the US’s white, evangelical community. His
garnering of support from both of those constituencies has relied heavily on his
channeling of anger at the status quo. He’s presented himself as an insurgent
force ready to “drain the swamp” and upturn the cozy political establishment;
an image that has only been supported by the liberal portion of the world’s media.
Debord has much to say about such acts. He writes that ‘by invoking any number of
different criteria, the spectacle can present false political oppositions as
totally distinct social systems. But in reality they are nothing but particular
sectors whose fundamental essences lie in the global system that contains them,
the single movement that has turned the whole planet into its field
of operation: capitalism’. Debord suggests that politicians often co-opt
anger at the status quo in such a way yet whilst having little intention of
doing anything more than mildly modifying the prevailing capitalist
order—or, in Trump’s case, further reinforcing its inequities. What I’m primarily
interested in today, however, is not these nefarious appeals to, say, the cause of
the working-class voter but Trump’s bolder deceits. For, politicians
attempting to curate a false or, at best, half-true image of themselves in the
public eye is neither new nor unique to Donald Trump. In fact, so prevalent is
such an act that entire TV shows such as The Thick of It, Veep and House of Cards
are able to build their plot around the challenges that the domination of the
political sphere by appearances over policy might present for those trying to
do good and the opportunities it might afford to those with more nefarious
intentions. In each of these shows, however, the protagonists go to great
lengths to hide the fact that they might be misrepresenting themselves or the
facts around a particular issue. And, long before he ran for president, Trump had
little time for trying to conceal his lies in this way. Instead, he has
regularly made claims that are not only false or highly exaggerated but, to any
critical observer, obviously and openly so. The first question that we might want
to ask of Trump and Co’s blatant propagation of falsehoods is why. For, as
documented by House of Cards and similar shows, the guiding principle of previous
political epochs was that a politician should do their best to conceal when
they are lying and do their best to look statesperson like at all times. This was
the bedrock of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 and remains that of
many of the more milque-toast candidates in the Democratic primaries this time
around. And this in itself is a kind of spectacular politics, built on
appearances over policy. Yet Trump’s very obvious lies often seem to rupture this
facade. And the reason he does so, to my mind, is fairly simple: the more
ridiculous a statement he makes, the greater the number of headlines, opinion
pieces and Twitter threads it inspires. Capitalizing on scandal in this way has
been a mainstay of Trump’s career throughout his life yet it was something
he perfected during the Republican primaries in the lead-up to the 2016
election. His outbursts during press conferences, at rallies, in debates and on
Twitter allowed him to soak up press attention to the point where few other
candidates could get a look in. And there is simply no need to be the best
candidate when you’ve obscured all others from view. Debord writes
frequently in the Society of the Spectacle of the ‘glitter of spectacular
distractions’ which provide relief from the ‘banalization which dominates modern
society the world over’. In a world where politics, perhaps above all else, is often
deemed boring, Trump proved a distraction par excellence. Yes, as many people might
have loved him as hated him, yet the absurdity of his candidacy proved far more
engaging than watching Barack Obama and Mitt Romney debate the minutiae of
taxation ever was in the previous cycle. Trump recognizes this and uses it to his
advantage, aware that to increase the ridiculousness of his claims is to allow
him to further dominate the news cycle. Yet what effect does this prevalence of
lying have on our political discourse? For, when we think of political lying, we
tend to think of propaganda. And the popular understanding of the goal of
propaganda is to present us with a false yet
totalizing view of the world which is ultimately convincing. In the wake of the
“alternative facts” episode which I recounted at the beginning of this video,
for instance, sales of George Orwell’s 1984 shot through the roof. Penguin, in
fact, had to print an extra 75,000 copies just to keep up with demand. And
that book ends with its protagonist, Winston Smith, staring up at a portrait
of Big Brother, the figurehead of the society in which he lives,
declaring his love for him, any doubt in the official ideology of Oceania he
previously had having been expunged from his mind. To a large extent, Debord
suggests that the end product of the society of the spectacle is that the populace
does almost exactly the same. In his 1988 text Comments on the Society of the
Spectacle, in which he expands upon some of his earlier ideas, Debord argues that
‘the spectacle’s domination has succeeded in raising a whole generation molded to
its laws’. He essentially suggests that capitalist ideology has become so
widespread as to be almost unquestioned by many. And perhaps this is the case.
But Trump’s failure to conceal his mistruths seem to disrupt any potential
for “Trumpism” to ever be uncritically accepted in this way. Whether it is his
intention or not, by lying so blatantly, Trump seems to encourage more critical
thinking, not less. But perhaps this is less of an intrinsically great thing
than we might first want to think. For Trump and his surrogates have regularly
used the phrase “fake news” to encourage a level of scepticism of the mainstream
media and the “alternative facts” that he does espouse have often been viewed as the
other side of this coin; an attempt to construct what Debord, among many, many
others, has called a ‘false consciousness’, or a sort of alternative conception of
the world. Yet the blatancy with which Trump lies disrupts his chances of
having anyone but his most loyal followers actually believe in this
totalizing worldview that he offers. Nevertheless, both Trump’s assertions of
to “fake news” and his falsehoods continue to engender a sense of distrust amongst
those in the wider population. The initial object of skepticism may indeed
be Trump himself as it is he who is lying, yet it awakens that part of our
brains which seeks to criticize everything. if Trump is lying, we come to
think, then maybe all politicians are. If Trump’s position on taxation is based on
utter falsehoods, then maybe all positions on such issues are too. Such a
tendency to engage in this more generalized sense of skepticism has been
most evident among some of the very news publications who have been so hostile to
this notion of “fake news”. Katy Halper, for instance, has pointed to the manner in
which the New York Times has attempted to draw equivalencies between Donald
Trump and Bernie Sanders. If there’s liars and opportunists on the right, the
argument seems to be, then surely there must also be liars and opportunists on
the left too. In his 2009 book The Emancipated Spectator, Jacques Ranciere
forwards a similar argument of left-leaning cultural critiques based on Debord’s
Society of the Spectacle. He writes that Debord’s ideas ‘were supposed to denounce
the machinery of social domination in order to equip those challenging it with
new weapons. Today, it has become exactly the opposite: a disenchanted knowledge of
the reign of the commodity and the spectacle, of the equivalence between
everything and everything else and between everything
and its own image’. There has grown a tendency to simply argue that everything
is merely spectacle and to sit back and disinterestedly gloat that one is aware
of this fact. Critical thinking and skepticism are obviously vital and
important, yet the goal of Debord’s text was not to encourage us to view
everything as spectacle but to see through the appearances it relies upon
to the truth concealed within. A tendency towards the former at the expense of the
latter has, I think, been growing for some time. Yet Trump’s propagation of blatant
falsehoods has further solidified a societal mindset in which all that we
might previously have held to be true is now up for debate. Such a scenario may
mean that the spectacle, and the society which has fallen under its spell, has
evolved to a point where Debord’s description of it is slightly less
relevant. Yet his writings still offers us much
useful insight. For Debord writes that the domination of the spectacle led to a
world in which ‘there is no place left where people can discuss the realities
which concern them, because they can never lastingly free themselves from the
crushing presence of media discourse’. He is suggesting here that capitalist
ideology has become so dominant that it is no longer possible for many to
discuss the issues facing us in a manner which imagines a world beyond that
particular economic and political system. I’m not sure that this point in relation
to capitalism is necessarily the case in the present. Nevertheless, the widespread
skepticism which pervades contemporary political discourse does equally take
away our ability to have the rich conversations that imagining
alternatives to the present system require.
For, productive political debate requires some kind of shared understanding of the
world. Whilst we might come to different (sometimes very different) solutions, it
requires us to have a shared understanding of the problems that we
are aiming to address. Where the spectacular rhetoric of “fake news” and
“alternative facts” has succeeded, then, is not in presenting us with a series
of false solutions to the world’s problems, but in making it ever more
challenging to agree what the problems themselves are in the first place. It
seems to me that the blatant falsehoods offered up by Trump and his supporters
both online and off have primarily provoked a response centered around
debunking and responding by pointing to the flaws in that world view. And, again,
such an act is important. Yes such efforts often seem to be driven by the
notion that society is at risk of falling under a 1984-style subjugation
to “Trumpism”. I don’t think that’s much of a risk. What is more likely, to my mind, is
a scenario in which we become so prone to questioning every tiny fact that we
are presented with that we lack any meaningful basis for political
discussion at all. The challenge, then, lies not only in critiquing the
pernicious lies of Trump, but also in risking the charge of naivety by
refinding that which we might share with those who are at risk of believing all
that such figures promote. For it is through doing so that we can rebuild a more
genuine discourse and begin to work towards a more just world. Thank you very
much for watching this video, I had so many requests to do another video based
around the Society of the Spectacle so I hope this has lived up to expectations
in some way. Thanks as always to Ash, to J Fraser Cartwright and to Michael V
Brown for signing up to the top tier of my Patreon page. If you would like to get
a copy of the script for this video or some of my others then I would
massively appreciate you going to patreon.com/tomnicholas and checking
that out. Other than that, a like on this video or
sharing it somewhere where others might enjoy it is always much appreciated. But
thank you very much for watching once again and have a great week!

86 comments

  1. Thanks for watching! Lots of requests for another Spectacle-related video so hope this lives up to expectations in some way. If you'd like to support what I do here then I'd love it if you'd check out my Patreon at http://patreon.com/tomnicholas

  2. Great video Tom! I just discovered your channel through your two other videos on ‘the spectacle’ (and now I’m blessed with another one 😃)

  3. Tom its a pleasure to listen to your world views. Gives me a lot of insight and food for thought on this crazy, fun-filled and scary roller-coaster of life. Can sit and listen to you for hours

  4. Scary thoughts at the end indeed… reminds me of the point Mark Fisher was trying to make with Capitalist Realism, and taking into account how he ended… fuck

  5. History first occurs as tragedy later repeats itself as farce …….

    Trump presidency is a tragicomedy and a farce

  6. "Alternative facts" is an orwellian term.

    In germany we even have an award for language like this. "Unwort des Jahres ".

  7. Hi! I’ve just discovered your videos and I love how you discuss and explain and present ideas and topics… I was hoping- after watching your videos on structuralism and Foucault- if it would be possible for you to discuss the ideas present in “death of an author” by Barthes and “what is an author?” By Foucault.
    Again thankyou for making such insightful and helpful videos

  8. Finger puppets trump factual politics. In my opinion, there is a reason that Steven Colbert and John Oliver have a larger audience and suffer less criticism than the mainstream media even though both groups report the same news. One is entertaining and then other is troubling.

  9. you're right, the risk isn't 1984, the risk is making every discourse so bogged down nothing gets done and the system continues its march. The more the bickering happens and the slower the discourse the longer margined groups, no matter who they are, stay marginalized. Things don't get fixed for men, women, the lgbtqa+ crowd, blacks, people of color, the poor, etc. It keeps the focus off the problem because while everyone knows there is a problem, no one lives in the same reality to fix it. Since we as a democracy are fighting it also means we can't interfere with the rulers by proxy, be it the business interest, the rich, the patriarchy, or whome ever. How can we the people fix the problem if we the people can't agree on the facts surrounding the problem? So it makes it easier for someone to swoop in claim they have the answers and will fix it.

  10. Every time, it is the French who have the best thinkers… That's pretty crazy how obvious it is on this channel different videos…

  11. At the expense of possibly repeating myself, I have to say it is a tremendous thrill to see the flourishing of interest in Debord's work almost 40 years after reading it and forming part of a small, relatively isolated group who appreciated his insights. It is also highly satisfactory that these insights have advocates like yourself making engaging and thought-provoking content freely available to new generations. Vive la Commune. All Power to the Workers' Councils!

  12. Brilliant analysis. Your understanding of American politics is much more precise then all the media pundits combined. Well done.

  13. Creon? Richard III ? Any character in classic drama to match the towering arrogance and incredible stupidity of President Donald Trump? I think of the Greek tragedies because several of the tyrants rose because the rational people did nothing and the tyrant was supported by thugs who expected a nice cut of the boodle. Trump is unique in what seems to be selling out to an enemy— like Goethe’s “Faustus.”

  14. Donald Trump's presidency is only possible because the American public has been conditioned for "alternative facts" for decades.
    The police "serve and protect" by killing.
    The CIA smuggles drugs for "national security".
    Iranian oil is a matter of "national interest" for the USA.
    The banks are "too big to fail".
    We spy on you because we love you.
    Russia is "aggressive" for conducting military exercises on its own soil.
    China is "cheating" by lifting people out of poverty.
    Everyone who doesn't agree with me is "Putin's stooge".

  15. This house believes that the experiment of democracy has failed. By chance I came across your channel. Well a spin beyond rhetoric says, let's get after it! There's something about thinking that feels critical. Get after it Tom! In the States they would say 'have at it!'

  16. The combination of mass media and corporatism will be recorded as the cancer that killed democracy, and ended the liberty and prosperity of the middle class. Once we gave control of our social reality to image makers and salesmen, it was inevitable that truth would also become a commodity. And once truth can be bought, the rich own reality.

  17. Orwell isn't the best prophet. The state isn't what's taking everything away from us. We're selling it, minute by minute.

  18. I think it's simpler than that. People initially liked Trump because he was presenting himself as something he's not (being a spectacle). After they liked him, they formed a bias. This bias made it harder for them to change their opinion of him. This is similar to the way that if you tell someone they're wrong, or argue with them, they're only going to become more convinced of their opinion. So, once Trump got people to like him through lies and propaganda, the bias we have towards criticizing ourselves kicks in, where we hate to admit that we're wrong, and therefore, have ad-hoc justifications for their beliefs or just have cognitive dissonance where they ignore inconvenient facts (or actively call them out as fake), and focus on the things that they believe confirm their views.
    So again, all because Trump got someone to like him, bias prevents them from now disliking him. It takes something extreme to overcome the bias we have to save face.

  19. We had a bunch of liars to choose from. We chose the one with the best comebacks. Also it is very clear the US media lies consistently. ABC shows a Kentucky gun range and says it is Syria, and no other major news networks call them out. Trump tells a lot of truth, especially compared to Bush and Obama. I live in the hood on Los Angeles. It's a democratic run shithole.

  20. "Trump's blasphemous words, while in no way backed up with policy changes, may actually serve to reinforce the status quo he contradicts. As long as those who agree with his cynicism feel like they can be heard and that someone as powerful as the president agrees with them, they will be less likely to actually work toward challenging the powers they despise."- Caleb Maupin

  21. As a long time political observer and Pelosi liberal from SF and as a long time paid subscriber to British Guardian, I’ve heard now for more than 3 years every thing you are saying and I’m sick of it. All , I mean every single trump supporter knows about trump , his pomposity, bravado, his ego, exaggerations, his hyperbole, his convenient Christian humility, his philandering. Your take that somehow the public is taken and misguided is not true. It is a distortion I’m tired of hearing about. Americans have a deep hostility towards political establishments of all kinds. Plus, contrary to how Europeans can’t seem to figure correctly, Americans do NOT have an ingrained animosity to class based on money. They are not hostile to the wealthy. For trump as a rich guy to come along and ask to “give ‘em hell” is a long-standing tome in American politics. Trumps timing on the scene was perfect once Obama and his crony miss corruption herself (Tulsi GAbbard is correct in her assessment of Hilary Clinton) decided to abandon a true political base in favor of an ever growing professional elite made up of the newly anointed tech crew from India and China to govern America, well Americans were good and ready to throw those bastards out.

  22. One screen, two movies. If you’re absorbing 90% of the “news” of course he will seek fake.

    Oh well, back to my middle class existence with a better job and more money.

  23. Spicer was obviously referring to the global audience – it always baffled me that everyone jumped to the assumption that he wasn't. So many other lies told by the Trump White House on which to focus our scorn.

  24. You're releasing this video at the perfect moment! I'm preparing an oral presentation on Conservative Feminism and Alternative Facts 😉 Thank you very much for your analyses Tom. Always a pleasure to watch your videos 🙂

  25. Brilliant analysis and excellent delivery — liked and subscribed. Looking forward to checking out your other videos.

  26. A lot of Trump's followers like Trump just because he angers liberals. Really.
    We've got a large minority of the public voting for someone on that irresponsible and shallow a level.

    I guess the USA had a mostly good run, but I think we're done now.

  27. Society of the Spectacle is such a good book. You should look into the whole Qanon phenomenon if you haven't. We live in weird times.

  28. Good video, but I think the lying isn't necessarily something Trump as practiced more excessively. I honestly don't think Trump lies more or less than the previous presidents, it's just again the way he does it, in such an outrageous and provocative way.

    But I think that we are living in an era where Debord's observations have become more crazy in many ways.

    This might be a controservial opinion but the Trump disruption is something that wasn't only historically necessarily but probably even needed to break out of the deadlock of neoliberalism. "A boring dystopia" seems to be less and less likely with the material basis and political superstructure of capitalism being increasingly on life support. Let's just hope we won't wake up to fascim one day, but in this sense I'm an accelerationist.

  29. Hi Tom, love what you're doing here and always look forward to the next video. I did struggle with this one, due to the background audio. As no one else has commented, it may not be an issue for most.

  30. I liked your analysis, I am so tired of seeing people underestimating how sly Trump is critizing his intelligence, omitting how heartless he is and how much his politics hurt people. In my country there was a prime minister candidate which followed exactly the same tacticts. At that time everyone was making superficial critizism of him because he was a goofy. Today he runs the country and nobody is laughing now… Good job.

  31. Something Zizek often points out is that Trump's reclaiming of the "profane" appears to reinforce an appearance of authenticity (at least as juxtaposed with the neoliberal platitudes we've all heard a billion times) sort of giving a loose foundation to ground all his more outward and obvious contradictions in a feeling of truth. If that makes sense.

  32. Systemic largesse as spectacle in the form of DJT – all it's oppressive toxicity, cruelty, envionmental destruction – embodied as a systemic dysfunction when really he is a symptom of capitalism working as intended.

    Great video seeking a deeper analysis of this current administration.

  33. Sorry Tom but your projecting…I literally felt I was ploughing though your whole presentation. I really respect you man….but in my humble opinion your presentation missed the point on many levels….too many to count or describe. But that's ok….history will tell, who the real liars are.

  34. I recently came across a video explaining how this idiology of a passiv consumeristic democracy came to be. can highly recommend it: https://youtu.be/ci4wL0ciark

  35. Do you really believe that the “Deep State” ( the intelligence community in particular ), is hell bent on destroying the Trump presidency because of his alternative facts?

    Why are wasting your talents on this smaller part of the bigger picture. It’s bigger than imagery and a carefully packaged persona. It’s about power.

    Although this is a relevant discussion, its nevertheless a minuscule detail, ( in the broader scheme of things ), in comparison to the Neoliberal political landscape in Washington D.C. ( at odds with Trump ), and the populist backlash that elected Donald Trump…

    You would be serving humanity better ( with your brilliant mind ), if you focused on the globalism, class warfare and the empowering political establishment that is solely focused on destroying the Trump presidency…

  36. Thanks as always. One technical feedback is that your audio is clipping. I don’t know if you added gain afterwards but a quick tutorial in mastering dialogue will drastically improve presentation

  37. I think liberal critique of Trump itself is the real spectacle here. Because the overwhelming consensus in every slightly educated surrounding is that Trump is a "joke" or a "fool". By that though we become less and less aware of Trump's actual harsh and neoliberal capitalist agenda and accept his presidency, because we can laugh about his hilarious actions. We become ignorant to the threat to the world Trump truely is, by seeing him as mere entertainment.

  38. I always thought of Richard III as cunning rather than especially intelligent. Remember that he’s written by Shakespeare. Richard despised the people who he conned and built nothing that would outlive him.

  39. Bookmarking this video so I can rewatch it for a more thorough digestion 👀☕️ also im reaching very far here but I believe a lot of complications that facilitate such politics are aided by the habits of western thinking to think in terms of binaries hmm

  40. Welcome to mental health advocacy 101.

    You have all been victims of the narcissistic abuse of Donald Trump.

    It's going to be ok. There is help out there.

    Important notice:

    You are valid. Your opinions matters. Truth is complex and people have different opinions and that's ok. Everything is not fake and good people exist, it's not all spectacle and pretense.

    Seek out a good therapist for further support in understanding your own experience of gaslighting and brainwashing better and heal your worldview.

    We are all survivors now, and we're in this together.

    Good luck!

  41. President Donald Trump + Bernie Sanders = the best thing to ever happen to the American Left

    Trump makes people think more critically, while Bernie swoops in to provide a new cultural paradigm in favor of the left.

  42. The indolence and pettiness is almost as galling as the bigotry and evil. C'mon, at least Nixon had some work ethic to go with all the evil. I assume that since 11/9/2016, Yorba Linda, CA and its surrounding communities, has echoed with the wails of his angry ghost going, "Oh come on, they got me out of office with less than what they had on this asshole!" Oh Nixon, born too early, served too early. If you had been elected a few decades later, you could survive Watergate by denying that you committed it, then release proof that you did do it, while considering to insist that you didn't do it. The modern GOP has all the prejudices of their predecessors, but none of the work ethic.

    I like to apply pop culture lens to the world, because most fiction, even badly written ones, has an internal logic and rules it has to follow. But Trump makes my pop culture brain develop the blue screen of death. It's impossible to find a pop culture comparison for Trump because pretty much every fictional villain, regardless of the quality of the source material, has better work ethic than Donald Trump. Power Ranger villains may do the same thing over and over, but creating and sending out monsters still demands some planning and work ethic.

    So many will, in defiance of all logic, continue to paint Trump as the master strategist playing some kind of eleventh-level chess. I think there's some kind of "Being There" element to it: everyone assumes that Trump must be brilliant to have gotten as far as he has. For some reason, they feel the answer can't be "Trump is an asshole who was born on third base and thinks not only did he hit a triple, he won all the world series, superbowls, Stanley cups, winter Olympics, summer Olympics, Pulitzer prizes, Booker prizes, and Nobel Prizes." So they respond to him similar to the way people responded to Peter Sellers's character, Chauncy, by assuming that Trump must be brilliant and they're just not able to see it.

  43. Thank god I finally finished a whole video from this channel. I’ve tried maybe 4 or 5 different videos and I just can’t finish them.
    I was thinking it has more to do with my intelligence level than anything wrong with the content. When I heard you mention Katie Halper I was relieved that I had not read the ideology wrong. Phew! You’re just a few levels ahead of me. Anyways, thanks for pushing my limits with great content. ✌️❤️

  44. But even despite trump's lies and schemes. Isn't the public being more skeptic of mass media which has time and time again proven to have a clear agenda and economic interests a good thing?

  45. 8:24 "Trumps wealth is primarily inherited" FAKE NEWS. Trumps father was the son of immigrants. His real estate company was called 'Trump & Son'. He gave his son $1 million. His son is now worth $3.7 billion.

  46. While you leftists keep talking to yourselves about complicated "this and that", the demographic changes due to mass migrations (legal and illegal) are going to take over and overwhelm almost ALL your desired philosophies, ideologies as well as economic/fiscal systems. MOST South Asians, East Asians, Africans & Muslims are MUCH MORE conservative, toxic, male dominated, patriarchal and capitalist (minus China, perhaps) than you leftist Westerners will EVER be.

  47. 🤓If you got your nose in a book to find out what is real you aren't starting at the root of truth that is right here, right now.

  48. Sir, you are an "intellectual" in the Edward Said sense of the word, It gives me hope to discover such a channel on youtube that deals with our current world with a scope of academic insight. Looking forward to further videos no matter where you decide to take them.

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