David Graeber on Trump: Racist, But Anti-Imperialist Reply

David Graeber, a leading left-anarchist academic, has an interesting take on Trump. Read the Twitter thread here.

He is a pure opportunist but sincere in two ways: 1.he is genuinely and sincerely racist; 2. He is genuinely and sincerely anti-imperialist at least in the US empire’s current form.

On Trump’s anti-imperialism:

I was thinking of writing about how Trump tried to dismantle the US empire and basically failed. He’s a fascist but the only good thing about him was he did want to dismantle the post-45 treasury-bond – treaty system – US bases nexus, he was unable to do so.

He tried all sorts of things, ranging from pulling US troops out of Korea & Afghanistan (his aides blocked him), undermining NATO, encouraging a move away from the dollar as US reserve currency, destaffing the State Dept… but it didn’t work, yeah.

We must learn to distinguish moral turpitude, violence, militarist tendencies, and “imperialism/empire” which is a specific shake-down structure of domination and extraction.

I think starting wars is different than imperialism. Minor powers start wars too. He’s trying to dismantle the institutional system that’s existed since the ’40s which guarantees the US a unique hegemonic role.

On Trump’s racism, Graeber cites this quote from Trump during his pre-presidential years:

“Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks.”

On anti-imperialism, Trump would seem to be to the left of Marx and Engels. On racism, about the same as Marx and Engels.

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