“I try to understand, how did we find ourselves in this surreal political situation, how can it get worse further and how we could win a radically better future.” Naomi Klein travelled in Italy to launch her new book, No is not enough (Allen Lane, 2017, pb £.12.99) just translated by Giancarlo Carlotti for Feltrinelli Editore as Shock Politics.
Your last book seems like a text very different from previous works. It is not the result of long years of research, combining inquiry journalism and the elaboration of new concepts in extensive narrative frescoes. Instead, it moves from the urgent need to intervene in the current American and global situation, one year after Donald J. Trump’s election to the United States presidency. It was written for a North American audience, but the text has the merit of placing the same phenomenon of “trumpism” in a wider global context. What is it’s relationship with the growth of a dangerous new Right wing around the world?
Trump is just the strain of a global epidemic. Of course, every single political project is linked to its specific national context. Trump emerges from the unresolved “racial issue” of American history, the refusal to deal with the slave past and the burden of discrimination in the present. And the rejection of the first African-American president experience. But we must withhold the idea of an “American exceptionalism” in this. There are many Trumps around the world, each carrying a regional specificity. Let’s think of Marine Le Pen in France or Modi in India. The way these new nationalist rights come about has to do with the widespread feeling of a “loss of control” in our own lives. Think of the slogan that characterized the campaign for Brexit. And of the reality of increasing precarization of every sphere of life. In a historical period characterized by unprecedented wealth, the numbers of economically excluded people are growing. What is common to the personalities of the right all over the world is the ability to mystify and distort the legitimacy of this feeling of insecurity with the unlawfulness of a proposal, which is a rebellion of the oligarchies directed against the affirmation of any principle of equality. Racial equality, gender equality, social equality are the real enemies of the global growth of these scary right wings.