Trump’s Inauguration and the Reverence of the State

Paul Jay says the notion of a ‘peaceful transition of power’ is best understood like the feudal aristocracy’s upholding of the prestige of the monarchy and church

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Story Transcript

SHARMINI PERIES: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.

And in Washington today the 45th President, Donald Trump, will be inaugurated and sworn in as President of the United States of America. And in our studio we are going to be discussing the upcoming inauguration as it unfolds. And we’re going to be starting with the discussion around Vice President Pence, who will shortly be sworn in. And joining me in my studio in Baltimore is Paul Jay, Editor of The Real News Network.

PAUL JAY: Thank you.

SHARMINI PERIES: And he’s going to be joining us, and joining us on-line, is also two guests: Amber Stearns, and Vijay Persaud. And let me start with Vijay. Vijay Persaud is joining us from Ireland… He’s not ready yet… Okay. All right. Let me go to you then Paul, until Vijay’s ready.

Paul, Vice President Pence is going to be elected and you have something to say about that.

PAUL JAY: Well, first let me say I’m not a pirate. I’ve got a weird eye condition, and I have to keep one eye covered. But speaking of pirates, I think it’s the pomp and ceremony today that’s… what’s the word? Vice President Pence is about to be inaugurated and the new President, Trump… (cell phone interruption)

The pomp and ceremony is covering up essentially pirates. There’s a reverence for the state that’s going on here, which is… (interruption)

There’s a pomp and ceremony that goes on, and it’s about reverence to the state. It’s to say that the American state is something practically religious. And it’s, of course, they have the prayers that begin the invocation, but the idea is that the state is something that’s there for the whole of society.

All morning the media has been going on and on about how President Obama, even though Donald Trump insulted him, and said he wasn’t really an American, and was born in Africa and so on — and tried to discredit his whole presidency — how President Obama has risen above that for the good of the nation. But it’s not for the good of the nation. It’s for the good of the state. And it’s for the good of who the state has… who has the most influence over that state.

And if you want to see who’s on the dais there, and who’s on the Inauguration Committee, it’s people like Rebecca Mercer, and people like Sheldon Adelson, and other billionaires, and major financiers of the Trump-Pence team.

We know that in Congress and much of the Trump team, are people that are very closely allied with the Koch brothers. These are people that have learned how to either game the system, in terms of the stock market, been able to create enormous monopoly in fossil fuels. These are pirates. They’re pirates, and you look at the extent of the wealth that’s going to this tiny little fraction of less than 1% of the population, and that’s who controls, on the whole, the state.

But today the state is all, you know, rising with pomp, and with beauty and color and hundreds of thousands of people. The best way to understand what’s going on today is feudalism. When all the lords would make sure that the prestige of the King, and the Church, were never undermined because they needed them as the symbols for the rule of the whole feudal aristocracy. And we’re seeing the same thing today.

SHARMINI PERIES: And that was very evident this morning as we were watching all the mainstream media coverage. We also know that since 6:00 a.m. this morning there’s been demonstrations going on in Washington at five different venues, if not more.

And we hardly heard from any of the people on the ground, or any of the reporters who were supposed to be covering these kinds of events, as well. So, the dissent is not being heard from at all. What we see is a mainstream media just caving to what you say is, you know, holding up the establishment and the state, and very, very little critical analysis. There’s a great deal of emphasis on the transition needing to be smooth, and power handed over peacefully. So what does that mean?

PAUL JAY: Well, President Obama once said that, in terms of the bipartisan politics of the United States and in Congress and in Washington, he says, you know we fight about all kinds of things. But he says, we fight within the 40-yard lines. Which means we don’t go… the fight isn’t about the basics. It’s not about who has real power. It’s not about how wealth is distributed.

It’s about which section of the elites get some advantage. This corporation, like Robert Mercer, who helped finance Trump, and Bannon works for, Kellyanne Conway worked for. We have a whole documentary on The Real News that has traced this. But Renaissance Technology has an almost $7 billion tax bill they’re fighting over with the IRS. They previously had a special exemption that the Labor Department gave Renaissance Technology, to allow their employees to have a no-cap on how much they could put into — from their retirement investment funds — a special piece of exemption written just for Renaissance Technologies.

This happens all throughout the taxation system, and other parts of the legal system, where Congress, based on the influence of billionaires, writes special pieces of legislation that directly makes them money. And this is very banal, all of this. This is like about how billionaires get more billions. How the political class raises more money for their election campaigns, and when they retire they go on to boards.

It’s about very narrow-minded self-interest, but oh no, this is the Inauguration and this is the heading, “The Peaceful Transition of Power”. Of course, there’s a peaceful transition of power, because they’re all going to be rewarded in the end.

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