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  • Activist Cornel West pushes against police officers during a protest at the Police Department in Ferguson.

    Activist Cornel West pushes against police officers during a protest at the Police Department in Ferguson. | Photo: Reuters

The renowned scholar said the president-elect has already betrayed the working class by putting Wall Street elites in the government’s driver's seat.

The United States is suffering a “neofascist” surge as President-elect Donald Trump seems intent on placing Wall Street in the government driver's seat, betraying the country’s working class whose suffering he used to win the presidential elections, Cornel West, U.S. Black philosopher and intellectual said in an interview Thursday.

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“Well, I think he’s already betrayed working people in terms of making sure, in his view, that Wall Street is in the driver’s seat,” West told Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman.

“And what I mean by that is that in an emerging neofascist moment, you have the rule of big business, which is big banks and big corporations."

The famed author explained that the neoliberal era the U.S. has witnessed over the past few decades, which produced a national security state, mass surveillance as well as President Barack Obama’s drone war, will now be in the hands of a narcissist who has placed “right wing reactionary zealots” in positions of power.

Under this neofascism, Trump’s government will “scapegoat the most vulnerable. It could be Muslims, Mexicans, gay brothers, lesbian sisters, Indigenous peoples, Black peoples, jews, and so on. And then you also have militaristic orientations around the world,” the renowned educator added.

“So, this is one of the most frightening moments in the history of this very fragile empire and fragile republic.” West added that U.S. senator Bernie Sander was the country's slim chance of ending the neoliberal era and avoiding the surge in neofascism.

“And by neoliberal, what I mean is, when you see a social problem, you financialize, you privatize, and militarize,” he explained as he went on to question how the media and the government continue to be surprised over the anger in the streets by African-Americans, working people and Muslims in the U.S. and abroad.

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Despite dropping bombs on seven Muslim countries and droning many others, many still “wonder why the gangsters, the fascists coming out of the Muslim world, are organizing.”

West further slammed the Democratic Party and “its neoliberal regime” for marginalizing Sanders, saying that he had a chance at attracting many of the working-class people who ended up voting for Trump.

“And so, the only alternative is this pseudo-populist billionaire with these narcissistic sensibilities and fascist — neofascist proclivities. And he presented himself as caring for their situation. And so, that economic insecurity, that economic neglect is very real. There’s no doubt about that. And it’s disproportionate white brothers and sisters, but they are suffering. And it was a cry of the heart.”

West concluded by highlighting that many people in the U.S., more than 42 percent of eligible voters, did not go to the polls and said this was a clear indication that the majority of them had “given up" on a system in "chronic crisis.”


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