Genevieve Vaughan | Trump’s Victory
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Trump’s Victory

Trump’s victory, whether bonafide or not, has left us reeling. I consider it the victory of capitalist patriarchy and I want to say why. In my books I have repeatedly tried to analyze the abstract patterns that are oppressing us, the patterns of the market that function like a puppeteer behind the scenes, both for individuals and for groups of people. These patterns are like deep furrows in the collective unconscious in which energies continue to flow counter-current to the surface of everyday reality. Although they are hidden they are very widespread and so seem normal to us even though we don’t recognize their existence or realize how they are influencing us. Even deeper than these are the original human patterns set up by giving and receiving when we are small. They are what make us homo donans while the second level market patterns are in contradiction to them.

The most important market pattern is what I call one-to-many. It derives from the way we form concepts according to a model to which all things of a kind are compared and found similar or different. Marx analyzed money in this sense as the General Equivalent to which all commodities were compared as values of different quantities. Patriarchy also gives us the father,the king, the general, the Phallus as was analyzed by J.J. Goux back in the 1970s. I believe patriarchy is a kind of race to the top where men attempt to take the one-to-many dominant position which is seen as the concept model of the human. Since there can only be one ‘one’, hierarchies of all kinds from the army to the family, are devised to satisfy the need of the many to be at the top. There is also a general top position of areas of political and economic influence as occupied by the Roman emperors for example and now by the US president. The primacy of money in our society has merged with the male ‘one’and Trump is the emblem of that merger, the dominant macho standard of our time. I had hoped that if Hillary Clinton had won she would have shown that she was a sheep in wolf’s clothing, a mother and grandmother who also knew how to play the patriarchal roles well enough to get elected. In fact the alternative to the merger of machismo and money is the model of the mother, of gift giving and care, of satisfying needs instead of dominating, exploiting and profiteering. It is the prototype of inclusion, one with many, not one over many.

I believe the one-over-many pattern drives capitalist patriarchy not only politically but also in individual and collective violence. It is what motivates men to do mass shootings and countries to kill masses of people in other countries. It is what lets money ‘justify’ the devastation of Mother Earth and her intricate web of life oriented gifts.

A gift economy directly challenges the money One and the maternal model challenges the patriarchal One. I hope that Trump’s victory will at least reveal the patterns that are conveying us over the edge of oblivion so that we can finally recognize what is wrong and react against them instead of repeating them over and over.

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