Monday June 12, 2017

'Corporate coup': Naomi Klein says Trump's goal is to make the rich richer

Naomi Klein says she sees U.S. President Donald Trump as the culmination of trends she's been documenting for decades.

Naomi Klein says she sees U.S. President Donald Trump as the culmination of trends she's been documenting for decades. (Kourosh Keshiri)

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For many around the world — even many of his voters — Donald Trump winning the U.S. election came as a surprise, or even a shock.

But activist and author Naomi Klein argues in her new book No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need that we should have been expecting someone like him.

From the rise of megabrands, to the idea that the role of government is to get out of the way of business, Klein sees Trump as the culmination of trends she's been documenting for decades.

'Trump would have been unelectable were it not for the groundwork laid by Bill Clinton and Bill Gates.' - Author and activist Naomi Klein

"One of the ideas that I wanted to highlight, which is actually a very bipartisan idea — it's not just about conservatives — is this worship of wealth, the CEO saviour," Klein tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

"We can't just blame this on Trump. Trump would have been unelectable were it not for the groundwork laid by Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, two liberal heroes," she says. 

No is Not Enough

Naomi Klein's latest book explains why people should have expected a president like Donald Trump. (Knopf Canada)

Klein believes those who oppose Trump — and those who are actively resisting him — need to think beyond his administration.

"My worry about this exclusive focus on Trump — the personality and how all of this is so unprecedented — is that then the solution seems to be, 'Well, we'll just get rid of Trump,'" says Klein.

She argues that though Donald Trump's campaign focused on how he could help those who have been left behind by the economy and globalization, what we've had instead is a "corporate coup."

"What we see is a very clear pattern of methodically transferring wealth upwards," explains Klein. 

Klein worries that the Trump administration is likely to take advantage of any shocks that shake the United States — whether economic, environmental, or related to terrorism — to push this agenda further.

"We have not seen the worst that this administration is capable of or that they've openly talked about," says Klein.

"I do worry about how they would use a crisis to say, 'Sorry, the Constitution is a luxury we can't afford right now."

Listen to their conversation at the top of the web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley.