'It’s hard to find much humour, either, in the picture of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage grinning as they meet at Trump Tower, the interim Ukip leader having secured a meeting with the president-elect ahead of any British politician. ( Guardian UK )George Orwell laughed at the absurdity and aggressive stupidity of totalitarianism during its darkest epoch in the 1940s. That was in the shadow of World War Two which had just killed millions of European and with another world war seeming imminent. Even so, 1984 is a satire that is very funny in places, though it's gallows humour.
The picture of Farage and Trump in a gold lift in New York is still grimly amusing when it's understood that Farage flew to New York after the man who rejected the EU gave a speech on TalkRadio from Spain. There he claimed he was 'the catalyst' for the downfall of the existing order, part of the wider global nationalist revolution he has spearheaded.
Farage modestly claims credit for helping Trump win the 2016 US Election and so ensuring his role in toppling,
“the Blairites, the Clintonites, the Bushites and all these dreadful people who work hand in glove with Goldman Sachs and everybody else, have made themselves rich and ruined our countries”.That's a curious position to take while grinning in a photo shoot with a billionaire property mogul and tax evader whose transition team for the 2017 Presidency contains three Trump family members and five millionaires including Steven Mnuchin, a Trump fundraiser who worked on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs and left with over $40 million.
Orwell satirised such politics as doublethink, 'the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.' Farage and Trump are both of the elites against the elites they are against and chose to be in the name of 'the people' who are to be mobilised as part of this oligarchical power game.
True, the global consequences of a Trump Presidency could be terrifying if he is not contained. Those thinking he might be less aggressive than Clinton, just because he hinted he was against the Iraq War, fail to see that Trump is obsessed-reality TV star that he is-with doing anything to retain popularity and his ratings.
In foreign policy, Trump's administration could mean carpet bombing swathes of Iraq to destroy ISIS. It looked likely to mean torpedoing the nuclear agreement with Iran, so creating greater tensions between it and Saudi Arabia and consequently escalating the potential for all out proxy conflict across the Middle East.
Trump is criticism of previous US governments was not that they were too aggressive but that they were 'losers' and lacked the ruthlessness to be effective, either by supporting dictators who could be useful or by simply going in and 'grabbing the oil' rather than promoting such niceties as democracy to savages..
Trump also has to have an aggressive posture against China as it is blamed for eclipsing the US as a Global Power, for its trade prowess and products for decimating the US industrial base. His slogan is 'Make America Great Again' means he has to deliver that by whatever means possible if he wants to get re-elected.
And he has shown he will do or say anything to get power. The question remains whether he is really just the ultimate flip-flopping populist who will not want to really disturb the status quo that much or whether he really he is a total sociopath who is prepared to do anything to advance the profit and prestige of his cronies.
The US could well become a a toxic 'managed democracy', authoritarian and populist, with power concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The ultimate irony would be if the US was less interested in a post-Brexit Britain or indeed the EU as it fragments further and Farage is considered expendable. Of what use would he then be to Trump ?