In 1848, Karl Marx published the first issue of a slim (23 pages) pamphlet, called The Communist Manifesto. Within it is the famous phrase “Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.”
The early signs of President Trump’s rule are disturbing, such as the proposed appointment of the Goldman Sachs and hedge-fund veteran Steven Mnuchin, for US Treasury Secretary. As Joseph Stiglitz notes, the expertise he will bring to the job will be in tax avoidance, not constructing a well-designed tax system. Also of concern is the the appointment of Rex Tillerson, the chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State. But even on climate change the position is not hopeless. The drive toward renewable energy, including its declining prices, is now so strong that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industry will continue to decline. Note, however, that even if this occurs, greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise, and the rate of increase could even steepen due to reinforcing feedbacks, such as from melting tundra.
* According to the prolific Professor Michael Hudson, the Saudi Arabian government has been a major funder of the Clinton Foundation, a view supported by a fact checking website.