Preprint / Version 1

Trumpism Today

Conspiracy Theory and Alt-Right Acocalypse


  • Bruce Knauft Emory University


Trump, Trumpism, millenarianism, apocalypse, Armageddon, Alt-Right


Trumpism today is infused with conspiracy theory and apocalyptic beliefs that resonate with millenarianism as known from other cultural and historical contexts.  It is well known that objective disconfirmation often fuels and inflames rather than dispels unfounded millenarian beliefs. In the present context, Trumpist millenarianism fuses the anger of threatened white male privilege with a cross-class alliance between working class and ultra-rich white Americans. What results is Trumpist millenarianism as a coded language of Armaggedon - with Trump as Savior and Democrats as the Devil.  In general, the most virulent and violence manifestations of zealous millenarianism are very hard to predict. In the present case, however, they forebode the end of democracy in the US.  Understanding the subjective as well as political and economic forces that drive Trumpist millenarianism is increasingly important for anthropologists to study and analyze ethnographically -- distasteful as this may seem. Keeping a pilot light of progressivism across the cataclysmic degeneracy of the present political divide is especially urgent and important.Tru


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