In Part One of this article I analyzed the similarities of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy to Strauss & Howe's Fourth Turning, trying to assess how Donald Trump's ascension to power fits into the theories put forth by those authors. Now I will compare Trump to the most interesting character in Asimov's classic - The Mule.
"A horse having a wolf as a powerful and dangerous enemy lived in constant fear of his life. Being driven to desperation, it occurred to him to seek a strong ally. Whereupon he approached a man, and offered an alliance, pointing out that the wolf was likewise an enemy of the man. The man accepted the partnership at once and offered to kill the wolf immediately, if his new partner would only co-operate by placing his greater speed at the man's disposal. The horse was willing, and allowed the man to place bridle and saddle upon him.
The man mounted, hunted down the wolf, and killed him. "The horse, joyful and relieved, thanked the man, and said: 'Now that our enemy is dead, remove your bridle and saddle and restore my freedom.' "Whereupon the man laughed loudly and replied, 'Never!' and applied the spurs with a will." - Isaac Asimov, Foundation
I had not thought about the Foundation Trilogy for decades, until someone recently mentioned it in a comment on my website. They pondered whether Trump's arrival on the scene represented The Mule's advent during the decline of the Galactic Empire. Trump's numerous enemies would love to portray him as an evil mutant freakish warlord, bent on using his persuasion powers to mislead the populace into doing his bidding. I don't necessarily see Trump as The Mule, but as a disrupting factor, disturbing the best laid plans of the establishment and helping reveal the hidden agendas of the Deep State.
Seldon's science of psychohistory was outstanding at predicting the behavior of large populations but worthless in trying to predict what an individual might do. The emergence of the Mule, a mentalic mutant with an acute telepathic ability to modify the emotions of human beings, could not have been predicted by the Seldon Plan, focused as it was on the statistical movements of vast numbers of peoples and populations across the galaxy.
The Mule was the unpredictable variable in the equations of history and the greatest threat to the Seldon Plan. He disrupts the inevitability of the continued evolution of the First Foundation and potential early ending of the Dark Age. The Mule, through telepathic manipulation, defeats and takes over the Foundation's growing empire, which has become increasingly control-oriented and out-of-touch with the outer planets in its rapidly expanding realm of influence.
There are certainly parallels between Trump's arrival on the scene and The Mule's psychohistory defying disruption of Seldon's Plan. The Mule was described as a freak and the subject of derision. This fueled his ambition to take over the galaxy. I believe Trump decided he was going to be president on April 30, 2011 during the Correspondence Dinner at the White House when Obama unrelentingly mocked and derided him in front of the corrupt Washington power establishment. This public ridicule from an empty suit community organizer president, who never worked a real day in his life, angered Trump to his core and propelled him to seek and win the presidency.
The Mule enters the scene disguised as a clown named Magnifico Giganticus. Over time, he uses his psycho-manipulative abilities to sway the masses to his side and eventually takes over the galaxy. When Trump announced his candidacy, it was taken as a public relations stunt to further his faltering reality TV career. He has a magnificent gigantic ego. His persona was that of an irascible self-made billionaire with an enormous ego and hunger for the spotlight. He was the butt of many orange hair and orange skin jokes.
For the most part, he went along with the joke, as any publicity is good publicity when you are selling yourself as a brand. He put his name on buildings, Chinese made clothing, scam universities, and just about anything that would produce a buck. He became more famous for his TV show The Apprentice, and his tag-line "You're Fired", than for the billion dollar real estate empire he had built.
Like The Mule, Trump used the GOP establishment's disdain and underestimation of his persuasion abilities to capture control of the party from the out of touch elitist party hacks. At the outset of his candidacy I was among the libertarian minded skeptics who didn't take him seriously. I found him entertaining, but didn't think he had the gravitas to be president. I liked his rhetoric about not interfering in foreign conflicts, protecting our borders, enforcing the rule of law, repealing the disastrous Obamacare law, and his relentless trashing of the left wing mainstream media and Washington establishment.
I wasn't a big fan of his bloviating about inconsequential matters. As time passed I began to realize he was probably the Grey Champion of this Fourth Turning and the regeneracy towards the next phase would be his unexpected election to the highest office in the land. He was the only person capable of destroying the fetid pustule known as the Deep State.
The Mule's tormented childhood of alienation, combined with his mental ability to alter human emotions led to his desire for power, in order to exact revenge upon the human race which caused him so much pain. Trump's childhood was no walk in the park, but it was far from being tortured. His father did send him to military school at the age of 13 to instill some discipline in him. It does seem like his drive to succeed was spurred by a desire to prove himself to his father and be more successful than his old man. Unlike The Mule, his motivation is not revenge motivated, unless you consider it revenge upon Obama for the abuse he withstood during that dinner.
The Mule had the mental capabilities to turn antagonists into followers, converting feelings of animosity into those of intense loyalty. He could also stimulate feelings of pervasive fear and panic among his enemies. He used the subtle influence of the subconscious to conscript individuals to his cause. The Mule used his mental powers to disrupt Seldon's plan by invalidating his assumption no single individual could have a quantifiable impact on historical trends predicted by his theory of psychohistory. The Mule is a Grey Champion-like character rising to power at a crucial time in history as the disruptive factor to the best laid plans of over-confident elitists. The Mule uses his extraordinary cerebral abilities to conquer the unprepared and over-confident Foundation.
Trump has been underestimated every step of the way for the last two years. He has thrown sand into the gears of the political establishment, made up of both parties, and controlled by Deep State players used to getting their way. Trump was able to use his powers of persuasion to overcome the left wing media propaganda and motivate a large swath of disaffected Americans to come over to his side. The never ending barrage of misinformation and fake news spewed by the Deep State controlled media ignores the fact he won 53% of the white women vote, along with huge numbers of union workers from blue collar states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
As documented during the campaign by Scott Adams, Trump's phenomenal power of persuasion overcame all obstacles thrown in his way by the crooked establishment. He had no support from the GOP power players, was despised and ridiculed by the horribly corrupt Democratic establishment machine, scorned and mocked by the fake news corporate media, and undermined by the surveillance apparatus at the behest of the rancid resentful reprobate occupying the oval office. Their pure unadulterated hatred for the man resulted in them becoming blindsided and baffled by his tactics, strategy, and Svengali-like ability to draw huge crowds of normal Americans in flyover country.
Trump has disrupted the ongoing Deep State capture of our political, economic, financial, social, and cultural systems as a once in a lifetime figure destined to govern during a time of domestic disorder, global upheaval, civil chaos and ultimately war on a grand scale. The looting and pillaging campaign of the ruling class, disguised as free market capitalism and democracy, has been put at risk by an uncontrollable unpredictable outsider who doesn't act according to their Plan.
The staged violent response by the billionaire funded left wing faux anarchists, fake news Russian conspiracy propaganda, and NSA/CIA/FBI campaign to discredit and/or overthrow the Trump presidency is the kind of response you would expect from a dangerous threatened animal backed into a corner. The establishment will not relinquish control without a bloody drawn out fight to the finish.
Since we know Asimov modeled the trilogy on Gibbons' The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, there has been much conjecture as to who The Mule represented. He has historical parallels with Attila the Hun, Tamerlane, Charlemagne and Roman Emperor Augustus. Based on the historical time frame in which he was writing (1941 - 1950), I think it is safe to assume he modeled some of The Mule's traits after Adolf Hitler. His disturbed childhood, trauma during the First World War, hypnotic ability to manipulate the emotions of the German people, boldness in attacking his perceived enemies, and attempt at world conquest, parallels much of The Mule's story.
When I try to find parallels to our current situation and the role Trump is playing, I see the Foundation trilogy in a different light. Isaac Asimov was an intellectual. He had a PhD in biochemistry and was a life-long member of Mensa. He was a university professor for most of his life. Academics believe in theories and academic mumbo jumbo, as we can see from decades of academics running the Federal Reserve, destroying our currency and forcing millions into economic servitude.
Hari Seldon is an intellectual who creates the Foundation, made up of other academic intellectuals. Then he sets up a Second Foundation of even more talented intellectuals as a backup plan in case the Foundation fails. The true ruling powers on this planet always have a backup plan. You never know whether the leaders or organizations you support are really part of a bigger plan you have not considered. Keeping the populace off-balance, confused, and seeking unseen enemies is just part of the plan.
The inevitable decline of the Galactic Empire was entirely predictable by Seldon, as every empire in world history has ultimately declined. Whether the Roman Empire was ruled by a despot, wise man, or idiot, it continued its centuries long decline from glory to destruction. Empires are created by fallible men whose failings, weaknesses, and desires never change. John Adams foresaw the future of an American Empire two centuries before it became an empire. The American Empire is in the process of committing suicide and a single individual, no matter how bold and resolute, will not be able to save it from its inevitable destruction.
"I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. … Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy.
It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never." - John Adams, The Letters of John and Abigail Adams
I don't see Trump as an evil Mule character in this Shakespearian tragedy, as it progresses towards its ill-fated denouement. I also don't see Seldon and his ensemble of elitist intellectuals as the saviors of the universe. I see The Foundation as the Washington and Wall Street elite who are the face of the establishment - Pelosi, Schumer, Ryan, McConnell, Yellen, Dimon, Blankfein, Immelt, Gates, Buffet, etc. The Second Foundation was hidden in plain sight, operating in the shadows, unknown to the masses, and controlling the galaxy from behind the curtain. They were the Galactic Deep State.
The Seldon Plan smells like a current day Soros Plan. Wealthy, highly educated, egotistical, hubristic, evil snakes who believe they are the smartest men in the world operate behind the scenes as the invisible government, manipulating the mechanisms of society and pulling the wires controlling the public mind. Soros, along with other shadowy smug billionaires, are not fans of populism.
They believe they are entitled to run the world as they choose, with no input or resistance from the ignorant masses. With the basket of deplorables rising up and electing Trump, the Deep State players are now openly fighting back and revealing their warped thought process. Elitist billionaire Ray Dalio recently revealed his populism fears and those of his fellow billionaires. He doesn't consider himself a common man.
Populism is a political and social phenomenon that arises from the common man, typically not well-educated, being fed up with 1) wealth and opportunity gaps, 2) perceived cultural threats from those with different values in the country and from outsiders, 3) the "establishment elites" in positions of power, and 4) government not working effectively for them. These sentiments lead that constituency to put strong leaders in power. Populist leaders are typically confrontational rather than collaborative and exclusive rather than inclusive. As a result, conflicts typically occur between opposing factions (usually the economic and socially left versus the right), both within the country and between countries. These conflicts typically become progressively more forceful in self-reinforcing ways.
In other words, populism is a rebellion of the common man against the elites to some extent, against the system. The rebellion and the conflict that comes with it occur in varying degrees. Sometimes the system bends with it and sometimes the system breaks. Whether it bends or breaks in response to this rebellion and conflict depends on how flexible and well established the system is. It also seems to depend on how reasonable and respectful of the system the populists who gain power are. Classic populist economic policies include protectionism, nationalism, increased infrastructure building, increased military spending, greater budget deficits, and, quite often, capital controls.
Dalio, Soros and their fellow billionaires see populism as a threat to their wealth, power, and control of the world. But, it's much ado about nothing. It's like jockeying for the best seat on the Titanic as it sinks into the frigid ocean depths of the Atlantic. The American Empire is in shambles and no one can reverse its course at this point. I'll address that distressing situation in Part Three of this article.