Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

Trump’s “Great America”

Posted Dec 1, 2015 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

Trump claims that he will make America great again. Have you been wondering when it was great? Here are some options

  1. It was great during the era of Jim Crow and lynching
  1. It was great in responding to the depression in the 1930’s
  1. It was great in defeating Germany and Japan
  1. It was great before the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement, the feminist movement, the gay rights, movement, the Chicano movement, the Black Power movement, and the environmental movement.

Some might say America was great in responding to the devastation of the 1930’s by establishing a multitude of government programs that protected citizens from despair. The government provided jobs, built a national infrastructure, created public spaces, and gave millions of people security from destitution. My guess is that this is not Trump’s idea of greatness.

I doubt if Trump would select the movements of the 60’s and 70’s either.

So we are left with events of white economic growth in the 20’s, of winning a war (Atomic bombs are really great), and of white prosperity of the 1950’s.

These episodes might have been great for a lot of white people, but times of segregation, exclusion and misery for others. Is Trump’s promise a promise to create an America ruled by and for white people?

Trump’s racism is not so much that he despises people of color, but rather that he believes he is superior. He probably would not say that he is superior because he is white. He doesn’t have to. His followers understand him as an emblem of white superiority. They don’t have to say so either because white superiority is something that goes-without-saying.


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Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

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