Most Popular
1. Banking Crisis is Stocks Bull Market Buying Opportunity - Nadeem_Walayat
2.The Crypto Signal for the Precious Metals Market - P_Radomski_CFA
3. One Possible Outcome to a New World Order - Raymond_Matison
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Apple AAPL Stock Trend and Earnings Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
6.AI, Stocks, and Gold Stocks – Connected After All - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Stock Market CHEAT SHEET - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.US Debt Ceiling Crisis Smoke and Mirrors Circus - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Silver Price May Explode - Avi_Gilburt
10.More US Banks Could Collapse -- A Lot More- EWI
Last 7 days
US Interest Rates - When WIll the Fed Pivot - 1st Mar 2024
S&P Stock Market Real Earnings Yield - 29th Feb 2024
US Unemployment is a Fake Statistic - 29th Feb 2024
U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - 29th Feb 2024
What a Breakdown in Silver Mining Stocks! What an Opportunity! - 29th Feb 2024
Why AI will Soon become SA - Synthetic Intelligence - The Machine Learning Megatrend - 29th Feb 2024
Keep Calm and Carry on Buying Quantum AI Tech Stocks - 19th Feb 24
How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - 17th Feb 24
Why Rising Shipping Costs Won't Cause Inflation - 17th Feb 24
Intensive 6 Week Stock Market Elliott Wave Training Course - 17th Feb 24
INFLATION and the Stock Market Trend - 17th Feb 24
GameStop (GME): 88% Shellacking Yet No Lesson Learned - 17th Feb 24
Nick Millican Explains Real Estate Investment in a Changing World - 17th Feb 24
US Stock Market Addicted to Deficit Spending - 7th Feb 24
Stocks Bull Market Commands It All For Now - 7th Feb 24
Financial Markets Narrative Nonsense - 7th Feb 24
Gold Price Long-Term Outlook Could Not Look Better - 7th Feb 24
Stock Market QE4EVER - 7th Feb 24
Learn How to Accumulate and Distribute (Trim) Stock Positions to Maximise Profits - Investing 101 - 5th Feb 24
US Exponential Budget Deficit - 5th Feb 24
Gold Tipping Points That Investors Shouldn’t Miss - 5th Feb 24
Banking Crisis Quietly Brewing - 5th Feb 24
Stock Market Major Market lows by Calendar Month - 4th Feb 24
Gold Price’s Rally is Normal, but Is It Really Bullish? - 4th Feb 24
More Problems in US Regional Banking System: Where There's Fire There's Smoke - 4th Feb 24
New Hints of US Election Year Market Interventions & Turmoil - 4th Feb 24
Watch Consumer Spending to Know When the Fed Will Cut Interest Rates - 4th Feb 24
STOCK MARKET DISCOUNTING EVENTS BIG PICTURE - 31st Jan 24
Blue Skies Ahead As Stock Market Is Expected To Continue Much Higher - 31st Jan 24
What the Stock Market "Fear Index" VIX May Be Signaling - 31st Jan 24
Stock Market Trend Forecast Review - 31st Jan 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

President Trump Is Facing Lenin’s Dilemma

Politics / US Politics Nov 28, 2016 - 05:56 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

George Friedman: When the Bolsheviks took power during the Russian Revolution in 1917, their intention was to create the dictatorship of the proletariat. They formed an army to fight a civil war against a counterinsurgency of monarchists who intended to destroy the Bolsheviks.

Vladimir Lenin, who led the revolution, appointed Trotsky to form the Red Army.

One problem was that he had never served in an army, let alone commanded one.

But Trotsky was chosen not because he had experience building an army. He was chosen because Lenin trusted Trotsky wouldn’t betray him.


In a revolution, the hardest thing to know is who will betray you. So, Lenin had no choice but to use the same people who made the old regime’s mechanisms work—not all of them, but enough to get it off the ground.

The revolution succeeded, but in the end, it was bogged down by the dizzying choice between loyalty and competence.

Lenin’s problem for Trump

Trump is not Lenin and should not be compared to him. But in a very real sense, he has launched a revolution, made speeches, and inspired masses. He promised to drain the swamp, which isn’t a bad idea.

But to drain the swamp, he must have people who understand how the swamp works. Trump is not Lenin, but now Trump has Lenin’s problem.

In order to carry out his program, Trump must have people both loyal and knowledgeable about various subjects. The federal government is vast and inefficient—not so much because of the people there, but because of its size.

The federal government also is essential to society, because if Social Security checks don’t arrive, there will be chaos. Trump cannot simply dispense with what the government does any more than Lenin could.

He must purge the system without crashing it.

Strong resistance within the government

Very few people who haven’t worked in a federal department know its levers and processes. Given Trump’s condemnation of government programs, I would guess most federal government employees voted against him and don’t wish for him to succeed.

While professors have studied the government’s myriad departments and programs, few actually know how they operate. Those few are not enough, even if they agree to do the work.

This is the problem Trump faces. He can’t simply appoint an agency director or department secretary. Such people normally don’t do much, and when they do, they develop policies that thousands beneath them carry out.

Trump promised fundamental changes in how the government works, so he needs people who can make it happen. For that, he needs experts. He needs to figure out who is loyal to his plan and who will sabotage it.

There is no expectation Trump alone will recognize this expertise. No president can. But he must gather around him a group of people to select those at the top who are both competent and loyal to his vision.

In past transitions, this wasn’t difficult. The difference in viewpoints between presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Clinton and George W. Bush, and George W. Bush and Barack Obama was not all that fundamental.

They disagreed on things, but no one came into office expecting a massive reorientation of government. Even Obama, who made speeches on how different he would be, turned out to be not so different.

The decisive moment

If Trump is serious, then this is the moment that will determine whether he succeeds. His advisers must be able to identify top-level people who know how Washington works and oversee them as they pick the next two levels down, to make sure those people are competent and loyal.

The problem is that all of those people have worked in Washington for years and likely see Trump as a mad interloper. They will do whatever they can to sabotage him.

The point to focus on is this: In October 1917, the people Lenin selected to serve near him determined the future of the Soviet Union. On the whole, it was pretty wretched—but wretched preferred loyalty and fear over expertise, and Lenin pretty well got what he wanted.

It is possible to break the gridlock in Washington. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan both did it.

The US was born out of the most conservative revolution in history. The regime was designed to moderate ambitions by blocking them. Trump can achieve some of what he wants, while other issues will be left to Washington.

But he can achieve those things only if those around him know where the bodies are buried and who buried them. In other words, Trump understands knife fights in Washington. Having knife fights among advisers is not a great start.

Watch George Friedman's Ground-breaking Documentary, Crisis & Chaos: Are We Moving Toward World War III?

Russian adventurism. An ailing EU. Devastation in the Middle East. These are just three symptoms of a systemic instability engulfing a region that’s home to 5 billion of the planet’s 7 billion people.

In this provocative documentary from Mauldin Economics and Geopolitical Futures, George Friedman uncovers the crises convulsing Europe, the Middle East, and Asia… and reveals the geopolitical chess moves that could trigger global conflict. Register to watch the documentary now.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2022 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in