Trump’s New Face of Power in America

Abstract

This article proposes that the advent of Trumpism was an historical moment of danger that compels us to analyze the micropolitics of the present. In the first part, I describe the constellation that gave rise to Trumpism. In the second part, I recall Goffman’s concept of face-work and discuss how it remains relevant for describing Trump’s aggressive face-work. In the third part, I take Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of faciality as a point of departure for understanding micro-fascism. As an abstract machine, Trump’s faciality engendered and diffused fascisizing micropolitics around a messenger/disrupter in chief. It worked in connection with a landscape and relative to a collective assemblage of enunciation that extracted a territory of perception and affect. In the micropolitics of the present, the defining feature of Trumpism was how the corrupt abuse of power and the counterforces limiting his potency collided on an ominous, convulsive political reality TV show that threatened US democracy.

Keywords:

Trumpism, face-work, faciality, assemblage, micropolitics, impeachment, coronavirus pandemic

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