James Howard Kunstler is an author, social critic and public speaker — – whose work has been published in estimable journalistic stables such as Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and The Atlantic Monthly. He has also hosted his own lecture as part of Ted Talks discussing public spaces in urban life.
James spoke to Newsvoice editor Erik Sandberg on a host of issues including the ongoing hysteria around Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, his feeling on Trump’s appointment, and how his career in journalism progressed to writing novels.
Russia hysteria is a dangerous and an idiotic exercise in pysops
The media over the last few years has indulged in wild speculation around U.S. - Russian relations. And as seen, the run up to this weeks meeting at Helsinki between the leaders of the two nations has been no different.
James believes the ongoing Russia investigation, the election of Donald Trump and the defeat of Hillary Clinton has made a certain class of people in the U.S. irrational.
“I think that the thinking class in the United States has literally lost its mind. Donald Trump’s persona is so odious that it’s just driven them mad and he’s like a giant splinter in the eye of the thinking class.”
A registered Democrat, Kunstler doesn’t believe that the Russians interfered in the U.S. election in any meaningful way. And any efforts to punish or antagonize them are crazy and dangerous. The ongoing expansion of NATO, playing war games at Russia’s borders and the destabilizing of Ukraine has consolidated bad relations with Russia stretching back to the Cold War.
History repeats itself tragically when the thinking classes of powerful nations start to behave extremely irrationally
Interfering with trade can be a possible precursor to war
“Doing anything to interfere with trade and erect barriers and put up tariffs might be a dangerous thing to do,” says Kunstler.
IMF’s most recent report estimates trade tensions across the world could cost global economy $430 billion. Kunstler opines we are now leaving behind 75 years of relative peace between the great powers of the world for a period of much greater competition manifested in things like these trade and tariff wars.
Just about everything ends up on the web and very little of it is curated
Finally, Kunstler ponders on the current state of the media and publishing industry. A prolific author, he is best known for his books The Geography of Nowhere (1994), The Long Emergency (2005), and most recently, the dystopian novel World Made by Hand followed by three sequels in the series.
He points out to the flurry of matter put out with publishers experimenting what works in an environment that lacks “the gatekeepers in culture.”
* * *
Listen to the full interview in our weekly Newsvoice Think podcast.