Monday, November 21, 2016

Trump's Tongan nemesis speaks tomorrow in Auckland

Last April I had a very long conversation in very pleasant surroundings about the unpleasant subject of Donald Trump and America's white nationalist movement. I was sitting under a moonlit mango tree in Nuku'alofa, the capital and only city of the Kingdom of Tonga, and my interlocutor was Dr Maikolo Horowitz, an American-born sociologist who has spent most of the last twenty years researching and teaching in the kingdom.

Horowitz has been politically active since the 1960s, when he worked with Herbert Marcuse and Abbie Hoffman in the American New Left, and he was a vociferous supporter of Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Last April Horowitz told me about his research into the movement gathering around Donald Trump, and warned of the danger of a Trump presidency.

Tens of thousands of Tongans live in America, many without legal status. The kingdom is one of the frontlines in the economic and diplomatic confrontation between China and the States.

Understandably, many Tongans followed the recent presidential election closely. Horowitz has been sharing his research into Trump and American politics in formal and informal seminars at Nuku'alofa's 'Atenisi Institute, and tomorrow (Tuesday) he'll mark the beginning of his summer residency at Auckland's AUT campus by giving a talk called 'Has Democracy Been Trumped in America?' in room WG 608 of the Sir Paul Reeves Building, on Mayoral Drive, at noon. You can find the venue with the help of the maps on this page.

You can get some background on Horowitz's geopolitical thinking from the interview that I did with him in 2013, shortly after he had visited Fiji and New Caledonia and interviewed some of the important political players in both societies.

When he's not worrying about American politics Horowitz spends his time researching the history of the Pacific's fragmented Jewish communities. You can see some of his findings here.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Red' militia appearing in Texas?

4:00 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Yes. It was a pity someone like Sanders didn't take the Presidency. The US have opted for a man who appeals to the "The People" as Hitler did. He is potentially dangerous. Not in what he will do, but in the reactions he inspires among disaffected people of all kinds. Horowitz is doing a great job in Tonga.

10:59 pm  

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