So far we have avoided a Great Depression. The loose monetary policy that led to our Great Recession was eerily similar to the last square, but this time we bailed out the banks. It was unfair the way the bankers got away with it, but only some of them: most bankers were ordinary people doing their jobs. It's also worth remembering that the banking system performs a vital function. Ultimately, it was the western governments, blinded by free market ideology, and in the pockets of the financial system, that was to blame.
But there is still a huge economic shift going on, called 'globalisation', in which wealth and the means of production are shifting to hitherto poor but populous countries like China and India. And in the West we are feeling it. Hence Trump and Brexit.
Pluto reveals that which is hidden, and things get hidden because we don't want to look at them, and that means they often come out in a painful, disruptive way. But better out than in. One factor in the Brexit vote was the protest by areas in the north of England, whose 'inefficient' industries had been shut down under Thatcher, and which have never recovered. The reasoning behind the vote was that the EU represents the same sort of capitalism as is found in the UK, and what has it ever done for them? In fact, with the free movement of workers, things could only get worse from their point of view. I think it's hard to argue against this point, rooted as it is in hard experience. This doesn't make Brexit itself right or wrong. But it does mean that something that wasn't previously addressed has made its voice heard.
And it's the same sort of thing with the Trump vote in the US. There is a whole section of the population that has become poorer due to de-industrialisation and globalisation, and only Mr Trump is addressing that. Pluto is at the end of opposing the US Sun, and Trump is Pluto personified: unreasonable, unignorable, a powerful force, who even resonates with the Pluto myth of female abduction.
But he is there for a reason, which is a section of the population that has been ignored by politicians. And why have these people been ignored? It seems to me that to address their real grievances, the nature of the capitalist system under which we live would have to be addressed. And that ain't going to happen easily, US politicians being famously in the pockets of the big corporations. And with a heavy disguise of right-wing ideology to go with it.
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So what Trump stands for is a protest against the globalised capitalism under which we live, in which corporations can outsource to the cheapest country, regardless of consequences at home or working conditions abroad, and in which the gap between rich and poor is growing.
And I think this can be missed about Trump, because the man is so awful and so unfit to govern: there is something real going on, a move away from the free market capitalism of the last 35 years, towards protectionism. That, I think, will be one of the meanings of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn a few years down the line.
Protectionism, in which countries protect their own industries and products from cheaper products from abroad, has a bad name. It has a bad name because it stops the powerful countries from extending their reach. But 'developing' countries need to be protectionist. America itself was in the early days.
Brexit and the rise of Trump may be seen in 10 years time as the first fractures in the current globalising economy.
The US is at the end of Pluto opposite Sun, and in the middle of Neptune square Ascendant. So it's big stuff. The Neptune transit describes, for one thing, the susceptibility to an ideologue like Trump. But with Sag Rising, it also suggests some kind of search for meaning. The US will soon give way to China as the world's wealthiest nation. Being number one has been an important part of who America is for the last 100 years. So who will she be now? This is why Trump talks in terms of 'making America great again': it is a crude way of addressing that gradual loss of identity.