Trumpism and Being in Worlds that Fall between Worlds

Law and Critique, 28(2), July 2017

10 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2017 Last revised: 17 Aug 2017

Lilian Moncrieff

University of Glasgow - School of Law

Date Written: April 10, 2017


In response to Kyle McGee’s forthcoming book, Heathen Earth, this paper says something about the place of toxic legacies in the rise and sustenance of ‘Trumpism’. It takes an interest in rusting factories, boarded up housing, melting ice, etc., but as assemblages that are tricky because they concern a build up of externalities and relational factors for which there is a deficit of known co-ordinates. The term ‘sludge’ is sometimes affixed to these unexplained accumulations, which attend the (productive) neglect of externalities in overlapping schemas of relationality. The paper relates this ‘sludge’ to the emergence of a void, somewhere below the legal thresholds of accountability, into which words and actions can be thrown ‘at will’. This void is muddy, and makes politics unbearable to watch; but, we are caught in a loop of reproducing the void through our own charting and supervision of action and, then, being shocked by the filth that comes out. The comment ends with a brief reflection on attending to the situation of forgotten existences and living with the ruins of past and present worlds.

Keywords: legal theory, Trumpism, Kyle McGee, political ecology, accountability, contemporary politics

JEL Classification: K00, K30, Z13

Suggested Citation

Moncrieff, Lilian, Trumpism and Being in Worlds that Fall between Worlds (April 10, 2017). Law and Critique, 28(2), July 2017. Available at SSRN:

Lilian Moncrieff (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow - School of Law ( email )

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