This is simply a great thought-provoking article by Michael Lind.
It explains why a lot of people flipped out when I supported Universal Basic Income
“While the professional bourgeoisie, based in the public sector, universities and nonprofits, is the social base of progressivism, the social base of conservatism is the small business bourgeoisie, particularly those in this group who are native, white and suburban or exurban, as opposed to immigrants who run small businesses. Like the professional bourgeoisie, the proprietarian bourgeoisie wants to enlist the power of the state to protect its members from proletarianization.
To avoid being squeezed out of existence between big business and organized labor, the small business bourgeoisie has fought for generations on two fronts, demanding subsidies and exemptions from government regulations, while insisting on anti-union and anti-labor legislation and a reliable supply of cheap labor (preferably guest workers or illegal immigrants who cannot vote). The lobbies for the small business sector naturally oppose any “decommodifying” social insurance reforms. Examples are longer periods for unemployment insurance or universal health care, each of which can increase the bargaining power even of non-unionized workers by allowing them to hold out longer until employers are forced to make better offers.
The upper horseshoe schema explains American political factions in terms of different combinations of its elements. When the professional bourgeoisie allies itself with the Managerial Elite, you get Clinton-Obama-Biden left-neoliberalism. When the small business bourgeoisie allies itself with the Managerial Elite, you get George W. Bush-Paul Ryan-Nikki Haley right-neoliberalism.
When the professional bourgeoisie and the small business bourgeoisie unite with each other against the oligopolies and monopolies that dominate modern industry and finance and the managers who run them, you get the neo-Brandeisian, small-is-beautiful antitrust school. Their anachronistic small-producerist ideal, in which everything big has been broken up by government antitrust litigation, is an economy of small shops, artisanal craft breweries and independent doctors and lawyers.
In addition to clarifying the constituencies and goals of contemporary American political factions, the double horseshoe theory helps explains what might be called “the two reopenings” during the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 2020 and July 2020.
The protests associated with the first reopening were led during the early stages of the lockdown by conservative members of the small business bourgeoisie. Many of their undercapitalized storefront businesses, like hair salons, and restaurants, and car repair shops, were threatened or wiped out by city and state shut-down orders. The protests were dominated by petty-bourgeois business owners, and not their low-paid employees—some of whom might have been endangered by a premature return to their workplaces during the pandemic.
The initial response of the progressive professional bourgeoisie was to ridicule and denounce the right-wingers for endangering their own lives and those of others by ignoring the advice of credentialed public health experts.
Then, during the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, the same progressive professional bourgeoisie concluded that systemic racism was a greater threat to public health than COVID-19, which—mirabile dictu!—cannot be spread at left-wing demonstrations.
I am not the first to observe that what were initially legitimate protests against the use of excess force and racism by particular police departments have turned into a campaign for greater funding for social-services jobs and diversity officer jobs for members of the professional bourgeoisie in their twenties and thirties. …”
Law enforcement protecting a statue at a park in Chicago are pelted with projectiles and fireworks by rioters. They are not wearing helmets. pic.twitter.com/xtD4QBaHqd— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 18, 2020
Madness in Chicago. The bolsheviks are after another columbus statue pic.twitter.com/ezW6g2ZYL6— ????? ????????? (@LucidCaucasity) July 18, 2020
Protesters launch fireworks and other items at Chicago police officers guarding Columbus statue in Grant Park pic.twitter.com/WCga8c47Ty— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) July 18, 2020
Antifa are the Hub City Riot Ninjas. Lind recently wrote about how they are the offspring of the professional bourgeoisie. As for the two reopenings, it has made controlling the virus seem futile given our politics, which is why I have largely given up on writing about the subject.
“The hub cities have a radically different social structure than the heartlands. At the top are affluent members of the managerial-professional overclass, which includes well-educated immigrants as well as natives. Their incomes vary, but people with college or post-graduate educations dominate the upper rungs of corporate management, finance, business and professional services, government and the nonprofit sector in hub cities like New York, Washington, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, and Austin.
As young adults, the children of the overclass often spend their 20s in the same few cities, living in gentrified bohemian neighborhoods that used to be factory or tenement districts. Often as they work their way up the cursus honorum of their class, they benefit from elite apprenticeships in the form of unpaid or underpaid internships, which are not available to young people whose parents cannot afford to subsidize them. …
For the most part, the members of groups like Antifa, the latest incarnation of the violent left, have always been the pampered children of the white overclass. Twenty-somethings who are poor and working class lack the money to buy fancy black ninja outfits and the leisure to spend time plotting in advance of demonstrations. This is nothing new; as a veteran ’60s leftist told me, “Your Mom and Dad had to have a lot of money, for you to take part in the Summer of Love.”
This group of 20- and 30-somethings in the new urban bohemia are the constituency for the new progressive left. Children of the managerial overclass join the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and engage in purges and cancellations on Twitter and move to Brooklyn on allowances from their parents. They demand that the billionaires be soaked to pay for socialism (translation: Mom and Dad need to increase my allowance). …
Dressing up as revolutionaries like children on Halloween, the sociopathic heirs of the overclass, already living in neighborhoods from which the working class was forced out by economic privation, take part in the vandalization, looting, and burning of local businesses, many of them owned by immigrants or members of minority groups. If they get arrested, the fortunate among them can count on being bailed out after phone calls to their indulgent liberal or moderate conservative parents, who live in expensive, nearly all-white urban and suburban neighborhoods and denounce racism and fascism on their Facebook pages. ”