I missed this.
I’m sure some of our readers have noticed the shift in focus.
Yes, I still believe that race exists and that Jews are wealthy and powerful and I still write about those traditional subjects, but that is not what really commands my attention these days. The local blacks and Hispanics who live around here aren’t our rulers. It is the people who live upstairs in the Democratic coalition. We’re focused now squarely on the cosmopolitan professional managerial class in this country and how it wields power against us and has rigged the system to its own advantage.
“Here we can pause to quote conservative Scott Alexander, who wrote earlier this year, “Wokeness is a made-up mystery religion that college-educated people invented so they could feel superior to you.” Continuing, Alexander added, “The whole point is that the only way not to be racist is to master an inscrutable and constantly-changing collection of fashionable shibboleths and opinions which are secretly class norms.”
So we can see: Alexander is agreeing with Carville; the whole essence of wokeness is that it’s a status symbol. Just as some people choose to raise themselves—at least in their own estimation—by gaining an affected accent, others seek to gain status by becoming fluent in woke. Politically correct lingo thus further distinguishes Berkeley, CA, from, say, Beckley, WV. …”
“In the third decade of the 21st century, the Social Register still exists, there are still debutante balls, polo and lacrosse are still patrician sports, and old money families still summer at Newport. But these are fossil relics of an older class system. The rising ruling class in America is found in every major city in every region. Membership in it depends on having the right diplomas—and the right beliefs. …
Membership in the multiracial, post-ethnic national overclass depends chiefly on graduation with a diploma—preferably a graduate or professional degree—from an Ivy League school or a selective state university, which makes the Ivy League the new social register. But a diploma from the Ivy League or a top-ranked state university by itself is not sufficient for admission to the new national overclass. Like all ruling classes, the new American overclass uses cues like dialect, religion, and values to distinguish insiders from outsiders. …
More and more Americans are figuring out that “wokeness” functions in the new, centralized American elite as a device to exclude working-class Americans of all races, along with backward remnants of the old regional elites. In effect, the new national oligarchy changes the codes and the passwords every six months or so, and notifies its members through the universities and the prestige media and Twitter. …
Woke speech is simply a ruling-class dialect, which must be updated frequently to keep the lower orders from breaking the code and successfully imitating their betters.”
“Every piece of the pie picked up by the 0.1 percent, in relative terms, had to come from the people below. But not everyone in the 99.9 percent gave up a slice. Only those in the bottom 90 percent did. At their peak, in the mid-1980s, people in this group held 35 percent of the nation’s wealth. Three decades later that had fallen 12 points—exactly as much as the wealth of the 0.1 percent rose.
In between the top 0.1 percent and the bottom 90 percent is a group that has been doing just fine. It has held on to its share of a growing pie decade after decade. And as a group, it owns substantially more wealth than do the other two combined. In the tale of three classes (see Figure 1), it is represented by the gold line floating high and steady while the other two duke it out. You’ll find the new aristocracy there. We are the 9.9 percent. …”
“We are living in an age of resentment, a sentiment that often leads to anger but is not the same thing. Resentment shapes today’s politics, especially but not exclusively on the right. It is dangerous, especially if ignored.
Resentment is literally an emotion that is “felt again,” repeatedly. Anger can be transitory; it can flare and burn out. But resentment smolders. Resentful people review—sometimes to the point of obsession—the wrongs that gave rise to their feeling. They brood over them even as they conceal, like Shakespeare’s Iago, what they feel. …
As recently as 1990, only 8.5% of American households had annual incomes of $150,000 or more. By 2019, adjusted for inflation, this share had more than doubled, to 18.6%. During the same period, the share of households making more than $200,000 nearly tripled, from 3.7% to 10.3%. This expansion crossed racial and ethnic lines, with the share of Black households making $150,000 and up tripling from 3.0% to 9.2%. Immigrant families, especially those from East Asia and the Indian subcontinent, swelled this surge.
The members of the new upper-middle class are mostly people with above-average education and in-demand professional skills. They include doctors, health care administrators, lawyers, and academics who are both more numerous and making more than ever before; information economy professionals; lobbyists and government contractors; and upper-tier federal, state, and government workers.
Despite specific differences in professional self-interest, these groups share much in their outlooks. They favor an economy and society open to the world. They welcome trade and immigration, from which most benefit; many have settled far from their birthplaces and extended families. They prize the ability to make new friends. For many, professional relationships are more important than neighborhood ties.
With the growth of the mass upper-middle class came a shift in the cultural center of gravity. Racial and ethnic diversity does not faze these people, nor do changing social norms. Relatively few are social conservatives. They do not understand why anyone would object to equal treatment for LGBTQ individuals. If they identify with any religious dominations, it is with those whose doctrines and practices align with upper-middle-class sensibilities.
The development of a mass upper-middle class has had geographic consequences, because members of this group tend to cluster in metropolitan areas. Many cities have rebounded from their low fortunes in the 1970s and 1980s and have gained in population and tax revenues. Cities and their suburbs have garnered a disproportionate share of the economic growth of the past three decades, while small towns and rural areas have lost jobs and population. As young people have moved away in search of opportunity, their parents and grandparents feel left behind, and their populations have aged. Local schools, centers of community activities and identity, have closed. …”
I don’t recall exactly when these people caught my attention.
Maybe it was being censored by these people.
Maybe it was noticing their effete bugman phenotype.
Maybe it was reading them and watching them on television.
Maybe it was watching the Great Awokening in their wealthy suburbs.
Maybe it was the experience of encountering their brats at so many protests.
Maybe it was noticing that they came from so many different racial and ethnic backgrounds but had a homogeneous worldview that was completely opposed to my own.
The idea that these people are a distinct and privileged social class definitely crystallized in my mind though during the George Floyd riots. The fact that these people could riot and burn down the entire country and blow up police stations and lay siege to the White House and bombard a federal courthouse like Fort Sumter demanded an explanation. Who are these people and why are they allowed to get away with this? Why is Corporate America on their side? Why is the FBI turning a blind eye to them?
Do you remember the Wall of Moms in Portland?
The political establishment was rioting. The woke professional bourgeoisie was rioting. The mayor of Portland and the governor of Oregon refused to do anything about it. The mayor of Seattle tolerated CHAZ. The Wall of Moms even came out to protect their brats in Portland while they engaged in an open insurrection against DHS personnel who were under attack in the federal courthouse. The FBI and DOJ wouldn’t do anything about it because of who their mommies and daddies were. The law doesn’t apply to their social class. They can strike out at others because they are entitled to rule this country.
It is difficult to ignore that all the real attacks are coming from the ranks of upper middle class, college-educated professionals with woke progressive values and their downwardly mobile bastard spawn.