LMFAOOOOOOO WHAT https://t.co/uJX7bF1gsV— shoe (@shoe0nhead) May 9, 2021
I needed a good laugh.
Let’s start with some basic definitions of terms:
Reactionary – In political science, a reactionary or reactionist is a person or entity holding political views that favor a return to a previous political state of society that they believe possessed positive characteristics that are absent in contemporary society.
Populist – A person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.
Nationalist – A person who strongly identifies with their own nation and vigorously supports its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.
Progressive – A person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.
Liberal – A supporter of policies that are socially progressive and promote social welfare. A supporter of a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.
Modern liberalism – The dominant version of liberalism in the United States. It combines ideas of civil liberty and equality with support for social justice and a mixed economy.
Cultural liberalism – Cultural liberalism is a liberal view of society that stresses the freedom of individuals from cultural norms and in the words of Henry David Thoreau is often expressed as the right to “march to the beat of a different drummer”.
Kyle Kulinski is correct.
The overwhelming majority of working class people are unfamiliar with “intersectionality” and find it weird and alien. It is college educated people and progressive activists who are enamored with what James Carville has criticized as “faculty lounge” talk. Vaush goes on to defend the utility of “intersectional analysis” without addressing the point that working class people don’t understand it and that it is a political albatross. He implicitly concedes the point when he laments that the Right has successfully exploited it. It is something that alienates and repulses millions of working class voters.
Vaush goes on to argue that there is “no contradiction whatsoever” between advocating for “social minority rights” and “advocating for worker’s rights.” This flies in the face of a political realignment which has been going on for 50 years and is rapidly gaining momentum. In reality, the push by progressives for toxic and deeply polarizing cultural issues which continue to multiply has steadily alienated populists, repulsed millions of working class voters and has completely swapped out the bases of the two parties. He concedes this point too when he acknowledges that the woke scolds actually are repulsing working class voters. The whole phenomenon of lib owning on the Right is based on cultural antagonism toward these people. Conservatives and populists are united by shared animosity toward these people.
Vaush glides over the fact that populism and progressivism are different ideas with different histories which appeal to different people and which were only brought together as New Deal liberalism during the Great Depression. Populists tend to be working class people – historically speaking, farmers, workers, small businessmen – who have cultural or economic grievances against established elites. In contrast, progressives have historically been educated urban elites who are elitist do gooders. They are educated people with a technocratic bent who want to use social science to reform society. The New Deal coalition began to come unglued over integration during the Civil Rights Movement and dissolved completely over the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s. While populists and progressives might agree on the core value of economic fairness, they diverge on cultural issues. Populists reject social liberalism while progressives champion it which is the reason why the culture war ripped apart the New Deal coalition.
In the early 20th century, populists and progressives were opposing camps in rival political parties. Progressives like Theodore Roosevelt championed American imperialism. Populists like William Jennings Bryan opposed imperialism. Then as now, populism appeals to disgruntled, culturally conservative working class voters and progressivism appeals to wealthy, culturally liberal established educated elites. The progressives in the Democratic Party are the PMCs while the dwindling number of populists who remain there are working class voters. The Democratic Party is now defined by social liberalism. It is getting so bad that conservative-leaning, working class non-Whites are headed toward the exits.
The idea that populism is necessarily linked to progressivism flies in the face of American history. The Jacksonians were a populist-conservative coalition. The Democratic Party in the Bryan era was also a populist-conservative coalition. Donald Trump created a new populist-conservative coalition. Joe Biden’s Democratic Party has become the party of Corporate America, Wall Street, upper middle class professionals and utopian social reformers like its predecessors the Whig Party or the old Republican Party of the Eastern establishment facing off against a populist coalition based in the South and West.
The most intense cultural divide in the United States which is the primary political fault line is between traditionalist White working class voters and cosmopolitan White PMCs. It is interesting that Vaush would argue that there isn’t a meaningful class divide there and that the professional bourgeoisie is actually on the side of the working class when they are the people who give them orders. The old “populist stool” of cultural conservatism, economic fairness and foreign policy restraint is increasingly replacing the Reaganite “fusionist” stool in the GOP due to the sheer numbers of working class voters who have fled from the PMCs and their bizarre cultural beliefs who now dominate the Democratic Party.
“The Ehrenreichs’ innovation lay in linking the rise of this class to post-68 social movement leftism. Thus, from the start, it mixed sociological description with political diagnosis. “The PMC’s objective class interests,” they observed, “lie in the overthrow of the capitalist class, but not in the triumph of the working class; and their actual attitudes often mix hostility towards the capitalist class with elitism towards the working class”. The PMC origins of the New Left, the Ehrenreichs contended, “shaped its growth and ideology”. That said, their assessment, as of the seventies, was ambivalent rather than hostile: the PMC was by nature haughty towards the working-class majority, but also structurally antagonistic to capitalism. It was a potential ally, though not one to trust further than you could throw.
Post-68 radicalism ebbed away, leaving a cultural imprint on academic faculty, who, in a ponytailed, blue-jeaned, turtle-necked spirit of rebellion, passed hand-me-down ideas to their students. The resulting mixture of cultural radicalism, political quiescence and economic yuppiehood still dominates campuses today, and radiates out into graduate professions like fashion, journalism and the arts. …
Thus, when leftist protest re-emerged from the nineties deep freeze, it was increasingly inseparable from a great gloop of PMC mores. This formed a natural upper limit to the left’s hegemonic ambitions. Confronted with austerity, left populist parties initially tried to recapture a majoritarian spirit – “we are the 99%!” – but frequently found themselves prisoners of the predilections of their core supporters, those subcultures of downwardly mobile graduates.
The result, not just in Britain, is a leftism where class dare not speak its name. Stimulated by a postmodern curriculum, graduates encourage – indeed, mandate – wrenching self-examination of whiteness, heteronormativity and patriarchy. Privilege, as they call it. But, on class, they have built paranoid, insulated walls against critique. When the question is even asked, some retort (correctly) that the “working class has changed”, implying (incorrectly) that they are the vanguard of a new social majority that passes through top tier universities. Others bristle at the tag PMC, the mere mention of which invites charges of “class reductionism”, now regarded as the greatest academic sin one can commit. …”
What do you think?
Does this sound like Vaush with his ponytail pleading that there is “no contradiction whatsoever” between pursuing issues like “trans women” in women’s sports and building a political majority to advance the interests of working class voters who tend to be social conservatives?
One last thing …
If you are on the Left and you believe that life has objectively gotten worse for the working class under neoliberalism, you are already a reactionary. If you hate political correctness or wokeness and think our culture was better in the past when people were free to say whatever they wanted, you are also already a reactionary. If you think the status quo is shit and not worth preserving and you are nostalgic for the New Deal and think the Boomers ruined everything, you are a reactionary.