I must say … well done.
I think this is the best article that David Brooks has ever written.
We have used lots of different terms to describe this class of people who are responsible for America’s cultural decline: the Democrat Independent Liberal Elites (DILEs), the shitlibs, the professional managerial class (PMCs), the gentry liberals, the Left Modernists, the woke progressives, the woke professional class, George Packer’s “Smart America” and their downwardly mobile brats or “Just America” as well as David Brooks own BoBos or “bourgeoisie bohemians” from his book Bobos In Paradise. The overwhelming majority of Jews are part of the credentialed class. We recognize that this social group is larger than the Jews though and is defined by education and modernist values.
“You can see this phenomenon outside the United States too. In France, the anthropologist Nicolas Chemla calls this social type the “boubours,” the boorish bourgeoisie. If the elite bourgeois bohemians—the bobos—tend to have progressive values and metropolitan tastes, the boubours go out of their way to shock them with nativism, nationalism, and a willful lack of tact. Boubour leaders span the Western world: Trump in the U.S., Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom, Marine Le Pen in France, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Matteo Salvini in Italy. …
Over the past two decades, the rapidly growing economic, cultural, and social power of the bobos has generated a global backlash that is growing more and more vicious, deranged, and apocalyptic. And yet this backlash is not without basis. The bobos—or X people, or the creative class, or whatever you want to call them—have coalesced into an insular, intermarrying Brahmin elite that dominates culture, media, education, and tech. Worse, those of us in this class have had a hard time admitting our power, much less using it responsibly. …
Like any class, the bobos are a collection of varied individuals who tend to share certain taken-for-granted assumptions, schema, and cultural rules. Members of our class find it natural to leave their hometown to go to college and get a job, whereas people in other classes do not. In study after study, members of our class display more individualistic values, and a more autonomous sense of self, than other classes. Members of the creative class see their career as the defining feature of their identity, and place a high value on intelligence. Usage of the word smart increased fourfold in The New York Times from 1980 to 2000, according to Michael Sandel’s recent book, The Tyranny of Merit—and by 2018 usage had nearly doubled again. …
I got a lot wrong about the bobos. I didn’t anticipate how aggressively we would move to assert our cultural dominance, the way we would seek to impose elite values through speech and thought codes. I underestimated the way the creative class would successfully raise barriers around itself to protect its economic privilege—not just through schooling, but through zoning regulations that keep home values high, professional-certification structures that keep doctors’ and lawyers’ incomes high while blocking competition from nurses and paralegals, and more. And I underestimated our intolerance of ideological diversity. Over the past five decades, the number of working-class and conservative voices in universities, the mainstream media, and other institutions of elite culture has shrunk to a sprinkling. …
The dominance of the bobos has also engendered a rebellion among its own offspring. The members of the creative class have labored to get their children into good colleges. But they’ve also jacked up college costs and urban housing prices so high that their children struggle under crushing financial burdens. …”
David Brooks knows exactly who we are talking about.
We’re talking about the affluent, college educated White people who tend to be professionals with antiracist, cosmopolitan and modernist values who are concentrated in the large metropolitan areas in the Acela Corridor and West Coast. There are also Jews and non-Whites who are part of this class. They all look the same, think the same, talk the same and believe the same things.
Brooks also does a good job at identifying the non-BoBos: the Democrat Leaning Working Class (DLWCs) or Hub City Working Class or the multiracial working class who are the Democrat base. This group is disproportionately non-White and immigrant, moderate or progressive on economics, but much more socially conservative than the BoBos or shitlibs. This group is essentially the Silent Majority of Democrats. Joe Biden won as many White working class voters as non-White voters, but these people are completely invisible. When Jimmy Dore says he is loyal to his class, he is referring to these people. The BoBos mostly voted for Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Beto in the Democratic primary.
The Right is divided between the Right PMCs or True Cons or the “Enterprisers” or George Packer’s “Free America” who are also affluent, college educated voters with cosmopolitan and modernist values who live in the suburbs. They are culturally aligned with the BoBos, but are distinguished from them by their support for classical liberalism and free market capitalism. There are also the “boubours” – the boorish bourgeoisie – basically middle class and working class people like my brother-in-law who are upper middle class, but who didn’t get their money through matriculating up through the education system. The vast majority of the Right is composed of the Heartland Working Class or “Real America” or the White working class and middle class in the rural and suburban areas of the South and Midwest.
The underclass also exists at the bottom of the social pyramid:
White Nationalists gloss over these differences in the name of racial solidarity.
You can’t really ignore these class and cultural differences though. The BoBos are defined by their hostility to White identity. In fact, anti-White progressives are roughly 3x as hostile to White people as the most conservative Whites are ethnocentric and warm to other White people. The BoBos are mostly White, but they define themselves against other White people.
Wealth isn’t the dividing line between these groups. It is education and values.