American Affairs: The Real Class War

A reader has drawn my attention to this article by Julius Krein in American Affairs.

American Affairs:

“Since at least 2016, the divide between the “working class” and the “elite” has been considered a defining issue in American (and Western) politics. This divide has been defined in occupational terms (“blue collar” versus “information workers”), geographic terms (rural and exurban regions versus major urban cores), and meritocratic terms (non-college-educated versus those with elite credentials). Oc­casionally, it is given an explicitly moral connotation (“somewheres” versus “anywheres,” “deplorables” versus “cosmopolitans”). All of these glosses effectively track basic economic categories: those who are seen to have enjoyed success in recent decades and those who have been “left behind.”

Like most clichés, this one contains elements of truth. The work­ing class has experienced economic stagnation and precarity, and even declining life expectancy in the United States, as well as lower family stability and civic engagement. Social mobility has declined, while inequality has widened.

But it is precisely for these reasons that the working class is unlikely to be decisive in shaping politics for the foreseeable future. However one defines the working class, it has scarcely any political agency in the current system and no apparent means for acquiring any. At most, working-class voters can cast their ballots for an “un­acceptable” candidate, but they can exercise no influence on policy formation or agency personnel, much less on governance areas that have been transferred to technocratic bodies. In countries like France, the working class might still be able to veto certain policies through public demonstrations, but such actions seem unlikely in the United States, and even the most heroic efforts of this kind show little prospect of achieving systemic reforms. …”

I agree.

The strangest thing about liberal democracy is how we live under the illusion of democracy. The White working class has ZERO political power in the United States. Sure, it can still vote in primaries and national elections which are little more than personality contests, but there is no connection between the political process and public policy anymore.

There is no actual democracy in our system. There is only liberalism. The politicians will make token gestures to public sentiment by filing bills which they know will get torpedoed by federal judges. Ted Cruz, for example, has mastered the art of grandstanding. The actual policy agenda is auctioned to the donor class. There are two agendas in our system. There is the agenda that is for public consumption that is designed to get out the vote in elections and then there is the real agenda which is quietly passed by Congress after all the noise of election season is over.

Look at what Donald Trump and the GOP ran on in the 2016 and 2018 elections. Then look at what was done over the last three years. The same is true on the Democratic side.

“Initially, the new conservative apparatus was fairly successful. But institutions built on ideological conformity inevitably tend to ossify. They also tend to be populated by mediocrities who are only there because they cannot make it into the top-tier institutions. After the rest of the professional class decamped to the Democrats, this husk was all that remained of the politically active professional elite on the right. The conservative institutions became as detached and self-refer­ential as the “postmodern” academy they criticize, and they long ago ceased to have any significant influence on broader elite discourse. Today, their main offering to new recruits is the chance to someday apply for affirmative action for conservatives.37 The result is a highly stratified and largely dysfunctional Republican Party: a few billionaires and corporate interests (mainly those who cannot fit into the more attractive progressive neoliberal program) pay their second-rate propagandists to offer a discredited and incoherent policy agenda to an increasingly disaffected voter base.

From the Republican establishment’s perspective, however, this weakness is also its strength. By repelling all professional elites except those content to be sinecurists of relatively unsavory donors, the conservative new class minimizes any internal threats to its survival, and the donors maintain total control over the party. The voters may openly despise their own party’s “establishment”; they may begin voting for “unacceptable” candidates and causes; yet, ultimately, they cannot set policy priorities or provide government personnel. If more elite professionals remained in the Republican Party, they might take advantage of voter discontent to challenge the billionaires and replace the entire decrepit apparatus. They would likely find that task much easier on the right than it is in the Democratic Party.

As it stands, however, the conservative movement can continue to lurch on as a zombified superstructure. If nothing else, it still uncon­sciously serves an important purpose: advancing the interests of, while providing a useful foil for, the more important billionaires in the Democratic Party. …”

This is very close to our take.

There are a tiny handful of billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus and Charles Koch who control the mainstream Right. They buy the policy agenda which is why the GOP did nothing in 2019 except promote the idea of Jexodus and accuse Democrats of being the real anti-Semites. There was no movement on anything else except the failed coup in Venezuela.

Conservatism, Inc. is the class of butt goys who serve the interests of the donors. They are the keepers of the flame of True Conservatism. Their job is to manufacture and mold public opinion, control, channel and police discourse in such a way that it advances the interests of the donors. These are the shills and hacks like Brad Polumbo and Charlie Kirk who are currently redefining conservatism to include homosexuality or Tiana Lowe who defends social media censorship or David French and Sohrab Ahmari who are also in the club due to their fealty to Israel.

Below the largely Jewish or libertarian-leaning donor class and Conservatism, Inc. are millions of people who are angry about losing their country and the rot that is spreading like cancer through their communities whether it is the opioid overdoses, radical gender ideology, the gig economy jobs, illegal immigration, student loans, crime, etc. The goal of Conservatism, Inc. is to harness their anger and exploit those people to push through the Zionist and financial agenda of the donors. This is why you see the shills say that populism has to be “tethered” to mainstream conservatism. They need those people to cut the corporate tax rate and to deregulate the economy for the investor class and of course to continue Israel’s winning streak.

If too many people in the conservative base get notions and go off the reservation, it would spell disaster for the donor class. This is why the greatest threat to Conservatism, Inc. are the people who for various reasons are not on the reservation. Some of those people are genuinely crazy and are always on the fringe in any society. Lots of them are independent thinkers who are unwilling to conform their lives to the -isms and -phobias and don’t believe in the ideology that is retailed by the shills and hacks. There is no reason to believe in it because it is utterly implausible. Far more of them are dissidents who are unwilling to be bought and hate the corruption.

The mainstream Right is incapable of delivering anything that its base wants. It is rewarded with power because it presents itself as the alternative to the Democrats who are worse. Then it uses power of democratic mandates to do all the things the donors want. Meanwhile, the grievances of the base are left to fester unaddressed and the anger and pressure builds and “radicalization” sets in and metastasizes as the credibility and the legitimacy of the conservative shills erodes.

It’s a long term crisis for them, but an emerging market opportunity for political outsiders and truth tellers. We have a bright future ahead of us in the 2020s and 2030s.

About Hunter Wallace 12387 Articles
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  1. The thing is, there’s an urban proletariat and then there’s a rural “peasant” class (if we were talking in Maoist / Leninist terms). And they aren’t able to coordinate in America. Mao relied on the peasantry, but he had some proletariat support. And Lenin relied on the proletariat, but he had some peasant support. Americans can’t get the white person in flyover country to realize that he has the same interests as the black person rioting in Baltimore and vice versa. This is why criminal justice reform isn’t one of my criticisms of Trump, I’m actually okay with that. In rural areas the jails are pretty white too, just not in big cities.

    • @Daryl B

      Americans can’t get the white person in flyover country to realize that he has the same interests as the black person rioting in Baltimore and vice versa.

      The closest person to ever come up with a plan that could benefit both poor rural whites and poor urban blacks is Andrew Yang, the Chinese technocrat. India has already moved to MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) which ties in nicely with Yang’s UBI.

      But for the same reason that the American oligarchs will never allow universal health care, they will never allow this.

      Hillary Clinton was of course completely correct. If whites could quit their jobs without losing their heath insurance, plenty would do so and would organize themselves for financial and even infrastructure independence.

      Whites cannot build any social institutions outside of rural areas because they would immediately be sued under civil rights laws – liberalism is dead, there is no such thing as liberalism when you don’t even have the basic freedom of association, despite what reactionaries say.

      When whites were allowed to organize effectively on social media – look what happened. They shut that down within five years. Now we are even cut off from bank accounts, credit cards, and Paypal.

      Communication and finance are key. If the right-wing libertarians were right, we’d already have a thriving underground economy based on silver coins – we don’t, because right-wing libertarians are wrong and their ideas are wrong.

      A healthy culture that can spread itself via communication and local social institutions that had access to a financial system – finance being the way people organize labor – could support a renaissance.

      But hey the Renaissance led to the Enlightenment which led to liberalism which led to progressivism which led to Margaret Sanger giving out free birth control to the black underclass. The right-wingers, Christians, and neo-reactionaries tell me that is the worst thing of all.

      So, it’s back to hoping Donald Trump will declare himself a God-Emperor and institute neo-cameralism and make us white slaves content in our servitude, as Gnon intended.

  2. Tribalism exists on multiple levels, including race and class. Most outliers in tribal groups are looked upon as traitors and have limited effect within the group; look at how black Recucks and anti-israel joos are treated by their own. As many European groups are traditionally open to outsiders, though, we’ve been uniquely suited to sabotage from within. I wonder what it will take to reverse course and get a nationalist reawakening here, though. We’re a hair away from becoming as cucked and controlled as the UK.

  3. Changing channels last night and I came upon VP Mike Pence being interviewed by Mike Huckabee with a audience full of grey hairs. Pence is going on and on about small government, Federalism and “conservative principles.”
    The audience loved it but I’m sitting there wondering what reality Pence and this audience lives in. The average normie conservative lives in a delusion.

  4. The real class war is between the 0.1 percent and (at most) the 10 percent—or, more precisely, between elites primarily dependent on capital gains and those primarily dependent on professional labor.

    “Primarily dependent on capital gains” means those who already have tens of millions/billions in the bank and make their money off of interests, i.e., institutionalized usury.

    When this class was threatened in 2008 by the worldwide financial crash, the Federal Reserve simply reclassified their “private” liabilities to “public” liabilities. Thus, transferring their losses onto the general public, and internationally to those who hold dollar reserves.

    Of course, “the right” is ideologically committed to the financial oligarchy. On “the right” you have mainstream conservatives, who supported the massive bailouts and want more bailouts of the financial elites by cutting, say, food stamps for the poorest people, and the opposition to the mainstream conservatives are “libertarians” who want various flavors of radical ideological reforms like “Ending the Fed” or even a “gold standard.”

    The libertarian policies are pie-in-the-sky nonsense, in the sense they cannot ever be implemented and if they could they would make the situation far worse, not better, and would destroy not just the entire United States empire, but the domestic USA system as well.

    But right-libertarianism is a religion that hates pragmatic and practical solutions because they are not ideologically correct.

    The working class whites are simply distracted by the black underclass getting welfare. It’s easy for a white worker to see hundreds of dollars subtracted from their paychecks and see a black welfare charge buying soda pop on EBT. This is the most sophisticated economic analysis they can understand, so the GOP just resorts to race baiting occasionally.

    The white working class have no civic institutions that can educate them and organize them politically and economically. They once had labor unions which were destroyed by the conservatives. The conservative wing of the Catholic church is totally compromised by a homosexual priesthood class and the disorganized conservative Protestant churches are little more than cults-of-personality run by charismatic con men. Civic groups like the Lion’s Club have died for various reasons.

    Conservatives love “small business” but even the most simple small retail stores are now pushed out by Walmart and Amazon. But conservatives can only think economically in terms of “shopkeeper values” and can’t comprehend that “economic liberalism” – “capitalism” hasn’t existed since 1913 to the extent it ever existed at all.

    So like Animal Farm’s Boxer, the answer is just “work harder” ya lazy bums! Go out and get a job!

    The elite professionals, even those that make $300,000 a year at a top law firm, are completely under the control of the “1% of the 1%” – literally the Rothschilds, the hedge fund managers, and “private capital” like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital.

    George Fitzhugh was right:

    “It is a libel on white men to say they are unfit for slavery” and suggested that if Yankees were caught young they could be trained, domesticated and civilized to make “faithful and valuable servants”.

    Indeed, whites are fit for slavery and that is what they have become.

  5. Working class Americans are told to admire the rich because they are supposedly harder-working and more responsible than the rest of us. They are also kind enough to provide us with shitty, low-paying jobs that are stingy with the benefits and can always be shipped off to some third world sweatshop or given to an H1-B pajeet. That kind of relentless brainwashing helps keep the goy cattle ignorant and docile.

  6. For 50 years I always heard bigmouth blowhards boasting, if they come for the guns we will fight. Well, now the Republicans are coming for the guns, Red Flagging, and of course, no one will fight. I always knew they wouldn’t. So after they Red Flag 20 million people, then what? SECEDE NOW.

  7. Excellent choice of an article to highlight the true predicament we all face, and it’s true source, the .01 percent, i.e. the oligarchy. While I have expressed my view in comments on other posts here about a possible solution to the socio-economic issue raised by Krein, the UBI funded by a USA Sovereign Wealth Fund, and a possible trigger mechanism, a general strike by all employees until the oligarchs capitualate, the comments here so far are insightful in reacting to Krein’s description of the situation.
    I’d add to the explanations for our predicament noted by commenters that when the establishment gave up imposing limits to behavior in the 1960s, and in addition shifted the supply and demand curves permanently in their favor with civil rights laws and open borders, they set things up for their perpetual success, both cutting costs to labor and increasing buyers for their products and services. Add their absolute control of the propaganda organs to divide and conquor, and what you see today is a regime both uncontested and invincible, especially since democracy is a sham and people show no capacity to engage in organized cooperative resistance.
    I know many people here at OD have suggested partition as a possible solution, but that is unfortunately not feasible because even in “red” areas there are “blue” thinkers/ workers, and vice versa. Even within families, the dichotomy exists. You will never get all the traditionalists or radicals to move to one area, or keep the zones pure if such a move were accomplished. As a result, short pure individual subsistence living, there is no practical method to separate a modern economy into its philosophical components. And since none of us has total knowledge or resources, or wants to revert to economic autarky, that is not a choice anyone would accept.
    Absent a forced enlightenment or total war/devastation, I am not sure what the answer is, unless Yang wins, then governs like the adult he projects. I still like the general strike/ UBI. Nothing worth creating is easy. Any other ideas? Hunter/Brad, your suggestions?

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