I found this interesting; here at a web site called Spiked, is an interview with Newsweek’s Deputy Opinion Editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, who describes herself as a ‘left-wing populist’ but she has some interesting things to say about today’s political left and the nation’s working class. Here are a couple of particular points, with my comments:
(The media) take their unionising very seriously at these knowledge-industry jobs, where the average pay is $100,000 per year. I’m not saying those jobs shouldn’t be unionised, but don’t tell me you’re the proletariat if you sit behind a desk and make $100,000 a year. You’re part of the elites, you’re in the top 20 per cent. You’ve taken a bigger share of the economic pie and, as a result, you believe you deserve a bigger share of the political pie. That’s really what it comes down to.
You shouldn’t speak up on behalf of working-class people just because you agree with their opinions – you should speak up because a democracy requires sharing power. Throughout history, shared power has been tied to shared economic success, to upward mobility and to the middle class. If you don’t have a working class that has access to a middle-class life, then all political power is going to get funnelled to the top, and to the elites. Unfortunately, that’s how the leftist elites like it.
You can see no better illustration of that than the economic policies of the Biden Administration, which seem purposely designed to wreck the middle class. And you can see no better illustration of the behavior of leftist elites than the recent conclave at Davos:
The coverage of the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos last month comes to mind here. It was amazing to watch. In any other era the left would have seen Davos for the sort of disgusting display of conspicuous consumption and elite vanity that it was. But instead those claiming to be progressive looked at Davos and saw their values being represented there. In a way, it’s genius. Through the green movement, the elites have created what the left always accused the right of doing – they have created a value system that makes the difference between the billionaire class and the educated elites fungible. Both of these groups are on board with the idea of this apocalyptic vision. They agree that the most important thing is the climate, and that we’re all going to die if we don’t solve it.
Getting the top 20 per cent to see their interests as aligned with gazillionaires is what is greasing the wheels of the green movement.
I think that’s well put. The Davos conclave was precisely this: A disgusting display of conspicuous consumption and elite vanity. It was what Ayn Rand described as the ‘aristocracy of pull’ on parade, and much of the United States’ political left agreed with every word uttered – even the parts about forcing the hoi polloi to eat bugs while the attendees munched on wagyu beef and other delicacies before boarding their private jets to head back to their palatial estates. This is the road we’re headed down, and I think it’s a recipe for hard times.
Read the whole interview. Incidentally, I make it a point to read a lot of stuff written by people on the left; just see my Wednesday links post for a periodic listing of all of that reading. As Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
I doubt I’d agree with Batya Ungar-Sargon on a whole host of issues – the Second Amendment comes immediately to mind – but she makes some good points on this particular issue, no matter what her opinions are in other areas. And when someone’s got a good point, they’ve got a good point.