Ah, the times in which we live.
Here is Michael Lind, once conservative, then a critic of conservatism, now writing an article not for Salon but for the Trumpist journal American Affairs. Is this a conservative piece? A liberal piece?
Forget the labels and read it if you have 45 minutes or so. To me Lind is just trying to get to the heart of our actual situation.
I never quite understood unions until I understood their historical necessity. Capitalists, being only human, were only too happy to see their power and wealth increase unchecked. And that an argument with this fact was beside the point. What we needed was in a way simpler–countervailing power.
Lind writes that since 1989 we have seen a runaway concentration of wealth and power similar to that seen in the early 20th century. This time, though, the winners are Burnham’s managerial elite, and they are as punch-drunk and self-righteous as their industrial predecessors. What is the current version of countervailing power, good for our era?
How many times have my progressive friends told me that even if Trump were not crazy his aims can never be met because–to take one example–“those jobs are never coming back.”
I think my progressive friends are handmaidens of the elite, or apprentices-in-waiting. Worse, too many are what the Chinese call baizuo–“people who ‘only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment,’ who ‘have no sense of real problems in the real world,’ who only advocate for peace and equality to ‘satisfy their own feelings of moral superiority’ and who are ‘obsessed with political correctness'”.
Politics makes strange bedfellows, and I take it as progress that Lind is making an argument that non-baizuos on both the right and left may find persuasive.