Kotkin’s class analysis, his recognition that progressives are just as bad on class issues as conservatives, and his stating the obvious fact that racial demagoguery is a bad idea are all spot on. However, he seems to retreat into a naive civic nationalism that’s likely to prove increasingly untenable as class, cultural, racial, political and other divisions grow. The United States of the future will likely continue to be a wealth, technologically advanced society that is increasingly diverse in terms of population demographics. The society will become increasingly integrated as well (more Buddhists in Congress, etc). However, the emerging class system is one that resembles the kind of class structure traditionally found in Latin America, and social conflict between contending demographics will likely continue to escalate as well. The role of the increasingly all-pervasive public administration state will be in part to manage that conflict, largely through unprincipled means like buying off the loyalty of some groups, suppressing others, playing different groups off against each other, negotiating or forcing settlements between rival groups, etc.
By Joel Kotkin
Orange County Register
Overall, perceptions of worsening racial relations have been building since the Obama years. And now, with everything from the Kate Steinle murder verdict to President Trump’s dog-whistling Muslim tweets, they see destined to worsen further.
Ironically the strongest demand for racial exclusion comes mostly not from traditional racists — still not extinct — but from a campus left determined to address the evils of “whiteness” through policies of racial separation not seen since Jim Crow days. At some campuses, events are held that whites are excluded from and racially separate dorms are being developed. Even at the high school level, there are attempts to be “racially conscious” towards students, essentially teaching them to their racial “profile,” with dubious educational benefits.
President Trump’s unfortunate tendency to go out of his way to offend non-whites, whether they be Navajo war heroes, Hispanics or inner-city African Americans, makes this all worse. The president and the radical racialists both seem to find common purpose in the creation of kindling for racial bonfires.
Race in not the fundamental problem — class is