Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The War within the Democratic Party: The Managerial Elite vs. the New Class?

Anyone who is familiar with my writings knows that I am a vengeful hater of the neocons. However, one thing the neocon godfather Irving Kristol (father of Bill Kristol, of “benevolent global hegemony” scumbaggery fame) may have gotten right is his analysis of what the called the “new class.” Kristol was an opponent of James Burham’s managerial revolution theory (because as a Trotskyist-turned-right-wing social democrat Kristol was a fan of the FDR-era managerial revolution) but advanced the view that the Great Society/New Left-era produced a “new class” (which the uber-Zionist, Russia-hating socially conservative Kristol despised) that was an insurgent force within the US state. I actually think there is something to be said for Kristol’s perspective on the new class. But I would be inclined to argue that Burnham was correct in his assessment of the managerial revolution’s dethronement of the old bourgeoise, with the new class subsequently being an insurgency within the lower strata of the managerial elite. The present-day battle between neoliberals (overlords of the managerial apparatus) and social democrats (administrators of the managerial apparatus) makes a lof sense when viewed in this context. Dan McCarthy explains Kristol’s theory in the article below.

By Daniel McCarthy

The American Conservative

Shock gave way to relief this summer as America’s political establishment—rattled by Donald Trump’s success in winning the Republican nomination—reassured itself of his inevitable defeat come November. For a moment Trump seemed to have created a new style of politics, one that threatened to mobilize working-class voters against the establishment in both parties. But in the weeks following the Democratic National Convention, as Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers remained comfortably ahead of Trump’s, pundits discounted the risk of class war.

Trump’s voters were not really so hard hit anyway, a report by Gallup claimed. “His supporters are less educated and more likely to work in blue collar occupations,” wrote Jonathan Rothwell, a senior economist at the polling firm, “but they earn relative[ly] high household incomes, and living in areas more exposed to trade or immigration does not increase Trump support.” Trump’s voters were most strongly characterized by their “racial isolation”: they live in places with little ethnic diversity. Thus race, not class, explains the 2016 election—or so outlets like Vox and the Washington Post concluded.

But there’s another side to the Trump phenomenon that is less about Trump or his voters than about the elites they are against. Resistance to the bipartisan establishment keeps growing, and even if Trump loses to Clinton in a landslide, he has carried the rebellion further than ever before by winning a major party’s nomination.


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