Economics/Class Relations

Michael Lind on Populism, Racism, and Restoring Democracy

This interview with Michael Lind from February 2020 nails it down pretty well in terms of what is going on with class relations, and the meaning of Trump.

By Isaac Chotiner, New Yorker

In his new book, “The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite,” the political scientist Michael Lind declares that the “greatest threat to Western democracy is the gradual decay of North America and Europe under well-educated, well-mannered, and well-funded centrist neoliberal politicians.” He contends that the educated managerial caste paved the way for the rise of “demagogic populism” around the world, and blames “technocratic neoliberalism” for the destruction of the American middle class.

At the same time, Lind thinks attacks on President Trump have grown out of proportion and that the élites he scorns are engaged in a “Brown Scare” of trying to make Americans feel endangered by white Trump voters. He calls the belief that Trump was signalling his approval for white nationalism after the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville a “conspiracy theory” and bemoans “asymmetrical multiculturalism,” under which the “appreciation of minority and immigrant traditions is often coupled with élite contempt for the ancestral traditions of white native and white immigrant subcultures.”


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