October 9, 2019

Why dropping ID pol in favor of class is harder for left than right; Why only finance can save Dems from libtards

Below is an expanded version of a comment to a recent post about the interplay of class and ethnicity in the Democrat primary system. Naive Marxist theory would predict the clustering of groups by class, and perhaps secondarily by race, and yet it was the exact opposite way around. Whites of both elite and working class status lined up behind Bernie, and non-whites of both classes lined up behind Hillary.

That is largely true this time, except for the rift among whites along class lines, with working-class whites sticking with Bernie and professional whites defecting to Warren. Non-whites remain unified across class lines behind their machine candidate, Biden, and will easily defeat the deeply divided white camp of the electorate. Biden, a status quo candidate during a time of realignment, will then flame out to whichever GOP-er replaces Trump as the nominee.

This raises the issue of how Democrats, leftists, populists, or whoever, can undo the focus on identity politics in the Democrat primary system, given how entrenched it is. Basic sociological theory tells us it will be far harder for Democrats than for Republicans, because although both sides have identity politics to distract from class issues, it is easier to put aside those on the right, compared to those on the left.

I detailed these distinctions during the last primary season, and didn't see anything like it at the time or since. Most people with morally liberal brains just don't get any of this stuff, even if they have a PhD in sociology. If it has to do with in-group vs. out-group dynamics, they're color-blind to it (see Haidt's typology of morally liberal vs. conservative minds). So I'm reviving it now, and expanding on it a bit to reflect what's transpired in the meantime.

* * * * *

I hate being right so early. From way back in February 2016, the shift from ID pol to class will be easier on the right than left.

Reason: left-wing ID politics are about ascribed status, right-wing ID politics about achieved status. People stick to their ID guns more when the identity is beyond their control, an innate core of who they are.

In addition to evangelical Christianity, I'd add gun owner and non-urban resident to right-wing ID pol that are based on achieved status. They choose to own guns or not, and choose to live in rural or suburban places. They're not born into it, and it's not beyond their control.

Of course, this only applies to the electoral base of each party -- Trump defeated right-wing ID pol during 2016, but in office the GOP elites took over, buried economic populism, and threw meaningless right-wing ID pol to the rubes instead.

For Dems, it would be the opposite pattern. It's a daunting challenge for them to kill off ID pol during a primary, and focus on class instead. But if they successfully did so, they'd have an easier time doing economic populism in office (e.g., under a Bernie admin -- or FDR admin).

I think it's going to come down to the informational sector elites, who control the Democrat party, getting sick of being the opposition rather than dominant party, and defunding and otherwise shutting down left-wing ID pol during their primaries. Definitely not the media / entertainment cartel, since they massively profit from culture war content. And probably not the info-tech cartel, since they're neck-deep in ID-pol-motivated censorship.

Most likely would be the senior faction of their elites -- the finance sector. Sure, they're all personally woke, and their brands have been crafted to be woke as well. But they don't make profits from catering their services to culture war libtard rubes, and they do not have a mass audience interface like the social media platforms, so the big banks don't need to engage in culture war censorship. None of that cultural BS affects how much Goldman Sachs will make by bringing some phony tech bubble startup to its IPO. None of that impacts how low or high the central bank will set interest rates, how much quantitative easing they'll be doing, etc.

Of all the major Democrat coalition members, the ones who keep the most silent on culture war crap have been the finance crowd. It's amazing how little you hear of the typical libtard crap on MSNBC's sister network, CNBC, or on Bloomberg (let alone more culturally conservative Fox Business). That is true for all the major propaganda narratives of this cycle -- Me Too, Russiagate, impeachment, and imagining Nazis / fascists / white nationalists under every bed and in the rapid ascendancy.

The banks have incredibly stronger powers to wield -- they can make it so their targets can't hold any banking accounts, can't get loans, can't send or receive funds, can't even cash their paycheck without going to a payday loan shark. Compare that to the limpdick shit that the social media companies can do -- kick you off Twitter, oh no, it's the end of the world. Or slandering you on a libtard cable news segment -- oh no, please, not the hatred of over-40 wine moms.

And yet the banks have largely (not to say completely) refrained from using that power against cultural conservatives, Trump supporters, Bernie supporters, anti-Establishment types of any stripe. People already have such a low regard for bankers, they don't want to draw the public's ire any more by politicizing their business activities -- beyond the obvious of supporting one party over another, or one candidate over another. Not materially casting out huge swaths of the population for holding taboo ideas.

From a related post, Bernie's followers should bring back the New Deal coalition of big banks and labor unions, squeezing the professional-managerial class strivers from either side.

So far, there's little sign of improvement among the various groups in the Dem base -- they're pretending 2016 did not happen, and are right back to whites vs. non-whites as the first filter, and then professional vs. working class as the second filter (distinguishing Warren from Sanders among whites).

I don't pretend to be certain that there actually is a way out of this mess that the Dems started with the ID pol phenomenon. They obviously weren't planning ahead. But if there is, it will come from the working class and the finance elites, not from the broad professional class or the media or the tech sectors.

Aside from Dem elite intervention, the only solution is a hostile takeover of their primary by Trumpian populist Republicans -- they flood in and vote for Bernie in massive numbers, not giving a shit about Pocahontas or the right-hand man of My Cool Black President.

That needed to happen between '16 and '20 -- and it has not. So there will be no shift to class, away from ID pol, and we'll get another awful GOP admin after Trump leaves. Populist rhetoric, elitist policies, and right-wing ID pol to keep the rubes from grumbling.

In the meantime, Bernie supporters on the left should re-orient their efforts away from the media and tech world, and toward the non-culturally motivated finance sector, as well as organized labor and the broad working class (except for urban non-whites who are locked in to the Democrat machine candidate).


  1. Finance guys have more bro-like behavior, sorely needed for Dems to become normie-friendly, and ditch the branding of Dems as the party of annoying and alienating freaks.

    Media people are mostly gays and gals, with a handful of insufferably bitchy / catty straight guys. Unrelatable at best, want to strangle at worst.

    Info-tech guys are too nerdy and passive.

    The closest that the informational sectors allow for guys to channel their inner dude is trading. Rambunctious, shouting (not in a bitchy way), straight tawk / cutting through the BS, pragmatic / let's make a deal rather than utopian, etc. Also given the most lee-way for natural levels of sexism and mansplaining -- and the women are less Me Too about that behavior than their sisters in the media and IT sectors.

    I haven't known that many finance types, but they've all seemed amoral rather than committed ideologues, in contrast to just about everyone in media -- who view themselves as consensus-shapers, which they believe puts them in crucial control over society -- and even in info-tech, where they're futurists or transhumanists or whatever the Silicon Valley dystopian fantasy du jour may be.

    Economists certainly are ideological, but that's separate from finance. I've rarely seen a finance person be so committed to the blank slate view of human beings, that they want to re-engineer their programming in order to perfect society or whatever. They're just chasing after a higher yield.

  2. Does finance have more Ellis Islanders than media or IT, re: the ethnicities of the anti-woke Left? --


    Obviously Jews and WASPs dominate finance -- but they do so in media, too (have for a long time), and also in IT (less WASPy, more Jew-y). High-caste South Asians are fairly represented in all three info sectors as well.

    The point is, where do the non-Jewish Ellis Islander groups make up a decent share? I see WAY more Italians, Greeks, and Lebanese on the finance media than in the general media. Decent amount of Irish as well, but my impression is that it's mainly the Mediterraneans who occupy finance, especially below the tippy-top level of central bankers or CEOs of the mega-banks.

    Not too Slavic, although the founder of Zero Hedge is Bulgarian -- but then the Balkan Slavs are at least Mediterranean-adjacent.

    That's a fairly culturally conservative group of peoples. More so on in-group vs. out-group issues, than on personal issues like abortion, guns, etc. They're more territorial and skeptical of outsiders -- just what the Dems need to not be branded as the party of Open Borders.

    In reality, it's the GOP who open the borders, for material reasons -- cheap labor for their labor-intensive industries, unlike the labor-non-intensive informational sectors, who don't need cheap labor. I'm just talking about branding and messaging to real-life voters.

  3. "In reality, it's the GOP who open the borders, for material reasons -- cheap labor for their labor-intensive industries, unlike the labor-non-intensive informational sectors, who don't need cheap labor. I'm just talking about branding and messaging to real-life voters."

    Sure, but how do you explain this to partisans like Molyneux, who always rave about "the Left" controlling everything? BTW, what's the point in voting for or donating to Republicans if they are so self-evidently incapable of vanquishing "the Left"? While conservatives piss and moan about liberal over-reach they assiduously ignore the cold reality that money talks. The corporate Right never cared about cultural or ethnic continuity, they just wanted union busting, market de-regulation, and privatization. And that's what they got over the last 40+ years. Why so many Right-wingers overlook the obvious is beyond me.

  4. You wouldn't bother trying to explain something to a braindead partisan, whether a conservatard or a libtard.

    The left has the term "radlib" for those who are stylistically radical but end up supporting the same old liberal BS, especially "vote blue no matter who," "Liz Warren is a populist crusader," etc.

    The right should start using the term "radcuck" for someone who presents themselves as a radical, but their solution is "vote straight R" in the election, where all the R's are the same old Reaganite shit-eaters.

    Or call your Congressman, like he gives a shit if the border is overrun more than under Obama -- that's by Republican design, for cheap labor! His constituents are not cultural conservatives, but rich yuppie scum who want to remodel their McMansion's kitchen for half the cost.

    Radlibs still basically love Obama, and Warren. Radcucks still think Trump is a singular force remaking the society, and have a soft spot for Ted Cruz (who they may have even voted for over Trump in the primary).

    And both are idealist / culturalist rather than materialist. Specifically, they see control over the media narrative as the most important battle that determines what really happens in society in all the other, more important non-media domains.

    Sorry, delegitimize a narrative all you want -- that won't change the calculations of elite cartels and political puppets. "Losing the narrative" does not impose material costs on them, and they don't care.

    How many narratives have the liberals lost already, without it producing any change away from the status quo? It's a total distraction, benefiting only those who are "paid" for media content production -- paid monetarily, or in clout, influence, social status, etc. That includes the meme warriors. They believe they helped Trump get elected -- mostly nonsense, but even if you accept that, what did they change about immigration, imperial over-extension, or de-industrialization? It's all gotten far worse under Their Guy.

    These groups of people are lost causes. The only way forward is to appeal to those looking for real change, first and foremost -- not to prop up the same old system, but with different feel-good branding, perhaps a more radical branding to make people feel like change is happening when it's not, or even getting worse.

  5. I have nothing against delegitimizing BS narratives, it's what I've been doing ever since I started writing on the internet. And it's targeted conservatard as well as libtard narratives.

    But it's an intellectual exercise only -- it's not going to reverse the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, or re-industrialize the economy. I have no illusions about that.

    Still, we have to do what we can to bring down house-of-cards lies about major topics, for its own sake, to purify the intellectual / cultural realm of top-down mass-scale pollution.

  6. "And both are idealist / culturalist rather than materialist. Specifically, they see control over the media narrative as the most important battle that determines what really happens in society in all the other, more important non-media domains."

    Well, the word "material" is something I almost brought up in the first post. The New Deal culture was about understanding science and logistics. Back then we relied on natural pop. growth to sustain America, and there was growing acceptance of evolution and the supremacy of natural laws and limits (thus, Limits to Growth was published in the early 70's).

    In the late 70's, though, we saw people like Carter and Thatcher invoke highly sentimental or cultural themes to take people's minds off what many people by then considered the depressing reality of objective thinking. And important questions regarding how to best take care of vital issues were being hand-waved away. The empty slogan era was underway, when "sounding good" became the top priority. Note also that as Boomers "matured", they chose to fragment along socio-cultural lines, rather than unify into defenders of sound policy based in objective reality. So Boomers have been able to posture as having "the best" rooted in moral principles viewpoint on abortion, guns, crime, the environment, the proper role of government, etc. The problem is that moralistic gloating is no substitute for grasping objective reality. In fact, morality itself is not an empirical concept, but rather, a tool to be used and sometimes abused for various ends. Putting the onus back on empirical study of social and political well-being, and therefore putting down the crude bludgeon of moral posturing, would to many "take the fun" out of discourse.

    "Sorry, delegitimize a narrative all you want -- that won't change the calculations of elite cartels and political puppets. "Losing the narrative" does not impose material costs on them, and they don't care."

    Again, I think there's an insulting neo-liberal culture of assuming that one army of voters is being mobilized to out-vote (and out-shout) the opposition who will lose if they aren't sufficiently talked into showing up (or speaking up). It's degrading to most normies to think that they don't pay attention to stuff like tuition costs, corporate consolidation, off-shoring, etc. The culture warriors and caste-elites often assume that most normies are blank slates, automatons, who can be programmed as needed, it's jut a question of which warrior-priests gets to influence them first. We see "culture critics" complain that younger generations are brainwashed into conformity to stupid ideas, when said younger generations are actually rebelling against the staid Neo-liberalism that their parents were reckless enough to buy into. No different than younger people in the 1970's demanding that decadent weirdos like Allen Ginsberg be celebrated as wrecking balls to "square" morality. Of course, it's common for Boomers to make excuses that their hedonism was taught to them by older generations, when in reality every generation chooses a new path often times out of a desire to reject the trodden path.


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