Unwilling to admit that the center-left has been largely captured by the managerial elite, many pundits and academics on the left insist that mindless bigotry, rather than class interests, explains the attraction of many working-class voters to populist parties that promise to restrict trade and immigration. But it is just as rational for workers to prefer a seller’s market in labor as it is for employers to prefer a buyer’s market in labor. Blue-collar workers who have abandoned center-left parties for populist movements bring with them the historic suspicion of large-scale immigration that was typical of organized labor for generations.
A few decades ago, corporate managers, politicians and university professors had distinct subcultures. No longer. What we might call “woke capitalism” represents a fusion of the three elites at the commanding heights of the economy, the culture and politics; they increasingly constitute a single conformist caste.
This newly consolidated ruling class is best described as “liberaltarian,” combining moderately libertarian views in economics with cultural progressivism in values. From its citadels in a few big cities, this oligarchy periodically notifies the working-class majority what values and
opinions about sex, immigration and other topics it must immediately adopt without debate, on pain of being blacklisted by the private sector, prosecuted by the government or censored or erased by the media….
…… The managerial overclasses of the West understand that the policies they prefer on trade, immigration, entitlements and other issues are unpopular and can be threatened by voter rebellions. That is why for the last few generations they have sought to remove decisionmaking
authority from legislatures, which are somewhat accountable to working-class majorities, and deliver it to administrative agencies, courts and transnational institutions such as the European Union. [Link – ht Gulzar Natarajan]
Paul Tucker makes this last point too in his work, ‘Unelected power’.