June 5, 2017

"[I]ncreasingly, the Democrats’ populist pretensions conflict with their alliance with ascendant 'sovereigns of cyberspace,' whose power and wealth have waxed to almost absurd heights."

"Other parts of their upscale coalition include the media, academia and the upper bureaucracy. This affluent base can embrace the progressives’ social agenda — meeting the demands of feminists, gays and minority activists. But they are less enthusiastic about the social democratic income redistribution proposed by Bernie Sanders, who is now, by some measurements, the nation’s most popular political figure. This new putative ruling class... sees its rise, and the decline of the rest, not as a reflection of social inequity, but rather their meritocratic virtue. Only racism, homophobia or misogyny — in other words, the sins of the 'deplorables'— matter..... How long can this odd pairing of socialism and oligopoly persist? There are growing sentiments on the left to begin confiscating some of the massive wealth of the tech firms...."

From "The coming Democratic civil war," by Joel Kotkin.

51 comments:

Michael K said...

Bernie and Bezos are an odd pair. Of course Bernie scored another house last year. Still a long way to go to make everyone equal. Then, of course, there is Chavez' daughter to show that Socialism does work out well for some.

You just need the right connections.

Danno said...

But it is the Rs who are not on the same page, as every MSM journolist tells me.

JAORE said...

Yeah I love how the left throws out oligarchs as a disparaging term for the wealthy. Their obvious target is the right.

But, start naming the wealthiest individuals you've ever hear of. Bezos? Lefty. Gates? Lefty? Buffet? Lefty.....

Dave from Minnesota said...

Look at who has so much power in relation to their place in society. Why does the NCAA get to tell states which laws it can and can't pass, while the common people of those states have little influence.
Why does Big Hollywood, after taking millions and millions of corporate welfare, get to dictate the same.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Michael, ....yeah, so Sanders purchases a $575,000 vacation home 34 miles away from his regular home (well, one of two regular homes). I'll take me some of that socialism any day.

St. George said...

So many ten dollar words and fancy thoughts.....'social democratic income redistribution'....'putative'...'misogyny'...'oligolopy.'

Read the article on rural heroin addiction in West Virginia in the new issue of The New Yorker. Compete civilizational disaster, and it's being repeated in all around rural America. Not to mention the overall rural economic crisis that the WSJ just reported on.

How about a few simple words...'jobs'...'work'...

mockturtle said...

Yeah, I guess the Democratic choice is cyber-tech monopolies or socialism. I'll pass, thank you.

rhhardin said...

Nobody can identify homophobia, misogyny or racism when they see it, in that they get it backwards.

Dave from Minnesota said...

St George, the drug epidemic.....last year, 10 babies were born addicted to Heroin (or was it with meth in their system?) over a period of about 2 months on the Ho Chunk reservation near Black River Falls, Wisc.

Rene Saunce said...

I'm sick of Bezos and Amazon.
I want another choice.

WaPO - owned by Bezos, is the house organ for the corruptocrats. Bezos is a Hillary supporter. icky.

Everywhere you turn, leftwing megawealthy mega assholes. I'm sick of it.

Chris N said...

I think Republicans are slightly ahead of the curve. Their split happened earlier, and is probably no less contentious.

If you focus on what I do, the scariest people are the true-believers and the neediest to be in politics/coalitions, who have no family, work, and purpose in life. Add to this radical ideas and justified violence, and well...

The worm is turning, partially upon a move away from religiously proscribed families, work and 'culture,' and more towards individual choice and contract in American civic life.

Politics is a necessary evil, so maybe it's good an eye on Washington, but that's downstream of a good many more important things.

rehajm said...

...sees its rise, and the decline of the rest, not as a reflection of social inequity, but rather their meritocratic virtue...

Despite the leftie dogmahumans prefer fair distributions over equal ones.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The hypocrisy is strong in these ones. In California, the blue rich cities are the worst/best example of the dual mindset of the libtards. Palo Alto, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills and a lot of wealthy enclaves you have never heard of. The people there live in million dollar pkus homes, drive 90K cars, hire illegal mexicans, who can't afford to live there, to do the slave work.

The rich liberals are all so proud of their 'green' lifestyle, their token Prius, their fabulous tolerance, their just and righteous hatred of the redneck deplorables who also do the dirty work, fix their cars, clean out the plumbing and raise their food in the incomprehensible (to them) backwards Eastern part of the state. How horrible it would be to have "those" people actually presume to live in their neighborhoods.

They (libtards)'feeeeeeel the pain' of the downtrodden poor ethnics and agitate for free housing, free money and lobby for Section 8 housing for "diversity". Just NIMBY. NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD they cry. No nonononono.....warehouse those blacks, put those Syrian refugees in the other neighborhoods. Let the illegals who mow their lawns and raise their pampered children live in shacks in Modesto and commute. Put them into small towns with no resources. Put them into places where they (libtards) can feel good about themselves and they don't have to deal with the consequences.

The West Coast of California can fall off into the Pacific Ocean and it would be a relief. A blessing. If there IS an attack by N Korea, I would be torn between elation and some concern for myself. Reap what you sow, liberals.

traditionalguy said...

Being a good neighbor is the bedrock value of American culture. But Bernie's Marxists cannot make that claim. They are totalitarians, period. And their plan is to redistribute the loot from the ones they killed.

holdfast said...

Remember when George Lucas, in a fit of pique over a zoning change denial threatened to turn the property into low income housing?

M Jordan said...

Kotkin's Trump hate to is ruining his observational skills. He sometimes is insightful -- such as his view that the Denocratic Party is a neo-feudalism party -- but this piece was a piece of crap. Trump exposes all.

Hagar said...

The Republicans are split, but the Democrats have fragmented.

Earnest Prole said...

Democrats are entranced by the magikal politics of Russian hacking because the contradictions of their own real politics have become too painful.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

What Joel is talking about is liberals. Where would they go if kicked out of the Democratics Party? In Canada they've had their own party, which is now back in power. In Europe, they have aligned with the conservatives against the socialists. In the days of Big Labor and Jim Crow, they're natural home was with the Republican Party.

Sydney said...

The Democrats have become the party of high brows. They disdain the common man.

Virgil Hilts said...

If the Reps in Congress are smart (not may signs of that) they will start taking some of the wedge issue ideas suggested by Glenn Reynolds and run with them, such as taxing endowments of any college with more than $x in assets, repeal of Hollywood subsidies, not allowing public employees to fly out of their state for conferences, etc. Lots of low hanging fruit for increasing tax revenues and cutting government costs, and while these will drive the lefty elites crazy the democratic base will probably support a lot of them.

rhhardin said...

Amazon gives terrific value.

There's what something's worth to the seller, and what it's worth to the buyer, and the difference is the increase in wealth to the nation when you buy it.

In that Amazon lets you buy exactly what you wanted, the difference is huge. You don't have to settle for what you can find in the mall anymore.

It's not that their prices are low but that you get what you really wanted. Prices low is just another goody along the way.

MikeR said...

"If the Reps in Congress are smart (not may signs of that) they will start taking some of the wedge issue ideas suggested by Glenn Reynolds and run with them"
Indeed.
Plus, if they are smart (same disclaimer) they will add some things aimed directly at the poor. Glenn Loury's infrastructure work program for the inner cities would do it; I think it's worth spending a little money. It could turn the entire black community away from Democrats, and Trump would be re-elected in a landslide. Without the black community no Democrat could be elected dogcatcher.
That disclaimer is a doozy, though.

Sebastian said...

"How long can this odd pairing of socialism and oligopoly persist?" A long time.

Of course, if socialism still meant collective ownership of the means of production, that wouldn't work. But as long as we simply mean using government power to redistribute money, it'll work fine. The oligopolists take and protects their assets, along the lines of Buffett giving his dough to the Gates Foundation. The main Dem interest groups have their income streams locked in, even though pension funds are suffering--the real redistribution will be from ordinary taxpayers to bailout schemes for insolvent public employee funds. Forgiveness for student loans is next. None of it will hurt the oligopolists as much as the prudent petty bourgeoisie. Plus the oligopolists are rich enough to tolerate a bit of redistribution for the sake of pursuing their pet social policies--it's a small price to pay for prog power and self-esteem.

PatHMV said...

Socialism is always paired with oligopoly, in the real world.

bagoh20 said...

Virtually everything Bernie Sanders says is bullshit or stupidity, and his popularity depends on a deep ignorance of history and human nature, which never seems to get educated out of the citizenry. It is only the sloth and distraction of the ignorant that keeps them from power, revolution and another historic human disaster. If Venezuela is not instructive after all the others before it, then what ever will be?

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Democrats are hypocrites" would be a simpler, more accurate description than "Increasingly ... absurd heights."

Bruce Hayden said...

Sure, the Dems have populist pretensions, but haven't really been a populist party for some time. Instead, what they are is a bunch of elitist plutocrats running a coalition of interest groups. For a long time, the interest groups were disadvantaged groups such as immature rants, and, ultimately, blacks and Hispanics. At the center was labor, esp unionized labor, in opposition to the evil capitalists supposedly running the Republican Party. And it is this alliance and identification with "workers" that helped lead them towards Marx.

Part of their problem results from the reality that most European immigrant groups assimilated quite well during the 20th Century. The Irish, the Italians, the Roman Catholics. Pretty much everyone except the MOT, the Jews, whose survival despite almost 2 millennia without a homeland depended on not assimilating. The rest of those of European origin pretty much started voting economic class over ethnicity.

As a coalition of interests, different interest groups bring different things to the table. The plutocrats and the Jews (with a lot of overlap in set composition) bring money. The blacks, Hispanics, and unions bring, or at least brought, votes. How do you get the blacks, Hispanics, and unions to do the bidding of the centimillionaires and billionaires? Through rewarding their leadership with money, but, more importantly, the perks of being in the elite. Membership in the best clubs. Admission of their kids (on a preferential basis for minorities) to the best schools. Places at the table, including, for the top tier of these leaders, being unelected Superdelegates to the DNC Convention.

My take on part of what is going wrong right now for the Dems is that their megarich patron class has gotten so rich that they constantly demand that their interests be put ahead of those of the other Dem party interest groups. They don't care about competition with other ethnic groups for jobs, thereby requiring immigration control but rather demand open borders and the ability to acquire the lowest priced labor around the world. If they can get even richer through control of the Dem party, they will, as evidenced by the eight year Obama Administration, gorging at the public trough, while bending the bureaucracy and its rules to their advantage, esp to prevent or hamper competition.

The other part of this is that the Republicans now find themselves situated between the two big parts of the Dem coalition. The Dems are poaching from the white upper middle class, while the GOP is going downstream into the more numerous lower middle/working class. But that leaves a big gulf between the lower classes, with all their needed votes, and the megarich, with their upper middle class wannabe hanger ons, and the necessity to go through the GOP to get there.

Quayle said...

Never in the history of mankind have so many gotten so rich advocating the plight of the poor and downtrodden, as have the US coastal elites in the last 50 years.

We note that the poor are still poor, and the treaders have grown in number.

Virtually Unknown said...

They don't know it yet, but Trump is the leader in this reaction to the top-bottom coalition against the middle.

Virtually Unknown said...

The most important thing a government can offer to a billionaire is policy that can be bought, after all, which is why they are Democratic in the vast majority of cases. At least Vanderbilt built railroads that left America stronger, and Getty produced oil to fuel the economy, Peabody produced coal, etc, etc. Zuckerberg provided a peephole into your inner life to be exploited by marketers and politicians.

Rene Saunce said...

Media have a total blackout on the collapse of the Socialist paradise Venezuela.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Speaking of Bernie, I guess everyone's heard that this wife Jane is/was being investigated by the FBI for Federal loan fraud in relation to a land purchase by Burlington College.

https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/feds-in-florida-burlington-college-probe-goes-the-distance/Content?oid=5480049

Nonapod said...

Populism as an idea is all about ordinary people rising up against the elite, the elite being those currently with power (both economic and political power). And populism seems to be the overarching theme of everything political that's happened over the past 18-24 months or so.

And populism is not Democrat or Republican in alignment. It's about being disaffected. It's about feeling like those with power have taken advantage of those without. It's about feeling cheated, lied to, disdained, patronized, and even mocked. It's about being extremely unhappy with the direction those with power have taken the country. It's not about the role of government. It's not about any political ideology.

Populism has shaken both political parties to their foundations. But it seems to have hurt the Democrat party a bit more severely. The Democrat party has been pretty successful for a while now and has a lot of very wealthy patrons. The Dems profess to be the party that cares about regular people, but they gladly take loads of money and council from Wall Street and tech billionaires. These things do not go unnoticed.

But the GOP has is far from safe from the politically destructive power of populism of course, and if things don't improve for ordinary voters it will get ugly.

tcrosse said...

Luckily for the rest of us, the Gentry Liberals have Gerrymandered themselves into a few enclaves. Otherwise the Electoral College might have turned out differently.

Seeing Red said...

Tax em.

They refuse to walk their talk.

When they start paying, I will lusten.


But they want me to pay for their caring.

Cali single-payer will deplete their coffers.

Seeing Red said...

Listen.

Hagar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sunsong said...

The dems aren't completely bought and paid for, like the pubbies are, but they are sure trying to get there...

n.n said...

Beachfront estate in Hawaii or no deal.

Viva la revolucion! Redistributive change. And abortion chambers...

Michael K said...

they constantly demand that their interests be put ahead of those of the other Dem party interest groups. They don't care about competition with other ethnic groups for jobs, thereby requiring immigration control but rather demand open borders

Excellent point.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Sydney said...
The Democrats have become the party of high brows"

High brows? They're the party of those who possess credentials but no wisdom. It's true that they think they're smarter than everyone else and so qualified to run the country and order everyone else around.

That includes noted "high brows" like Cher and Kathy Griffin.

Hagar said...

Socialism is a bifurcated dream. There is labor socialism and gentry socialism. "1984" and "Brave New World."

Gentry socialism may also be joined by people (like Nehru or Deng Xiaoping) who do not believe in socialism as such, but are firm believers in central planning led by highly educated superior intellects such as themselves.

n.n said...

The left is populist until it isn't. This year, it is antipo.

Karen said...

Dust Bunny Queen: "The West Coast of California can fall off into the Pacific Ocean and it would be a relief. A blessing. If there IS an attack by N Korea, I would be torn between elation and some concern for myself. "

Come on! Have some pity on us, the other 35% of folks in Silicon Valley who believe in the free market, truth, and the American way. Living in the midst of these leftists is hard enough without the rest of the country hoping we all slide into the Pacific.

Known Unknown said...

"Coming?"

The DNC decided in 2016 it was already here.

tcrosse said...

Come on! Have some pity on us, the other 35% of folks in Silicon Valley who believe in the free market, truth, and the American way.

Sounds like Lot pleading with God for Sodom and Gomorrah.

William Chadwick said...

There is an inherent contradiction in statist populism. Once you set yourself up as the arbiter of who gets to spend what, how much people get to keep what they earn, how they get to run their businesses, etc., etc., you've automatically set yourself up as one of the Elite, before whom the rest of us must submit. Whenever there seems to be any pro-freedom populist movement that threatens statism (for example, the Tea Party), those who once spoke lovingly of the Masses suddenly become the New Tories, looking down through their lorgnettes and asking each other wearily, "'Oddsblood--why won't this rabble quietly submit to their betters?"

Virtually Unknown said...

he dems aren't completely bought and paid for, like the pubbies are, but they are sure trying to get there..

I wonder how Hillary managed to become worth hundreds of millions of dollars by holding government jobs almost her entire life? Name the Republican who has managed to do as well as her or Harry Reid, another now wealthy person from a life of public service?

Francisco D said...

Karen wrote: "Living in the midst of these leftists is hard enough without the rest of the country hoping we all slide into the Pacific."

I feel your pain, Karen.

And its nice to know that there are a good number (35%) of sane people in Silicon Valley.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"The Democrats have become the party of high brows""

Maxine Waters. 'Nuff said.