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Neocons and Neolibs Resurgent?

By AmericanKulak follow AmericanKulak   2021 Nov 11, 11:10pm 43 views  1 comment           share      

The mechanism by which this happens is the American two-party system. If you think of the factions in the two major parties as separate parties, then we have a de facto four-party system. From left to right, the parties are progressive Democrats, neoliberal Democrats, neoliberal Republicans, and conservative Republicans. While their donor bases are somewhat different, with tech and finance leaning toward Democrats while extractive industries are more Republican, both Democrat and Republican neoliberals are effectively two wings of one party: the neoliberal establishment uniparty. Neoliberal elites tend to move in the same establishment social circles and their children tend to go to the same Ivy League schools. Most of them would feel awkward talking to working-class people of any political persuasion who are not their servants.

The heat and noise of cultural warfare over issues like race and wokeness conceals a broad consensus within the narrow class of people whose needs and opinions are actually represented within the American party system. Business-class Republicans quietly support Planned Parenthood, while business-class Democrats are hostile to unionization (though they may tolerate harmless company unions that act in concert with corporate HR to enforce woke corporate norms). Republican neoliberals quietly, and Democratic neoliberals loudly, favor gay marriage and abortion rights—and also free markets, deregulation, cheap-labor immigration, and offshoring of industry to low-wage countries. They recognize the need for a safety net but prefer to subsidize low-wage workers through programs like the earned income tax credit (EITC)—as opposed to raising the minimum wage or cutting off the supply of low-wage immigrant labor that deprives the least educated American workers of real bargaining power.

It is unsurprising that both left neoliberals and right neoliberals oppose significant increases in taxation on the affluent and rich. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden promised not to raise taxes on any households that make less than $400,000. Restoring the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, a taxpayer subsidy to the metropolitan rich who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, is a goal of many neoliberal Democrats in Congress.

Electorally speaking, both progressive populism and conservative populism are instrumental frauds.

In contrast to the neoliberals who dominate the U.S. economic and social establishments, Democratic Party progressives and Republican conservatives tend to represent groups which, although not working class, have marginal social and economic power compared to the corporate and bank executives and big law firm partners of the neoliberal establishment. The social base of the unofficial progressive party is found among professionals in the career civil service, K-12 and higher education, the nonprofit sector, and elite media. The social base of the unofficial conservative party is found among small business owners and the self-employed—some of whom are rich, some of them skilled artisans, like plumbers who hire other plumbers.

Professionals with graduate degrees and the self-employed are each around 10% or 15% of the U.S. population (there is some overlap among the groups). These two groups may not be the One Percent, but neither includes a majority of Americans. Both the professionals and the self-employed proprietors rely on credentials—academic diplomas and state occupational licenses, respectively—to boost their incomes and minimize competition in their fields.

The working class itself is best defined by the level of education: the two-thirds of Americans who lack a B.A. If there were a working-class party, to judge from polls, it would be left on economics—supportive of higher Social Security and Medicare benefits and organized labor—and moderately traditional on social issues. But the multiracial American working-class majority has no party, even though it makes up two-thirds or more of the population.

The Whole Article is excellent, though I don't agree with several big chunks of it, including populism. Instead, I see a Hot or Cold Civil War unless Neocon-Neolibs can use brute force and increasing disregard for Civil Liberties in tandem with the Media, to keep a lid on everything.
1   AmericanKulak   2021 Nov 11, 11:11pm  

Of the four de facto parties, two—neoliberal Democrats and neoliberal Republicans—are natural governing parties, while the other two—progressives and conservatives—are countercultures that cannot effectively govern, even when their politicians win elections. In filling government offices, the two neoliberal factions can draw on the same overlapping pool of elite “in-and-outers.” When their party is in power, they serve in the government. When their party loses power, they migrate to lobbying firms, corporations, banks, and think tanks to make money and pad their resumes until their party returns to power in an election cycle or two. Needless to say, the reserve army of in-and-outers—whether centrist Democrats or moderate Republicans—consists of careerists who do not question neoliberal establishment pieties. Those who do are weeded out quickly.

As anti-establishment countercultures, progressives and conservatives lack the deep benches available to left and right neoliberals. Progressives who continue to insist that capitalism is the real enemy are not going to be hired by Uber or McKinsey after working in a Democratic administration. Neither are conservatives who denounced Planned Parenthood or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training by corporate HR departments.

Progressive appointees tend to come from the nonprofit or academic sector. In Democratic administrations, they are hopelessly outnumbered and easily outmaneuvered by in-and-outers from the revolving door between the Democratic Party, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street.

The situation is even worse for conservatives. Despised and ostracized by establishment law and lobbying firms, corporations, banks, and think tanks, zealous conservative appointees when out of office tend to make a living in the commercial counterestablishment media of Fox and Breitbart.
During the Trump years, when the trash-talking Fox commentators in his administration came up against the buttoned-down establishmentarian Republican appointees, the result was usually a rout of the amateurish conservatives. The Never Trump movement, while entirely irrelevant to Republican electoral politics, was a very powerful intra-elite instrument designed to make it impossible for Trump to govern by denying him access to the Republican bench by threatening anyone who took a job in his administration with social and professional ostracism. It worked.

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