X Close

How Turbo-Wokism broke America Oligarchs and activists are playing for the same team

The oligarchs are merging with the state. Credit: Laura Lezza/Getty

The oligarchs are merging with the state. Credit: Laura Lezza/Getty


October 8, 2022   9 mins

American history can best be understood not as a single continuum but as a series of Republics, each arising from the ashes of its predecessor. The First Republic, born of the American Revolution, ended with Andrew Jackson’s Trumpian assault on the genteel elites of his day. Jackson’s Republic in turn collapsed into the fratricidal bloodshed of the Civil War, which gave birth to a Third Republic, ruled by an incredibly wealthy class of Northern-based industrial capitalists, which collapsed in the face of the Great Depression. The Fourth Republic, Franklin Roosevelt’s, was centred around the strong Federal state that won the Second World War, sent men to the moon, and overcame the rival Soviet empire.

Whether Roosevelt’s Republic properly ended with the social chaos of the late Sixties or with America’s victory in the Cold War, and whether we are therefore currently living in the Fifth, Sixth or arguably even the Seventh American Republic, is the type of question that future history students in Beijing or Singapore are bound to contemplate on their final exams. The more immediate point is that another American Republic is collapsing, and also that we’ve been here before. In recent years, as in the Sixties, we’ve seen the take-over of large sections of American cities by armies of drug-addicted zombies, riots in Washington, dirty political tricks by the FBI and the CIA, the capture of universities by militants obsessed with race and gender, dire warnings about the fate of the planet, and the wholesale abandonment of American military allies. The difference between now and the Sixties is that today the people with Angela Davis posters on their walls are living in gated communities, rather than communes.

More troublesome, however, than the sight of America once again shedding its skin, is the shape of the American Republic to come — and the question of whether it will be a republic at all. Since the end of the Cold War, America has transformed itself from a country in which most citizens proudly imagined themselves to be “middle class” into a bi-coastal oligarchy. The hallmarks of this new republic’s politics are the sorts of pathologies that used to be associated with the countries to America’s south: a wildly unequal distribution of wealth, choking bureaucracy, paranoid mass politics, the weaponisation of the security apparatus, and the merger of monopoly capital and invasive state bureaucracies.

The beginning of the current crisis can be dated to the election of 2016, in which a large majority of voters expressed their rejection of the American socio-political order by voting for either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump over the neoliberal establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton. Trump’s election was followed by coordinated attacks on his flailing presidency by large sections of the American power structure, including the national press, corporate monopoly internet platforms, and a security apparatus that used the press as a megaphone for a series of conspiracy theories and lies that were often spread under cover of anonymity. The media’s already-tattered credibility with the public was plunged into the toilet.

This toxic combination of widening political polarisation and institutional failures was contaminated further by the country’s disastrous response to Covid-19, which crushed small and medium-sized businesses while padding the profits of large investors and internet-based monopolists. The result was the largest single transfer of wealth in American history since the Civil War, and the disenfranchisement of a significant portion of the American middle class — accompanied by a steady drum-beat of “woke” discourse that gleefully demonised the losers as “white supremacists” and “insurrectionists”.

The election of Joe Biden in 2020 was supposed to restore the legitimacy of the American political system and bring a measure of social peace. Instead, President Biden went in the opposite direction, attacking his opponents as “white supremacists” and “fascists”, setting the FBI on domestic foes, and endorsing a banana republic-style raid on Trump’s home.

Yet to blame America’s woes on either the 79-year old Biden, who strikes even sympathetic domestic observers as senile, or Trump, who continues to be a font of ugly and delusional politics, is to dangerously mistake the nature of the crisis. America’s toxic partisan politics are a symptom of deep changes in the American socio-economic structure that date back to the early Nineties, in the aftermath of America’s victory in the Cold War — when President Bill Clinton set out to take Reaganomics global with a series of trade deals that included NAFTA and GATT, and destroyed the American middle class that Roosevelt and his successors created.

From the standpoint of the Democratic Party of the Nineties, Clinton’s trade deals were a huge success, bringing major sectors of Wall Street and large American corporations into the party camp. For traditional Democratic constituencies such as industrial labour unions and their members, they were a disaster, permanently depriving millions of Americans of their jobs and turning large swaths of the country’s industrial base into rubble-strewn reservations for zombified meth-heads.

Among the writers, thinkers, and reporters who tried to analyse the travails of the American working and middle classes during Bill Clinton’s presidency, perhaps the most acute was the Pentagon-linked geo-strategist Edward Luttwak. For Luttwak, the problem with America wasn’t market capitalism or the failure of American workers to compete with their peers in Mexico and China. Rather, it was the unholy conjunction of Right-wing libertarian Reaganomics with selfish Left-wing baby boomer mantras about free trade, technology, and open borders.

What both the Left and the Right shared, in Luttwak’s analysis, was their disdain for the kinds of Bismarckian social bargains that keep states strong. Luttwak called the unholy alliance of the libertarian Left and Right “Turbo-Capitalism”, and he warned of its disintegrating effects on the American middle class, which he saw as the foundation-stone of American stability, prosperity, and geo-political dominance.

In his concern for the disintegrating American middle class of the Nineties, Luttwak was hardly alone. The troubles of middle-and-working-class Americans were a common theme during that era among a cohort of perceptive American thinkers including Robert Bellah, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Lind, Robert Putnam, and Robert Reich. What made Luttwak a rarity among his peers, Lind excepted, was his embrace of European-style welfare state capitalism in the context of an overtly nationalist politics — ie the American status quo before the Reaganites and the Clintonites set out from different directions to destroy it.

The America of the Obama-Trump-Biden years now looks a lot worse than the America that alarmed Luttwak and Lind in the Nineties. At the top of the narrowing social pyramid is a tiny class of mega-billionaires who personally own and control a staggering percentage of the country’s wealth, resources, and power, and make their money from the globalised economy. Then comes the professional class that services the billionaires, ranging from highly paid lawyers and investment bankers to chefs and fashion designers and real estate salesmen. Below them is the servant class of bureaucrats, teachers and other lower-status employees whose salaries are paid by the state or non-governmental organisations and foundations, who funnel money back to their political patrons in the Democratic Party in the form of free campaign labour and contributions.

Finally, there are the working poor, many of whom formerly considered themselves “working class” or “middle class”, but who are now forced to rely on government programs and subsidies covering everything from rent, to school tuition, to health care, to food. The glue that holds this power vertical together is the Democratic Party, which now regularly outspends the Republican Party — an incoherent mix of Trumpists, Christians, and other socio-economic losers — by margins of three or four to one.

In addition to being an oligarchy, the new American social pyramid is also a gerontocracy, in which both political power and wealth are wildly skewed in favour of people above the age of 60. Biden (79) and Nancy Pelosi (82) lead the Democrats, while Trump (76) and Mitch McConnell (80) lead the Republicans. Where the average American over the age of 55 has a net worth of somewhere between $1.2 and $1.5 million, the average American adult under the age of 35 is worth approximately $75,000, with the vast majority having no significant assets at all.

Understanding the new America as a decaying oligarchy run by old people is essential to understanding the increasingly bizarre mutations of Left and Right in American politics. The “Left”, in the United States, now represents the new oligarchy and its dependents. The resulting “Left-wing” preferences for free trade and open borders in turn make it impossible for American workers to earn a living wage. The fact that the new American Left is funded by billionaires such as George Soros (92) and Warren Buffet (91) ensures that Left politics is focused not on decent pay for workers but on the ever-mutating math of woke identity politics.

In place of tangible goods, such as a living wage and the chance to buy a home, groups of dispossessed Americans are offered official “recognition” of an ever-expanding set of “identities” rooted in race, gender and sexual preference, which pits them against other groups of Americans who suffer from much the same woes. Wokeness, as an ideology, can be seen as a function of the ascendent Turbo-Capitalist order — a means for controlling the working and middle classes to ensure that they can’t unite against their increasingly all-powerful masters.

The digital technologies on which the new American mega-fortunes are based offer historically unprecedented opportunities for surveillance, censorship, and social control — and have allowed the oligarchs who own them to merge with the state. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, for example, owns the Washington Post, which the security apparatus used as a megaphone to spread the Russiagate conspiracy theory to undermine Trump. Amazon also holds a lucrative cloud computing contract to manage all the CIA’s data, which it administers from a centre in Northern Virginia where over 20,000 people work, many of whom were formerly employed by the government. While tech giants such as Oracle and Palantir have large contracts with the US security apparatus, public-facing companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter regularly censor news and opinions at the behest of the White House while funneling private user data to the security services for free.

If techno-monopolists have merged with the security bureaucracies in Washington, the human instrument of elite control is the “professional-managerial class”, which forms the backbone of the lay Democratic Party. But how did this relatively narrow group of lawyers, professors, teachers, nonprofit workers, bureaucrats, and lower-level editors gain the power to anathemise, exclude, condemn, and generally lord it over much larger sectors of the population?

One answer is its ability to leverage digital tools, particularly social media — a medium in which small numbers of activists can wreak havoc on hundred-billion-dollar corporations or prestige institutions. By this logic, the Woke is a vanguard movement that seized control of a new technology and used it as a force multiplier to discipline and terrorise the larger institutional landscape.

A more subtle version of this answer is that woke-ists use the threat of reputational damage to impose uniformity of opinion on the class of people like themselves, whose careers exist only insofar as they are backed by sufficient reputational capital. Unlike previously dominant forms of capital (like, say, land and cows), the reputational capital that is the professional class’s stock in trade — the ticket to the next job or fellowship — can be vaporised by a single tweet. In turn, the uniformity of opinion that the woke imposes within its own cohorts allows it to control those cohorts, and use them to bend powerful institutions to its will.

This explanation of wokeness, though, is to imagine that the tail is wagging the dog. But, media companies have stockholders, just as universities have wealthy and powerful trustees to answer to. These stockholders and trustees should be more powerful than broke 20-somethings with Twitter accounts. Surely, at some point, market forces should begin to punish institutions that chose to ignore reality. If Princeton University, say, were to embark on a programme of persecuting faculty who dissent from faddish doctrines, then those faculty members — and the donors who support them — could migrate to Harvard, which would accumulate money and prestige at Princeton’s expense. But that never happens. Not just institutions of higher education, the entire professional layer of society — from the professions, to corporate management, to non-profits, to media and publishing — moves in lock-step.

So who does control the new American system? The answer isn’t broke woke-ists. It’s the monopolists who own the platforms where the woke-ists live. Elon Musk and Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett and Sergei Brin and Larry Page and Lorraine Jobs don’t care about mean tweets. They care about the hundreds of billions of dollars in their bank accounts, their lavish mansions and private jets, and pursuing rich person hobbies like colonising Mars. Their primary political goal, as a class, is to prevent the state from ever getting strong enough to tax their fortunes, break up their monopolies, or interfere with the supplies of cheap immigrant and offshore labour from which they profit. The more fractured, dejected, and heavily surveilled the America public is, the less likely a strong state is to emerge.

In the contest between the oligarchs and the fading Rooseveltian state, the woke are a useful tool— not an independent power. They are the foot soldiers of the Democratic Party, whose job it is to organise the dispossessed into groups that are narrow, factional, and divided enough that they can’t come together into a force that threatens oligarchical control. Discontent with the Turbo-Capitalist order can be usefully turned against anyone who refuses to follow the ever-changing party line — beginning with the “deplorables” who are now regularly portrayed as murderous, undemocratic racists and fascists, and extending to JK Rowling and Margaret Atwood. The result is a closed circuit in which Turbo-Capitalist oligarchs and Woke activists make common cause against formerly independent institutions like universities, professional associations, and the press. All of these institutions rely on guarantees of individual and collective rights by the state, which the Turbo-Capitalists and the Woke seek to capture and use as an instrument to enforce their own privatised social bargain: everything within the Party, nothing outside the Party, nothing against the Party.

The unprecedented reach of the technologies that the new oligarchy commands has already destroyed the press and replaced it with a government-corporate censorship regime that has no parallel in peacetime America. Combined with what appears to be a healthy appetite for humiliating others, this power does not bode well for the future of social peace in America, or for the health of the next American Republic.


David Samuels is a writer who lives in upstate New York.


Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

177 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pat Davers
Pat Davers
1 year ago

Interesting analysis. However the author’s statist sympathies lead to believe that if there is any solution to what he rightly sees as the precipitous decline of the American Republic, is somehow must come from a return to the Rooseveltian social contract.

The current regime is looking increasingly desperate, as their increasing reliance on censorship, propaganda and manipulation shows, From here, I can only see two outcomes: authoritarianism leading to true totalitarianism, or an implosion due to inability to uphold the absurdity and contradictory nature of the regime, such as happened in the communist world at the end of the 1980s.

From what I see, those whom he disdainfully dismisses as “an incoherent mix of Trumpists, Christians, and other socio-economic losers” are acutely aware of the imminent danger of societal decay and quietly removing themselves from the mainstream (witness the huge rise in home schooling, for example) and organising themselves in order to weather the approaching storm….

Last edited 1 year ago by Pat Davers
Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

“an implosion due to inability to uphold the absurdity and contradictory nature of the regime,”
This seems to me to be the most likely outcome. What follows after that? I don’t think he necessarily has disdain for the “mix of Trumpists, Christians, and other socio-economic losers” so much as hearing an incoherent message. Because what do people actually want?

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

The West needs a new Renaissance. It’s already starting to happen in small ways, but the dam is slowly breaking. As one poster noted, due to its own internal inconsistencies the liberal world order is crumbling, but as it does so it becomes increasingly deranged,

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I agree that a new Renaissance is needed. However, the most urgent need is for a recognition of objective truth rather than ideological truth.
In the world of 1984, 2+2=5 (or 3, or 7 or whatever the party wants it to be).
In the woke world, a man with all the male hormones, chromosomes and genitalia can be a woman because he says that he is.
These ideological truths must be automatically believed and violently defended against the objective truth that they are palpable nonsense. Once a population is conditioned to believe what it is told however nonsensical, it can be manipulated into pretty much anything.
In the UK, most on the left ideologically believe that the Conservatives have lower taxes on the wealthiest and higher on the poorest than the Labour party had even though this is objectively and demonstrably untrue. The reverse is clearly objectively true but nobody on the left would ever admit this.
A lack of challenge by mainstream media of the claims of those on the left (or the woke campaigners) skews the opinions of the majority who don’t really follow news or politics in the same way that the views of the church went unchallenged before the Renaissance.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Wilkes
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

You’re 100% right. Those who can be coerced into believing absurdities can be made to commit atrocities.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Where the average American over the age of 55 has a net worth of somewhere between $1.2 and $1.5 million…”
They can also be convinced that it would be justified to come after this wealth so that all can benefit. That’s when the fun begins. God help us all.

Rolf Wasén
Rolf Wasén
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

And re-claiming of science et cetera

Gregory Prang
Gregory Prang
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

I think the missing link is that the Roosevelt social order, a liberal idea, ran into WWII and morphed into the 1950s, a conservative phenomenon. A transition of the middle class from liberal to conservative through war and prosperity.
Now the mainstream institutions are in fact very liberal. What the “incoherent mix” (of which I am proud to be a member) wants is the security of a middle class like that created in the Roosevelt vision, but evolved into post-WWII America.
For me it’s a bit of a leap to say the 1950s were a result of Roosevelt creating a middle class, conveniently omitting WWII, but that’s the author’s argument.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
1 year ago
Reply to  Gregory Prang

It is what it is and that’s all we can say. But let us not neglect that the man in charge of 1950’s USA, when I was kid. . . that man’s impact on the postWWII world is arguably more profound and more deeply effective that the FDR social contract.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was the nuts-n-bolts General who led Allied troops, partnering with your Montgomery et al, and drove the dam nazis and benito fascists back in their holes. Then they handed the reins of Euro power over to Gen. George Marshall, whose pragmatic leadership assisted you Brits and the Europeans in rebuilding the world, using a yankee game plan.
All that to say, everything written above is all true, but the real thrust of progress and culture is in the bricks and mortar of real, infrastructure work.
This present infrastructure of social media is an illusion, manifesting far less true meaning and significance that it actually generates. a lot of sound and noise that signifieth nothing-much.
When all of us boomers with our Davy Crockett hats and Disney illusions–when we have gone on to heaven, with the King of Kings–yes, I believe in Him, then it will be up to our children and grandchildren to build a new world from the detritus of the 20th-century. . . that is, if Vlad the Mad doesn’t blow it to smithereens.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  Gregory Prang

You make an extremely important point – the experience of WWII tempered the leftist Roosevelt’s ideology with pragmatic conservativism – remember that republicans and not democrats passed the civil rights act of 1965..

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Apart from a complete misunderstanding of economics and history, Samuels has a few cogent observations.

Vince B
Vince B
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

But how many people are really able to remove them from the mainstream? Not many.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Trump’s presidency wasn’t “flailing”. It was quite successful (remember energy independence, for just one example?). Given the non-stop attacks from power players who, before he even took the oath of office, vowed to impeach him, his many accomplishments are a marvel. This author praises Clinton, but neglects to mention that he adopted the Republican’s effective Contract With America policies and enacted their demands for welfare reform. Of course, he and his consort were selling American military secrets to China and setting up their money laundering grift foundation while he was using an intern as a thermador, but that only set the stage for Spongebrain $h*tpants and his depraved family. If the US had a legitimate media and DoJ, Biden’s decades of criminality would be exposed and punished. But we don’t, he won’t, and we’re all at the mercy of the Tech Party.

Buena Vista
Buena Vista
1 year ago

Thank you, Allison. Best comment in the whole of the thread.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

Thank YOU, BV.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

Ditto! A refreshing breeze after laboring through that thoughtful, but artfully biased (in places) article. – best comment here

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
1 year ago

Reminds me of Orwell: He who controls the present controls the past. The Tech Party controls Truth now. Unless they are forced to allow dissenting opinions, which means an effective GOP in Congress, 1984 is upon us.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Tavanyar
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Trump is an oil, prole and chav hybrid.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
1 year ago

I think you mean “humidor.” Thermidor was a completely different thing
🙂

elephant4life drien22@yahoo.com
elephant4life [email protected]
1 year ago

I didn’t think that anything could elicit a laugh after reading this dismal recap of the demise of my America, but your description of Clinton’s perfidy and succinct nickname for the current WH occupant had me spewing coffee onto my screen. Thanks, I needed that!

elephant4life ===
elephant4life ===
1 year ago

I didn’t think that anything could elicit a laugh after reading this dismal recap of the demise of my America, but your description of Clinton’s perfidy and succinct nickname for the current WH occupant had me spewing coffee onto my screen. Thanks, I needed that!

William Dudark
William Dudark
1 year ago

“Spongebrain $h*tpants and his depraved family” seems to me to refer to Trump and his kids!

James
James
1 year ago
Reply to  William Dudark

Except the fact that Trump has a (more or less) working memory and isn’t wearing nappies.

Kayla Marx
Kayla Marx
1 year ago

What a terrifying social vision! Unfortunately, the nightmare society it describes is sickeningly close to the one we inhabit.

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Kayla Marx

On the other hand the highly polarised society that was born out of the 2016 election was probably engineered by external forces.

One would hope that society is learning to inoculate itself

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

Sorry, no. The rise of a Trump was a resurgence of earlier efforts to restrain government with the ideas called Tea Party. MAGA became their new tag with a leader who picked up those notions. This reform effort has been ebbing and flowing since the 1960’s when people became aware of a government that was corrupt.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Kayla Marx

It is the one that American citizens inhabit.

Eric
Eric
1 year ago
Reply to  Kayla Marx

While reading the article
I was reminded of this quote:

best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
George Orwell, 1984

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

What a remarkable essay. The fact I can’t tell whether it’s realism or satire is perhaps the most frightening aspect of this essay and its implications for modern America.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It obviously isn’t satire, and I agree it’s a remarkable essay summarises in a succinct few paragraphs the whole story unfolding in the West. One of the best pieces I have read here, and the only reason it’s less powerful is because we have seen other pieces that have touched upon parts of it, so some of it feels like it isn’t new insight. But still an amazing piece of writing.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

I tried posting this article on the r/politics subreddit of Reddit, but wasn’t able due to UnHerd not being a pre-approved source – you can’t make this stuff up.

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

r/politics is basically a CCP propaganda site.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

This is a fine essay, even if some of the points may benefit from a more nuanced approach.
You can make an argument that there is a regular turnover in the nature of societies (cliodynamics) caused by the elite breeding too many elite children for the number of elite jobs/roles available. In America this normally takes around 70 years or so, but it now appears that the turnover has quickened or possibly the old regime has been unnaturally extended using the new digital technology. The current gerontocracy suggests an unnatural extension.
One weakness of the essay is the comfortable use of ‘working class’ and ‘middle class’. I’m not so sure that the current situation can be understood in these (now) somewhat old fashioned terms. I suspect that America is fractionating into broadly three layers – the Elite, the Useful Idiots, and the Useless Idiots. The barrier between the Elite and the others is adamantine, and the barrier between the Useful and the Useless perilously thin. So thin that a single tweet or inopportune word can decide the fate of an individual.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

“the comfortable use of ‘working class’ and ‘middle class’.”
It looks to me that he was referring to a period where there was such a thing. So, yes, an old fashioned term about a group of people who are now the working poor. I think what we have now, or are heading towards, is a sort of feudalism, which this story seems to portray.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

ah no… now ” middle class” means one generation away from working class, petrified from ever ‘ going back’, envious of those who have what cannot be bought ( style, class, etc) , rude to those they consider below them, children call Courtenay and Tiget Jayde at minor public schools, with essential accessories of expensive white trainers, black windowed 4 x4 and beards.

Harry Bo
Harry Bo
1 year ago

Having attended a minor public school, this hits hard.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Harry Bo

so did I

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Douai

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Plus HKLP.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

the famous Lloyd’s syndicate H.K.L. Penn and others from Romford and Bromley?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Not quite! But a good guess.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

The middle class is that strata of society most likely to obey the rules. The aristocracy and under class feel themselves free to ignore societal norms.

A segment of the middle class perceives there to be new (woke) rules and is now enforcing them with customary bourgeois piety.

Bonking the wives of the lower classes would once have been rather infra dig for the true aristocrat, who had countesses to conquer, but is now very much an acceptable pastime for the aforementioned new middle class whose sex*ual emancipation is as much a badge of belonging as their blue hair.

Blue blood or blue hair?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Yes, the middle-classes seem quite compliant on their own destruction, like giving money to bullies in the hope that they stop bullying.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Fantastic! I am now cheered up! thank you…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

interesting, thank you: PS- women become less and less attractive the further up the social scale, not least their perception of said scale, in my unimportant, and no doubt prejudiced view…!

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Singing the Blues after that sex*ual emancipation runs its course and stops in middle-class mediocrity.
“But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity. . .” Paul Simon, 1965.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
1 year ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

Mediocrity defined: Social media renders all discourse ineffective.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

‘the Elite, the Useful Idiots, and the Useless Idiots’
The inner Party, the outer Party, and the proles’

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

True. It used to be that way. Now those in the two upper tiers who take advantage of the lowest class. . . are guilty of usury.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Someone has a deep knowledge of American political and social history. I am impressed by the depth covered and the detail in this piece. Not many people know the story of these events. Bravo David Samuels.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Um, NO. The history and economics of Samuels are completely wrong. I mean he says the State produced by Roosevelt beat the Soviets. Really? It was the retrenchment of the 50’s, spurred by Sputnik, and crystallized by Reagan, that beat the Soviets.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

Don’t forget JFK’s prelude to Reagan’s challenge. . . “Let them come to Berlin!” or, to explain: Let the world come and see this divided city, and judge for yourselves which side of the wall manifests the system better equipped for a future world.
“Ich bin ein Berliner!” We are all world citizens now. . . commenting on a previously UnHerd of electronic platform. . . How sweet it is! to be free… and enabled by the shepherds who tend this UnHerd flock.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

I agree with both you and Matt. Matt in that the writing covers an enormous ground and makes useful points and with you in that he’s dramatically oversimplifying and in doing so is just plain wrong.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Whilst predominantly an essay on America, i wonder what our UK readers make of it? There’s certainly enough grist to the mill regarding the different sections of society (press, broadcast media, academia, working/middle classes etc.) to suggest a similar process occurring here, or even across the wider pan-Western sphere. It would be easy enough to make comparisons based on the Woke takeover of institutions. And it’s often said that where the US leads, the UK follows.

I’m not convinced that parallels alone are sufficient cause for thinking we’ve been ‘captured’. But i will say this… those who rail against Brexit; those who join the pile-ons of politicians, left or right, who at least try to buck the trend; can they be sure they haven’t been captured?

For that matter, can i be sure i haven’t been? What would being ‘uncaptured’ look like? I simply pose these questions, because the article deserves nothing less. It may or may not be overblown, but either way there’s no room for a comfort zone. I often wonder if this is how it must’ve felt to live during the religious upheavals in early modern Europe, or be haunted by the prospect of the Inquisition for stepping out of line. Except, as the article suggests, it’s now turbo-charged.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The salient feature of the UK situation is the unprecedented upward transfer of wealth that has resulted from mass immigration (via the housing market) and money printing.

We are returning to a social order based on inheritance – with all that implies in terms of social and economic stagnation. Our academics and media class are employing the same means to defend and entrench the new order as their US counterparts.

Last edited 1 year ago by Hugh Bryant
Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As a UK reader I see a growing tendency for our politicians to serve not the people, or the nation, but to serve an ideology. This is mirrored more widely by all sorts of groups. We have too many people who believe themselves to be at their most ‘authentic’ when they are attacking someone else and for whom compromise is equated with treachery.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I understand what you are saying. My take on this is that if you find yourself comfortable denigrating others because they think differently to you, then you are probably captured. I think at this point in Western history, it may even be unavoidable. We have two possible futures ahead of us, both of which cannot co-exist: in the first one people are happy to sacrifice freedom and personal responsibility for permission to carry out sexual licentiousness (slavery through vice), the other is one in which we start to stand up and put a stop to the ideological capture of our institutions. The former is easy and requires nothing except going with the flow, the other is more difficult and risks loss of livelihood and personal humiliation.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Divide and rule isn’t new, you know. In the dying days of Rome tribal and ethnic divisions were
regularly exploited by the elites during food shortages etc.

Excellent article.

John Croteau
John Croteau
1 year ago

Extraordinarily accurate and insightful essay. It explains a lot of insanity that’s been difficult to comprehend. A few refinements:
Billionaires don’t care about avoiding taxes or protecting their wealth. Death and estate taxes are coming. They care about their legacy and POWER — showing the world how they’ll save the planet and how they know what’s best for the minions. (Think Bill Gates).
Yes, wealth has accumulated in those over 55, but most of them were broke in their 20’s and had only $75,000 net worth at age 35, too. Death and estate taxes will ultimately redistribute that wealth. Focus needs to be on maintaining social mobility and economic growth for the next generations, and doing a better job of distributing wealth to a “middle class” of workers (not buying votes from economically dependent minions).
Lastly, the modern Democratic Party has to be soundly defeated and it’s leadership replaced by young Dems with traditional blue collar (not socialist) values. Yes, GOP oligarchs like Mitch McConnell still need to be ditched, but Trump (love him or hate him) purged much of the GOP oligarchy. Modern Republicans reject the corrupt political class, weaponized government, Corporate-State media and Big Tech censorship.
The next Republic will be built on the same core American values of economic growth and social mobility with a rejuvenated manufacturing sector. The political debate must return to the right balance of capitalist and socialist principles that preserve and protect the American Dream, draw so many immigrants, and fuel economic growth despite demographic collapse globally.
The only question is how much of this cold American Revolution will be achieved in the 2022 mid-term election versus 2024. America is waking up to the modern Democratic Party disaster that is so eloquently exposed in this essay. The more educated voters become, the quicker we’ll form the new Republic

Last edited 1 year ago by John Croteau
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  John Croteau

We might disagree with the accuracy of Samuels’ assessment but quite agree about the insights. Your comment does allow a more positive look at a future. Whether the American culture can survive the decay within might be a question. While income inequality and a wealthy group trying to preserve it’s wealth has always been a friction point, usually that wealth is squandered in later generations. But we have the rise of perpetual foundations established to preserve that wealth which often have become control tools responsible to no one. Government will need to reform them. Income inequality corrupts governments and the people need to see and understand that. Many are losing trust now in the press itself as it has become part of government.
Woke will destroy itself as it is a defective, destructive ideology. But serious compromises must be made if the culture is to survive. Too many have become badly educated and detached from the ideals that created a society able to assimilate so many unique cultures into an idea. The divisions are growing and may not be sustainable. Government is too busy at internal graft to attend to the need for a common agreement. The cycle of populism is an attempt to realign government to it’s purpose and may not succeed. Won’t be the first society to collapse on itself.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

I too am less optimistic – the capture of education is a death knell. Mao, Stalin…

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  John Croteau

Lovely, yes, yes, yes. I hope you are right.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
1 year ago

Major statistical error in the essay. While it is true that the mean average net worth of a household over 55 is over a million dollars, the *median* net worth is only a couple of hundred thousand. The mean average is skewed massively by the concentration of wealth in the hands of centimillionaires and billionaires.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/average-net-worth-by-age

Last edited 1 year ago by nigel roberts
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Good point! I thought that stat looked high as well, but these days, the averages are highly skewed by the zillionaires, to your point.

Tim richardson
Tim richardson
1 year ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Very good point! I thought it was rising home values but your idea makes sense.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Thanks, do you have any data on this comment from the author “The result was the largest single transfer of wealth in American history since the Civil War…”?

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
1 year ago

This brilliant essay can be transposed to virtually any western society now. Anyone who steps out of line is crushed – starting with Trump. Clearly the foundations have been being laid over probably about 40 years, but the speed at which it has accelerated over the past decade is truly terrifying. Still, in the face of too much wealth and power concentrated in too few hands, revolutions happen. Throughout history they always have, and they always will. The only questions are when, and how nasty they will get.

Jim Stanton
Jim Stanton
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

How true this post is. Historically, being around when the revolution happens is usually a tough road to go for most. Even tougher than before the revolution.

Sasha Stone
Sasha Stone
1 year ago

This is brilliant. It is by far the smartest take on this madness we’re living through now. It also gives me hope that there are still dissidents willing to tell the whole truth so that future generations can look back and find it when they try to understand how so many of us could have gone along with it. I watched a doc last night about the crash in 1929 and how that one event caused a massive spiral that would eventually lead to WWII. That was, according to Neil Howe, the last “Fourth Turning.” The reason I am supporting the GOP now is that they’re the only ones who stand even the smallest chance of going after Big Tech. The Zoomers are the first generation to come of age completely online and on social media. No generation after them will ever remember real life without Big Tech. We have to deal with this problem now before it’s too late to turn it around.

Paul Blowers
Paul Blowers
1 year ago

The sad thing about the current regime (though this is not all that’s wrong) is that it is so damn culturally, philosophically, and aesthetically boring and banal, gleefully staring at its navel as it meditates on its faux diversity. The social sciences and and humanities in American higher education are becoming intramural conversations among (some at least) pseudo-intellectuals obsessed with how their next conference paper will come across to their academic guild. I am a professor of grad students (so I guess I’m in the professional class) but I’m throwing my hat in with the “deplorables.” If the current regime despises them so much, they must be doing something right after all.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Blowers
Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago

For me what this otherwise fine essay obscures is the question of agency, as in ‘it’s them that’s done it to us’. Not so. We did this to ourselves. These last two years and more have changed everything because when faced with the choice: comply or be banished, humanity almost to the last one of us chose obedience thus, in one stroke, sanctioning atomisation, surgical removal of dissonant voices and control. If so, our (and the essay’s) dilemma after signing away our collective birthright is what now? Seventh, eighth, ninth republic? We wish.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

“humanity almost to the last one of us chose obedience”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. I know people who lost their jobs because they would not be vaccinated against Covid. People were arrested for protesting against lockdowns. True they’re a minority, but certainly not what you suggest.

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Granted, as did the truckers, Weinsteins, Robert Malones and Novak Djokovics of our world. True sacrificial heroes. The rest of us mocked them or silently approved their comeuppance. We’ll all pay the price for our betrayal.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

I do agree that the vast majority do seem to be sleepwalking. I think they just want to be looked after and cared for and will make a deal with whoever promises it.

Jim Stanton
Jim Stanton
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sadly, this is the case. Most people will choose what they believe to be security over all else.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stanton

Therefore, Reagan was correct. We can lose everything in one generation.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

There is a stark difference between being an anti-vax and anti lockdown surely? Djokovics was no hero.

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Novak Djokovic epitomizes the dilemma of the dissident. He refused to submit to medical tyranny, and paid the price of cancellation which is money and his good name. But in so doing he became a martyr for human rights. Obedient Germans in the 1930s persecuted men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. How do we look on that German generation now? How will our grandkids look on us?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago

Isn’t it nice to see that Oligarchs are not confined to Russia (and Ukraine). What chance the MSM will designate them as such?

I thought the article was excellent, one of the best I have read on Unherd. A few points:

  • no need to describe people as socio-economic losers
  • the gerontocracy description has some relevance, but Bezos et al are still in their prime.
  • the piece also recalls an old Soviet era joke: The people with money have the power, except in the Soviet Union, where the people with power have the money.
Last edited 1 year ago by Dermot O'Sullivan
Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Whether or not it is happening already (see Musk’s dispute with the current owners of Twitter), the logical next step is for Twitter to be dominated by bots espousing the ideology of the billionaires who pay for them.
There is no real competition between Harvard and Princeton or any of the other Ivy League universities because damage to the reputation of one of them is damage to the reputation of all of them. The Ivy League universities have a vested interest in boosting each other’s reputations at the expense of colleges outside of the Ivy League. The role of universities in the state of the union described above is understated. They depend financially on students to pay for degree certificates at the end of the courses they have paid to ‘attend’, the looseness of this demand shown when Harvard refused to lower the fees charged to study during Covid lockdowns from home. Previously, an industrialised America had need of a broad range of engineers and other technically proficient people. A de-industrialised America does not and it can now import technically competent personnel from Asia. So why should American youngsters still take out loans, on which they are not able to default, in order to go to university to study worthless degrees? The answer is simple. If they adopt the woke ideology, they will be given a sinecure in the media, an NGO, the government, the intelligence services or even social corporate responsibility departments.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago

“loans, on which they are not able to default” is a hindrance removed by Biden’s vote-purchase bill, forgiving up to $20,000 of uni debt, enabling the woke to enter the ranks of the professional class debt-free (and vote Democrat of course.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Douglas McNeish
Craig Hubbard
Craig Hubbard
1 year ago

As a Canadian, it’s odd to hear free trade described as a policy of the left, when in the 80s the left were free trade’s biggest opponents in Canada. And I would have thought it would have been the same same in the US, given that free trade’s main support came from Ronald Reagan and the Wall Street Journal.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig Hubbard

Identity politics and freemovement of labour (AKA open borders)….that is the left. Social democracy was always predicated on exclusion and civic-national membership. As the left has morphed towards manic CRT/gender BS….the right, because it is more comfortable with that civic-national frame of reference, is re-orienting towards the traditional working class. Hence Tory inroads into the Red Wall; Trump picking up large swathes of not just the white working class but also black men and hispanics; the Swedish Democrats and AFD in Europe. Same story with different inflections. Blair, Clinton, Obama – with their open china policy and pseudo internationalism were always closer to the Koch brothers than the latter were to Trumpism. Our socialist comrades have been unwittingly supporting Neo-liberalism for 20 years….ANd the Green Parties are now mostly in the same camp also. Their globalism takes the form of ecological modernism + pronouns.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig Hubbard

You may have focused too much on the mention of Reagan and missed what Clinton did,

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig Hubbard

Economic protectionism used to be a leftist policy. I suppose the disconnect began with Clinton’s free trade agreements, and was finalized with it being a major part of Trump’s foreign policy platform.

Mark Marino
Mark Marino
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig Hubbard

Correct.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

Can you really jump from Roosevelt to Reagan without considering the massive expansion of the state under Kennedy and Johnson?

The 70s stagnation and deterioration that followed was what propelled Reagan into office and why he was necessary. The situation in the UK was even worse, Thatcher even more necessary.

Do not fall for the modern revisionist propaganda that everything was tickety-boo and then along came evil warmongers Maggie and Ron and sold off the family jewellery to their cronies.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago

You are not wrong – but the article was not so much about that, I don’t think.

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
1 year ago

One of the points made by the new prime minister of Italy in this speech is that Woke and Corporate are peas in a pod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHCJ7NxWoss

alec sahari
alec sahari
1 year ago

An absolutely outstanding piece, the sort of thing that represents Unherd at its best. The reason Unherd is so relevant to our moment in history is that it contains this sort of necessary critique or analysis of the strange left-right coalition that has constructed our current status quo.
Samuel’s essay reminds me of two excellent books on this topic: “Why liberalism failed” by Patrick Dineen, and Mearshimer’s “The great delusion”.
More by this writer please.

Ian Cooper
Ian Cooper
1 year ago

Elites or ‘the few’ have always used the technologies of their day to advance their monopolistic interests – under feudalism, heavily armoured cavalry and later gunpowder – then steam etc in the industrial revolution – and now chips etc in the digital revolution. However, ‘the many’ were able to fight back because they had some cultural framework to work with – Christian and Enlightenment ideas of justice and citizenship. Now we just have a culture of sex and shopping. We are just consumers and no longer citizens and know only the post-modern negation of anything; we are defenceless. Until this cultural bankruptcy is addressed political protest will just be huffing and puffing.

Jim Stanton
Jim Stanton
1 year ago

In my opinion, this is great article. The author does a great job describing the current conditions for us here in America.
Trump was and is a big mouth and certainly not exempt from playing using ones power to help out friends but many people, like myself, were and still are desperate for an alternative to the same old, same old Republican/Democrat, different sides of the same coin that’s been going on since at least the 1970s. The article does a great job of pointing this fact out. Barbara Bush was once quoted as saying “Bill Clinton, he’s like a son to me”. The only real reason to support Trump is not because he’s a good guy but because he is obviously an enemy of the Oligarchs. An enemy of my enemy is my friend.
This article begs the question though, can anything be done to turn all this around or are we destined to repeat history and there to be revolution? And if that is where all this is going, what does our world look like on the other side as others have already asked in other posts?

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stanton

This article begs the question though, can anything be done to turn all this around or are we destined to repeat history and there to be revolution? And if that is where all this is going, what does our world look like on the other side as others have already asked in other posts?
I have been asking this question for ages. Unherd doesn’t seem to want to tackle it. I have read books, and watched youtube interviews, with thinkers such as Victor Davis Hansen and Douglas Murray, and hardly a peep out of them about how we can create a way out of this mess. I’m starting to think we’ve simply reached the end of an era and there’s no returning to anything that looks remotely like the immediate past.

John Aronsson
John Aronsson
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

There is no way back. All of the town, county and state governments have been completely subordinated to the federal government for two generations and the governed have simply lost the habits necessary to maintain a self governing democratic republic.
Also, there is no longer an American identity that can command the loyalty of majority of the electorate.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think that’s right – not sure if UnHerd is afraid or if no one has a compelling idea on what to do!

0 0
0 0
1 year ago

My only criticism of this piece is that it begs a much more detailed, nuanced analysis which is probably not possible due to limited space. As a result, what we get are sweeping generalizations–notwithstanding that I happen to agree with much of the author’s analysis. Some takeaways at random:
1.) The Sixties Crowd (meaning those who went to the Forbes Top Twenty) is indeed not only ensconced in “gated communities” but in point of fact became the very Establishment against whom they railed from places like Cal/Berkley and the Lowe Memorial Library at Columbia.
2.) It is ironic that the author refers to Robert Reich as one of the “cohort of perceptive American thinkers” who were sounding the warning against the shrinking fortunes of the American middle class, given his status as Secretary of Labor in the administration of the very president who helped usher in the concepts of free trade and globalism. For all his wackiness, Ross Perot was definitely on to something.
3.) For all the talk on the RIght about the perceived “cultural Marxism” of the Woke, in point of fact the latter are mere pawns, attendees at the marriage of Big Business and Big Government, a union which increasingly takes all the characteristics of a kind of corporate fascism complete with its own “secret police” (read, the FBI and CIA).

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

“For all the talk on the RIght about the perceived “cultural Marxism” of the Woke, in point of fact the latter are mere pawns..”
Um, no. It is not simply “perceived” it is quite real. It is Mao’s script updated for Western culture and times. What the author and some commenters here don’t want to face is that WOKI, neo-marxist ideology, like its parents, becomes a Frankenstein’s monster.
Which ideology killed the most: Fascism or Communism (i.e., true Socialism)? You know the answer. It started as a ploy for power by corrupt politicians and oligarchs and it ended (in USSRs case) in decades of delusion and human suffering – for those who survived.
There are enough billionaire true believers to end the West IF we allow it.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

”Trump’s election was followed by coordinated attacks on his flailing presidency”

”Trump, who continues to be a font of ugly and delusional politics, is to dangerously mistake the nature of the crisis. America’s toxic partisan politics”

”Rather, it was the unholy conjunction of Right-wing libertarian Reaganomics with selfish Left-wing baby boomer mantras about free trade, technology, and open borders.”

”Republican Party — an incoherent mix of Tru*pists, Christians, and other socio-economic losers”

”beginning with the “deplor*bles” who are now regularly portrayed as murderous, undemocratic ra*ists and fas*ists,”

Well they are by this tool of the system who writes this agenda stuff.

Sure, OK, he points out the Tech Oligarchs are managing to control the Nation, and so West, with their tools of Neo-Ma*xism, Post-Modernism Woke Nu-Fa* cism (State Corporatism)

But he refuses to say the answer is in the MA-Ga Patriots and Classical Liberalism of the USA Constitution, and the Jud eo-Chr istian Ethos.

(so wile here one has to be careful as mods deleting of any comment which seriously addresses this issue is almost a certainty – so deep is the cancel culture – and this place no different.) (we all must learn to write in code now days)

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

so wile here one has to be careful as mods deleting of any comment which seriously addresses this issue is almost a certainty – so deep is the cancel culture – and this place no different.) (we all must learn to write in code now days
The situation is much worse than that. Such is the power of the controlling oligarchs that they’ve caused certain words to be incendiary and therefore verboten, and so sites like Unherd must buy software that automatically censors those words lest they start a fight in the comments section.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Correct. Jesus also spoke in parables,

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Interesting point.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

“But he refuses to say the answer is in the MA-Ga Patriots and Classical Liberalism of the USA Constitution, and the Jud eo-Chr istian Ethos.”
Maybe what he thinks is a little more nuanced than the way you present it.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago

Mr.Samuels has nailed it. When the Democratic Party, the Clintons, sold out to Wall Street in the mid 1990’s, it was all downhill for the middle class. The Republicans only have benefitted since then when the Dems are so inept and tone-deaf in their governance. The midterms of 2022 may possibly fit that scenario.
I agree with another poster that the rant against Trumpians, Christians, and others is of messaging, not necessarily philosophy. I was, emphasis on was, a WP subscriber for 43 years and thought it was, by far, the best newspaper in the U.S. It was run by Democrats, but the opinion section was vibrant, cutting edge, and probably the most open and respectful exchange of viewpoints I have ever known. Until Bezos bought it, and then it turned into a propaganda rag that he used to further his business and political objectives. It only took 2 years for me to quit. The saddest part of this sorry story is that a great majority of the editors and writers are still there and happily spew the spin, lies, and propaganda. My only take on this is that journalistic integrity fades rapidly with an increase in pay.
That is the problem, money. It corrupts and corrupts absolutely. The servant classes, bureaucrats, educators, the media, and the craven politicians of both parties have sold out, it began 25 years ago, and is responsible for the sorry state of our country.
There is a way forward. All of these oligarchs are vulnerable to cash flow. It stops, and so do their companies. Let’s assume that 100% of the “undesirables” stop using Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Progressive, and they cut the cord on all media except streaming. I would venture these companies are so highly leveraged that they would collapse in short order. The Oligarch’s personal fortunes may or may not be secure but they won’t have the bucks or leverage they now hold. These dudes and dudettes are the greediest people in the history of the world and don’t give a damn about communities or people, just more control and a bigger jet, yacht, or mansion.
Time to put up or shut up. That, and a couple of clean house election cycles, and America may have a chance to bring the middle class back. Otherwise, there will be a rebellion, and this scares the hell out of me because my children and grandchildren will never know what real freedom is all about.

Slopmop McTeash
Slopmop McTeash
1 year ago

What a breath of fresh air. This is the best (and frighteningly true) thing I have read in many months.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago

A view of contemporary America through a lens so accurate – and so completely at odds with that which the power elites spin through the media. Sooner or later the clear contradiction between the two will lead to a rupture of the political system. Those in power can only call out their opponents as “ra*ists,” fas*ists” and “terror*sts” so long before the words lose their meaning, and the excluded dĂ©plorables rise up in revolt, as the truckers did against the mega-woke authoritarian Trudeau in Canada.

Last edited 1 year ago by Douglas McNeish
Jeremy Sansom
Jeremy Sansom
1 year ago

This excellent article has received the excellent response it deserves. Thank you to all who have contributed with such thought and insight.

Su Mac
Su Mac
1 year ago

Added to the factors allowing turbo-capitalism and tech monopolists to gang up is unlimited money printing and debt.

Over half the dollars ever issued were printed during Covid and as these $ sit like rancid fat ontop of the soup enriching the oligarchs they also fund the surveilance apparatus, media capture, climate fear, pharma corruption, woke NGO’s and population distractions such as war.

Central banks know the “everything bubble” must burst and who knows what other “panic buttons” they will deploy next to deflect blame away from themselves and the political class.

Historic times. What an a amazing thing that so many of us are aware of what we are living through.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Eric Blairs vision of the world ruled by The Prole Screen, in 1984, has arrived in America, due to the incredible insularity and lack of education and knowledge of so many Americans, now closely followed by Britain.

Richard Barrett
Richard Barrett
1 year ago

This is the best piece of analysis I have seen in Unherd. Quite brilliant, and my congratulations to the writer.

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
1 year ago

This is the best description of the mechanism that caused the suicide of American democracy. But woke will be discarded faster than used prophylactic when they cease to be useful to Gates, Soros, Larry Fink and Klaus Schwab. The decades of indoctrination at Ivy League colleges made them too stupid to realize that.

Simon Adams
Simon Adams
1 year ago

Although there are some good points here, I’m not sure that ‘the billionaires’ are the conscious agents they are painted as. Perhaps it is with Buffet and Sorros, but the likes of Musk and Gates I would see as being in the box with the rest of us, using the resources available to them in the way that makes most sense to them. In fact Musk is known to throw the occasional spanner in the “turbo capitalist order”. People who see themselves clearly in the mirror are arguably not the most likely to become rich.

The primary agency is in ideas, concepts that become more and more assumed as the ground as time goes on. I think there is an argument to trace it as far back as the general acceptance of nominalism fairly soon after the rediscovery of Aristotle in Europe. That started an inevitable ontological decline from ungraspable, transcend truths which acted as the pole star against which the activities and things of the world had their being, towards bare utility as the measure of meaning. Once everything is emergent from the smallest parts, and all meaning only relates to an observer, there is no real meaning in anything. All identity is purely surface, and what is purely surface can be changed to fit preference and utility.

Once society is only held together by surface, it’s vulnerable to any dogma of utility. And because such dogmas are inevitably shallow, and based on little more than preference and utility, they are inevitably fissile over time. They must become ever more extreme so that the illusion of never ending progress can be maintained, or replaced by a new surface dogma, underwritten by ever more technical surface jargon to hide that it’s essentially just a new form of nihilism.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Adams
Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Adams

“That started an inevitable ontological decline from ungraspable, transcendent truths which acted as the pole star against which the activities and things of the world had their being, towards bare utility as the measure of meaning. Once everything is emergent from the smallest parts, and all meaning only relates to an observer, there is no real meaning in anything. All identity is purely surface, and what is purely surface can be changed to fit preference and utility.”
The last sentence lost me, is it meant as “none of us are a single identity, we are individual collections finding meaning as we evolve with other individuals.” Perhaps more simply, out of many one and from one many.?

David Lea-Smith
David Lea-Smith
1 year ago

Superb article. As an academic I have little faith that universities will change but the system describes here has a limited time frame since it cannot be supported financially. Should be interesting to see what comes out the other side.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Would you care to expand on the proposition that “…the system… cannot be supported financially”? And are you referring to the US, the UK (i’m making an assumption that you’re a UK citizen), or both?

David Lea-Smith
David Lea-Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I am referring to every western country apart from maybe Switzerland, and it probably applies to China as well. It is small and medium businesses that keep the economy going. Their systematic destruction has been a disaster. Combined with debt at unsustainable levels and rising bond prices with governments unprepared to reduce spending, it is clear that this system cannot be sustained for much longer.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Thanks. Since these trends are in many ways being brought about by, or with the support of the techno-elites, surely that’d mean they’re cutting their noses off to spite their faces? Or would that be factored in to their machinations?

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

This is extremely well factored in — at least from the point of view of the men at the top. See Roger Martin’s Fixing the Game. https://rogerlmartin.com/lets-read/fixing-the-game What this essay misses is that the US currently does not have one wealthy capitalist class, but two. And they hate each other. The old money industrialist one that dominated the Republican Party was historically based on converting hydrocarbons into durable goods. The new money financial one, which has taken over the Democratic Party is based on stock price speculation, and managing the expectations of the financial markets. The new money plans to be the only wealthy class standing, and they’d prefer to have a peasantry rather than a working or middle class by the time they are done killing the old one, dependent upon them for universal basic income and entertainments.

Ross Holloway
Ross Holloway
1 year ago

Very good insight – add the tech sector as the other ally of the Democrats

Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
1 year ago

“Where the average American over the age of 55 has a net worth of somewhere between $1.2 and $1.5 million, the average American adult under the age of 35 is worth approximately $75,000, with the vast majority having no significant assets at all.”
Because today people study longer. At 35 the average doctor is probably still in debt for medical school. Should we feel sorry for doctors, who are 1/6 of the 1%? Wouldn’t you expect older people to have accumulated more wealth?

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Very good but what to do? Nuclear war in the extreme probably more survivable in USA. I can imagine break up into blue and red states, the U Haul empty lots in California. Putting Trump back in the White House could engender that and I don’t think Martha’s Vineyard are very pro De Santis. America leads the World but we see spinning plates crashing to the ground first here in Europe. There is a reset underway but I’m not sure it is by any design from the suspects like Soros. Money is no use if you can’t spend it.

Jordan Flower
Jordan Flower
1 year ago

The “party”, “regime”, “cathedral”, “status quo”, “deep state”, or whatever you want to call it continues to hemorrhage public trust and popularity, and sensing this loss of legitimacy, desperately grabs whatever it can to like a drowning swimmer, pulling in anyone within arms reach and dunking them under in an attempt to keep its head above water. It is bloated, inefficient, and top-heavy, with public trust and popularity at historic lows, it can’t help but just get more unhinged, propagandized, ridiculous, and outright comical. Whatever satisfaction is felt in knowing it’s in a death spiral is canceled out by the fact that it will cause untold amounts of damage, death, and despair before it takes its last breath. Don’t try to save it. Let it drown and get as far away from it as you can while it does.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago

A very good analysis. The catastrophic mistake of the Clinton era was to mis-price the cost of government taxation and regulation of business. I remember clearly the theory that the West would export low value work to China, and retain higher value work like semiconductor design. Unfortunately, the low value work turned out to be most manufacturing, and the high value work turned out to be inventing Twitter.
It is not clear why the mega-corporations support Woke. Yes, they want to control politicians, but the same was said of previous mega-corporations: the military-industrial complex or the pharmaceuticals companies. The risk of reputational damage comes from the amplified voice of the guardians using social media, not from the social media themselves. The social media corporations are terrified of losing the only thing they have: a de facto monopoly. The best way to retain that is to appease the guardians.
So I think the root cause of these social problems is the pernicious philosophy of Woke. When you have such a destructive political philosophy with such power, it is not surprising it causes social harm.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

I agree, I think in general the ideology is seeping in from the universities, supported by our enemies e.g. China. I don’t think it is primarily an evil western cabal using the WOKE – there is one, but i think their issue it is simple arrogance.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago

“A more subtle version of this answer is that woke-ists use the threat of reputational damage to impose uniformity of opinion on the class of people like themselves, whose careers exist only insofar as they are backed by sufficient reputational capital. Unlike previously dominant forms of capital (like, say, land and cows), the reputational capital that is the professional class’s stock in trade — the ticket to the next job or fellowship — can be vaporised by a single tweet. In turn, the uniformity of opinion that the woke imposes within its own cohorts allows it to control those cohorts, and use them to bend powerful institutions to its will.”
A brilliant analysis of the Woking-Class!

Jane Hewland
Jane Hewland
1 year ago

If only I’d made sure my son went to Sunday School.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

“The forms of totalitarian organization, as distinguished from their ideological content and propaganda slogans, are completely new. They are designed to translate the propaganda lies of the movement, woven around a central fiction, into a functioning reality, to build up, even under non-totalitarian circumstances, a society whose members act and react according to the rules of a fictitious world. Himmler’s vehemently urgent request not to issue any decree concerning the definition of the term ‘Jew’ is a case in point; for with ‘all these foolish commitments we will only be tying our hands.’ “ 
One thinks now of the stubborn refusal, of even nominees to the US Supreme Court, to say what the word “woman” means. The fear is the same too: The last thing we want is our hands tied. The task a two-year-old child can pull off with zero error proves impossible for a person who would sit on the highest of all courts.
One terribly critical point Arendt makes, and that Mr. Samuels so cleverly captured, is the appeal of totalitarianism to the elite. Here is Arendt again: “In this sense, the bourgeoisie‘s political philosophy was always “totalitarian“; it always assumed an identity of politics, economics and society, in which political institutions served only the façade of private interests. The bourgeoisie‘s double standard, its differentiation between public and private life, were a concession to the nation state which had desperately tried to keep the two spheres apart. What appealed to the elite was radicalism as such.”

Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
1 year ago

The key and problematic intersectional demographic is black males (my group). It is the real and large gap in outcomes between black males and everyone else that drives the woke narrative. There are several significant causal factors, but two have to be the education system and the criminal-justice system. Playing a big role there is the War on Drugs. 1/3 of black men are in the criminal justice system, hugely impacting their employability and marriageability. 

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Cobb

Yes, that is true, but the problem seems to be the same or even worse over in America.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Cobb

According to Pew Research, there are approximately 550,000 black inmates in the U.S. The total population of black males of all ages is 18 million (about 6% of total population). 1/3 of black males are likely to spend time in jail during their lifetimes. Still a big problem, but at 6% of the population, not much of an impact on the coming revolution.

Ray Adnrews
Ray Adnrews
1 year ago

Folks are waking up to the fact that the woke, tho they might think of themselves as lefties, are actually carrying water for the globalist plutocrats. They are useful idiots.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Right subject but flailing in all directions. Time to be succinct, factual and clear rather than add drama to drama.

James Jenkin
James Jenkin
1 year ago

“the reputational capital that is the professional class’s stock in trade — the ticket to the next job or fellowship — can be vaporised by a single tweet”
Such an interesting article. But actually, in most professions (like mine, language teaching) we don’t discuss social justice on Twitter. Our reputations rely mainly on our subject expertise. So, maybe, people who are a little too on-line can overstate the power of social media.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

It’s always worth while having identified what we might call “the enemy”. But having done that, what next? The only way to hurt the oligarchs is to cut off the flow of money to them. That means the consumer must cut back their spending. Which they won’t do. For that to happen they must find that they don’t have the money anymore to do it. The only way I can see that happening is inflation eating into their wages. But inflation today doesn’t seem to be like inflation of the past. So does it mean money will still flow into the hands of the oligarchs through the government? And so now we’ll be poorer and nothing’s changed. Much too complex for a comments section I guess, but any thoughts?

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

This is what i was getting at when i questioned an earlier claim that the current system “wasn’t financially sustainable”. In whose interests would it be to see it collapse? Not the techno elites, although some argue they’ve not only ‘factored in’ structural upheaval but may well be actively encouraging it. They may be brilliant technocrats, but i very much doubt they have the political (in the widest sense of the word) capabilities to re-engineer society to their expectations.

For a start, there’s always the law of unintended consequences, which by its definition is unfactorable. What we’re witnessing (and commenting on) simply won’t be able to be digested until after the event. (This is assuming someone like Putin doesn’t unleash Armageddon.)

It’s been mooted that game-changing technology such as fusion reactors are within reach, and that the old order have deliberately suppressed techno advances in the energy field (e.g. from the work of Nikola Tesla) to retain control over finite energy resources. It could very much be seen as an ‘energy war’ being played out on the ground in Ukraine but impacting everywhere. Infinite energy changes all that. The UK has something of a lead (apparently) in the fusion reactor field, with the latest estimate of 2040 for coming on stream. The next two decades are going to be crucial, to see what the world looks like by that point.

I remain, probably out of some atavistic impulse, optimistic in the longer term. Never give up, never give in.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“i very much doubt they have the political (in the widest sense of the word) capabilities to re-engineer society to their expectations.”
Yes, that’s one reasonable assumption. But that’s not their interest. (Obviously there are some who have a political perspective). It’s more the case that they use their money to encourage others to act out their social/political objectives. Those fantasies don’t really matter as long as consumerism is an integral part. The reality is that they go where the money is. That’s not such a bad thing if the politics actually served people. But then politics seems only concerned with serving politics. We need to decide where the power lies so that we can influence them, in their own self interests, to serves ours. Ironically Capitalism was this very idea. Who is the real enemy then, big business or government? Who should we chose to give the greater power to?

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

That’s what i meant by politics “in the widest sense of the word” – not that the tecno elites would be looking to wield political power as such.
Every time someone pushes back against the Woke; every time someone rejects the preferences of the elites (e.g. by voting to leave the EU), every time we ponder on an article which seeks to delineate the power-brokers and the levers they employ and adjust our own perceptions as salient beings, we take power unto ourselves.
I suspect the illiterate serfs toiling away in the fields for decade after decade in medieval times would never have envisaged a change in their circumstances. But change happened, against what would’ve seemed perfectly entrenched power among the elites. I don’t necessarily see big business / government being the paradigm. Factors such as the advent of new and unlimited sources of energy, or other factors of which we’re as yet scarcely aware will come into play, just as the peasants weren’t aware of what a printing press might be.
The peasants need to keep revolting, and i’m happy to be a peasant.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

After I asked who should we give power to, government or business, I decided it should be the government, because they are the weakest, because of elections. If people drive things in a particular direction they’ll buckle. One of the great stories to come out America last year was the families taking on school boards. We’ve also seen, here in comments, online assistance to target woke board members. These are parents pushing back for the benefit of their kids. So this is families waking up. And that’s what’s important: their values, their pragmatic view of life, the importance of the culture and society they’re raised in, A large part of the woke community don’t have children, they don’t have the same stake in things as those with children, like education. When you have children you have a bigger stake in how schools operate. We know what a family is and we have to hold onto that and those values have to slowly spread out into the wider community. That’s where I believe the power lies.
When wokism is weakened everything else will cave in.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Unfortunately, I think we know that a people can be oppressed by a political system for a very long time before it changes.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Yes, they have to feel the pain.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago

Excellent piece. To the readers may I suggest “The Storm Before The Calm” by George Friedman?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago

An interesting take along similar lines at the link:

https://gript.ie/a-tale-of-two-rebellions/

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Very good but what to do? I can imagine break up into blue and red states, seeing the U Haul empty lots in California. Putting Trump back in the White House could engender that and I don’t think Martha’s Vineyard are very pro De Santis.
America leads the World but we see spinning plates crashing to the ground, again, first here in Europe. There is a reset underway but I’m not sure it is the intended outcome of suspects like Soros. Money is no use if you can’t spend it or nobody buys your stuff.

R K
R K
1 year ago

Samuel’s analysis persuaded me to read to the final period (not an easy feat with so many sources competing for eyeballs and heartbeats).

Seems almost cliche, but I could not shake the scary parallels between this piece and the World Order Party described in Orwell’s “1984.”

As a non-historian, I’ll leave it right there.

Tim richardson
Tim richardson
1 year ago

Incoherent.
He neutralized his entire argument that the political class is ineffective at advocating for better living standards, via wages:

“…the average American over the age of 55 has a net worth of somewhere between $1.2 and $1.5 million, the average American adult under the age of 35 is worth approximately $75,000, with the vast majority having no significant assets at all.”

So, stay in the game. Nobody promised you tomorrow. But, if you work hard, stay in school and provide a good service or product, you can still do well. That’s the American dream.
Also, he classifies the annoying ‘wokeness’ as a means to control the bourgeoisie:

“Wokeness, as an ideology, can be seen as a function of the ascendent Turbo-Capitalist order — a means for controlling the working and middle classes to ensure that they can’t unite against their increasingly all-powerful masters.”

But, then, he says the Woke use social media to exert their power, disproportionate to their numbers, against hard-working American and international corporations:

“…a medium in which small numbers of activists can wreak havoc on hundred-billion-dollar corporations or prestige institutions.

By this logic, the Woke is a vanguard movement that seized control of a new technology and used it as a force multiplier to discipline and terrorise the larger institutional landscape.”

So, which is it?
Finally, he argues for a strong State to oppose the Tech-Oligarchs…

“Their primary political goal, as a class, is to prevent the state from ever getting strong enough to tax their fortunes, break up their monopolies, or interfere with the supplies of cheap immigrant and offshore labour from which they profit.” 

…but what I think he really means is we need a Strong Social Contract to unite White and Black, Young and Old, Rich and Poor Americans against forces that tend to dis-unite and factionalize people along Race and Class lines.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tim richardson
Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim richardson

Incoherent or searching for and not grasping a straight forward explanation?

john veroneau
john veroneau
1 year ago

The essay includes many good insights but the author bases much of the declinist argument on trade and the loss of manufacture jobs. No credible study assigns more than 20% of such job losses on trade. US manufacturing output has grown while the number of jobs has declined primarily because factories today use tremendous amounts of labor-saving machinery. The same trend occurred in agriculture. US farms today produce considerably more today than when a quarter of us made our living as farmers. The trade-is-the-problem argument also ignores that many US jobs rely on exports (soybeans, airplanes). As Paul Krugman (NYT) acknowledges, restricting imports also restrict exports. Denying people the freedom to buy goods whether made across the street or across the country would not meaningfully address the societal problems the author calls out.

Russ W
Russ W
1 year ago
Reply to  john veroneau

I intuit some truth here, but Krugman? And no “credible study” given the utter failure of universities to constrain group think? Say more if you will, share some links maybe?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Superb!!!

Jesse Ingalls
Jesse Ingalls
1 year ago

More than anything
this describes the source of the angst powering Tucker Carlson’s nightly rants—which I highly enjoy and rarely miss. But according to this analysis, it won’t be long before the oligarchs silence him. Or
maybe they allow him to remain, just to convince us they really don’t wield that kind of power.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jesse Ingalls
Vince B
Vince B
1 year ago

Absolutely brilliant analysis. The Masters of the Universe want us fighting each other over what sex, gender, race, color, ethnicity, etc., we are, rather than come together over economic solidarity.

cynthia callahan
cynthia callahan
1 year ago

Narration dies not match the written article. Parts are skipped and parts are summarized. Why???

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 year ago

Report the problem with Noa by going here: https://unherd.com/my-subscription/ and clicking on ‘Help’ (last tab on the right)

Rolf Wasén
Rolf Wasén
1 year ago

The bad news, I suspect and noted by people like Einstein, are that the problems we now are facing are inherent in our technological and societal development.

That creates a very serious problem with what a majority of the population actually shall do for their living. This existential anxiety propels Woke-Capitalism.

The good news are that the techno-societal ”hyperinflation” rapidly is creating absurd and dangerous consequences acting like ”electric shocks”.

Curtis Smith
Curtis Smith
1 year ago

Nah. A view of America as written by a “wokist”. Drive around the country man, plenty of makers building stuff. A taker writer observes nothing of value.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
1 year ago

Spot on analysis. Hearty thanks for its lucid exposition.

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

An article that has left me hoping for a full -scale nuclear war ASAP.

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

An article that has left me hoping for a full -scale nuclear war ASAP.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

A nation founded on revolution will always be revolting.
Waking up is not falling back to sleep
Read ‘How to Read Now’ by Elaine Castillo
David wait till your elders pass you will
inherit all that ‘old’ money. Be patient.
Don’t be so depressive that you need meds.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark M Breza
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

Paranoia, selfish exploitation, polarisation, greed, corruption and violence in the USA? Old wine in new bottles. Plus ca change. The changes occur when you get over the conceit of American exceptionalism, and allow deep history – long-term, broad, global (rather than ‘the history of the world as seen through 46 presidents)

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

Perhaps you should read the other article on ‘Unherd”
Why gay men ignored MeTooWhat’s wrong with cruisingcomment imageBY JARRYD BARTLE

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

Do you not like to hear ?
Unherd joins censorship Herd !o!

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

Presage Poem

The Redcoats are coming the Redcoats are coming !!
Kill an overpaid cop — Join the Tea Party.
     They dont call them PIGS for nothing;
      first to the trough. 
After the Revolution read your Whiskey Rebellion history,
where GW & Alexander(central bank)Hamilton
slammed a federal excise tax on the poor corn farmers
& backed it up personally with the military force !They are not patriots they are revolutionaries.
As was the case the first time , this time also the Tea Party will lead to the destruction of the nation.
 Though both the latter & the present were not against their mother country they naively thought
 that they could have a revolution without separation, killing bloodshed, violence, war.
 If you do not know history it will repeat itself. 
NO THE TEA PARTY DOES NOT LIKE AMERIKA It is a sick bird; AN ILL EAGLE !!!

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

JVL “Over at the UnPopulist, Tom Palmer catches up with alt-right conservative / brave intellectual dark web truth teller Jordan Peterson, who has made the journey from side-show curiosity to Putin apologist. “

SIMON WOLF
SIMON WOLF
1 year ago

Musk and Gates will spend their huge wealth a lot better than most likely govts .If you were in their shoes it would doubtless make you sick the prospect of the govt machine wasting all those billions on what?
Musk puts his wealth into innovation whilst Gates into education

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 year ago

“and endorsing a banana republic-style raid on Trump’s home.”
Do you believe that the Trumplump is above the law merely by being a former president?Do you believe that the FBI planted the secret documents found at Mar-a-Lago?

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
1 year ago

At the very worst, Trump is suspected of non-violent, white-collar crime. The only purpose to carry out a high-profile, intrusive raid in these circumstances is for show, to intimidate for political reasons. Yep, “banana republic” sounds about right.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

You fail to answer the question. Either the US operates under the rule of law, or it doesn’t. The manner in which Trump and his acolytes conduct themselves over this matter shows that they believe the law never applies to Trump. Further, you fail to establish any lawful grounds for Trump to have secret documents in his home.

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

Clearly the US is not operating under the rule of law as it used to. Lawfare is being used to target political opponents. DAs refusing to pursue crimes. Prosecutors uses threat of law to compel businesses to particular agreements. Congress committees that overstretch their boundaries and trample rights to target political enemies. Judges that pursue cases in place of prosecution. Politicians making a fortune through laws that fill their stock portfolios.Legal agents that pick their targets for media impact. A Washington DC with opinions that are strongly divergent from the rest of the US. The law has become selective, and it is selecting along political lines. Democrats are those playing ‘above the law’.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

There is no point arguing Andrew – they’ll just practice their newspeak whilst you get frustrated. Interesting psycho-linguistically, bu otherwise not to be taken seriously. Choose your enemies carefully as they will come to define you. The woke left and the Maga crowd are frenemies who define, resemble and deserve each other.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

Claiming Trump broke some law has been a popular attack vector that despite continued attacks over the years ends up a political nonsense. He actually might be an honest person in spite of his personal failures.
While the FBI is quite corrupt at the top, they are not likely to plant documents tying Trump to J6 but they were trying to find evidence of his direct involvement (fishing) prohibited by the Constitution.
Trump is but a figurehead of a larger populism movement that existed before Trump and will continue with or without him.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

He actually might be an honest person…
Are you truly ignorant of the number of times Trump, as a “builder,” was taken to court for refusing to pay his contractors for their work?

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

I believe neither of those things, but I do “believe” that declarations of emergencies, executive orders, the use of the criminal law for political purposes, spending without limitation by law, impatience with checks and balances, the suppression of free speech, and declaring large swaths of the human race “deplorable,” have a special attraction to those with totalitarian aspirations.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 year ago

Your comment, together with the number of red lines I have acquired, persuade me that Unherd is more properly described as a United Right wing Herd.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

The distinction between the left and the right evaporated in the first half of the 20th century.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 year ago

Oh, really? Then how do you distinguish between Trump Build the wall, Drain the swamp, Lock her up, MAGA, and Biden?

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

How do explain the fact that Stalin admired Hitler more than any other person on earth?

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 year ago

My comments are about Trump and the rule of law. Your reference to Stalin and Hitler has the mark of total desperation.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

May I suggest Hanna Arendt’s: The Origins of Totalitarianism, and particularly Chapter 11. I would note, too, even the back cover of the Harvest Book edition: “Linking the Nazi and Stalinist phenomena as essentially identical and as transcending all traditional concepts of ‘left’ and ‘right,’ Miss Arendt was instrumental both in preparing the way for a whole series of studies of totalitarianism and then challenging the adequacy of common sense approaches to the malignancy of political pathology.”