Chinese bats now seem to have killed more Brits than the Luftwaffe, or indeed the annual toll of WW2 did. Nevertheless, we have a home-grown vaccine that may well sort this out by the summer here and in the entire world thereafter. I hope that we do not punish the government at the next election. This pandemic represents a disease of progress and civilisation – our fault for exploiting wild animals and encouraging mass travel around the globe. Authoritarian regimes have had much lower casualties, but freedom has a price, better Dead than Yellow or Kraut. The Labour opposition here has whined and bleated, failed to come up with policy alternatives, and grudgingly agreed to the government’s tactics. Let us thank all the gods we did not have Comrade Jeremy Corbyn in charge during this crisis.
Culture War or Class War?
Here in the UK, we have an irritating amount of overspill from the so-called ‘Culture Wars’ allegedly wracking the fabric of American society.
Wokeism, Anti-Colonialism, BLM, Cancelism, and Minority Sexuality advocacy seem to have coalesced into a single liberal virtue signalling package against which an equally polarised backlash has formed to promote White Supremacy, Anti-Globalisation, Nationalism, and Conspiracy theories.
What underlies this Polarisation? - The Economy.
For the last several decades the professional and managerial classes in the USA, and to some extent the UK, have screwed the lower middle and working classes through globalisation. The wages of the poorer in rich countries have stagnated or declined in real terms as manufacturing has become outsourced to the developing world or insourced to cheaper imported labour. Meanwhile the managerial and professional classes have profited from cheaper goods and services and capital invested overseas.
This becomes all too clear when you examine ‘The Elephant Graph’. -
The rich in rich countries often opine that they have helped to uplift many parts of the developing world and that this would lead them to adopt western style values and democracy. The later has singularly failed to materialise. The rich in rich countries have merely succeeded in shifting wealth to themselves, and from the poor in their own countries to the rich in poor countries.
All the issues which have become polarised into the so called ‘culture wars’ revolve around the concerns of the poor in rich countries.
The American dream of a working-class family with their own home and car and with one parent as homemaker now seems a rarity or a forgotten fantasy for many. I has also become exceedingly difficult to achieve in the UK.
QAnon’s seemingly mad ideas about a conspiracy of ‘Satanic Paedophiles’ actually makes a certain amount of metaphorical sense if interpreted as a conspiracy of ‘Greedy Capitalists Denying Poor Children a Future’.
Yet for all sorts of historical reasons America can never admit that it has a Class War, so a Culture War stands in as a proxy for it. Socialism comes close to blasphemy in the land of the free, and in the land of the free, many choose to regard poverty as self-inflicted despite the glaring inequalities of opportunity.
The American democratic party, rather like the British Labour party, now seems dominated by Rich Liberals, and both ignore the lower orders whose mores and habits they despise.
Liberalism sets great store in an offensive against the side effects of relative poverty rather than its cause. Thus, it campaigns for any imaginable minority grievance rather than address the underlying economic factors which give rise to them.
Many Americans voted for Trump in the hope that he would do something about the American response to Globalisation. He seemed a strange choice but nobody else from the American elite dared to put themselves to the task, and America elects only from what it considers its elite. Trump may or may not now disappear, but the underlying issue will not, particularly under the pretence that it remains a Culture War.
Do not expect a revolution. Revolutions the world over, only tend to succeed under middle-class leadership.
Many British voted for Brexit in the hope it would allow us to deal with globalisation on terms of our own choosing. Our Conservative government at last talks openly about levelling up the economies of our poorer areas and classes. I live in hope.
The main part of this blog consists of an extensive email interview that Mr Ian Blumberg-Enge requested I give. This took place over the last week, because of its substantial size I have placed it here: -