Many of us have talked about the Trump-era class war. You can call it Somewheres vs. Anywheres. Bobos vs. anti-Bobos. Managerial elites vs. populists. But both sides need one another, or at least they are stuck with one another. This suggests that some sort of Hegelian synthesis is likely to emerge. What it will look like?
My first thought is national socialism. It needs another name, because of all the Hitler/holocaust baggage, but here is why it makes sense.
The nationalism would include immigration restrictions, protection of “culturally significant industry” (e.g., wine in France), and cultural pride. This would appeal to the anti-Bobos. The socialism part, which requires technocratic management of economic outcomes, would appeal to the Bobos.
To get to national socialism in the U.S., the left would have to give up its attachment to multiculturalism and the right would have to give up its attachment to free markets (which Alberto Mingardi says has happened). Right now, it is easier for me to imagine the latter than the former, but maybe if the left loses one more election that could change.
And no, I do not want to see national socialism, even without the baggage. But it strikes me as a very plausible scenario.
A politics that’s inclusive, multi-ethnic, pluralist, federalist, preserves universal healthcare, preserves the liberty of individuals and their right to make their own choices without trying to legislate cultural attitudes, that defends civil liberties, demands equality of opportunity, curbs and regulates speculative finance, recognizes that markets are not value neutral or sacrosanct and encourages economic policy to improve the material well being of Americans without returning to reactionary nativism or neo-mercantilism, that ends wars that can’t be won and doesn’t start new ones without a clear threat or national interest that can be expressed in terms of political outcomes and for which people above the rank of sergeant will be held accountable
Parts of his essay remind me of Martin Gurri, in their description of the mood of revolt and nihilism that is in the air. His preferred solution strikes me as the left giving up the most Inquisition-ist form of multiculturalism but otherwise getting its way. My guess is that we will see something worse.