The Protected, Privileged Establishment vs. The Working Class

By Charles Hugh Smith 

Meanwhile, back in reality, household income for the bottom 95% has declined while the owners of capital and their privileged, protected servants in the Establishment have gorged themselves on private wealth.

As noted yesterday in The Collapse of the Left, the working class has finally awakened to the Left’s betrayal and abandonment of labor in favor of the protected privileges of the elitist Establishment. I also described the Left’s Great Con:

To mask the collapse of the Left’s economic defense of labor, the Left has substituted social justice movements for economic opportunities and security.This has succeeded brilliantly, as tens of millions of  self-described “progressives” now parrot the Great Con that “social justice” campaigns on behalf of marginalized social groups are now the defining feature of Progressive Social Democratic movements.

This diversionary sleight-of-hand embrace of economically neutered “social justice” campaigns masked the fact that social democratic parties everywhere have thrown labor into the churning propellers of globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies–all of which benefit mobile capital, which has engorged itself on the abandonment of labor by the Left.

Meanwhile, the fat-cats of the Left have engorged themselves on capital’s largesse in exchange for their treachery. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s $200 million in “earnings” come to mind, as do countless other examples of personal aggrandizement by self-proclaimed “defenders” of labor.

But it isn’t just the Left’s fat-cats who have feathered their own nests while denigrating the Working Class with arrogantly contemptuous scorn: the entire protected, privileged “liberal” elitist Establishment has responded with a very illiberal outrage that their protected, privileged skims and scams might be endangered by an uprising of the loathed and ridiculed Working Class that they reckoned would remain safely cowed and conned.

As noted yesterday, the only moment in recent history in which the Wall Street-cartel-state strongholds of privilege, wealth and power (i.e. owners of capital) felt threatened by political insurrection by disenfranchised labor was The Great Depression of the 1930s.

With the first iteration of global debt-based capitalism in near-collapse (systemic bad debt was not written off, lest the big banks’ insolvency be recognized), owners of capital and the political class reluctantly swallowed modest social-democratic reforms that gave labor enough of the pie to stave off revolt / revolution (as noted by Arshad A. on my Facebook thread).

Just as Marx had predicted, this crisis of global-debt-cartel-state capitalism was the result of internal contradictions built into all forms capitalism dominated by capital and the state that protects and serves capital.

Now we face another crisis of the current iteration of global-debt-cartel-state capitalism, also the result of internal contradictions–not just financial, but cultural, energy-based and political contradictions.

The privileged, protected elitist Establishment reckoned the social-welfare programs of the 1930s and the Left’s Great Cons would keep the disenfranchised Working Class permanently cowed and conned. If welfare (now called “disability,” “crazy money”, etc.) and the distractions of “social justice” campaigns didn’t keep the Working Class fragmented and powerless, then the ceaseless drumbeat of arrogant dismissal and disdain aimed at any Working Class resistance would do the trick.

Any Working Class individual who recognized that globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies were the propellers dismembering the Working Class economically and disenfranchising the Working Class politically was immediately labeled with the worst that “liberal” privileged, protected elites could spew: you’re racist, Luddite, backward, etc.–in other words, you’re not a rootless Cosmopolitan who loves your servitude to capital and the state like us.

Since the Left has masked its abandonment and betrayal of the Working Class with “social justice” speech acts, the worst insults the Left can dish out are those that suggest opposition to the Left’s social justice campaigns.

Self-identified “Progressives” are fine with the destruction and disenfranchisement of the Working Class, as long as the politically correct speech acts praising the Left’s Great Con are being uttered.

The self-serving, privileged, protected “liberal” Establishment is enraged that the Working Class is no longer following the script, i.e. remaining cowed, conned and fragmented. Like every other disenfranchised group, the Working Class has essentially zero choice of representational leadership, as the machinery of governance, finance and the mainstream media are all controlled by the privileged, protected elites of the Establishment.

So it boiled down to: choose more disenfranchisement and cowed servitude to “liberal” Elites, or vote for Trump. There was no other choice, so the Working Class voted for Trump as their only option other than surrender and servitude.

This rejection of their “betters” script has enraged their “betters,” who now demand the destruction of their proxy voice (Trump) and their rebellion. The Establishment’s war on Trump is beneath the surface also a war against a Working Class that has finally had enough of its arrogant, hubris-soaked, self-serving, privileged, elitist “betters” of the Establishment.

If the Establishment had deigned to offer a radical-Left leader who correctly called out the American carnage that is the Working Class experience of the globalized, open-immigration neoliberalism that has so enriched the owners of capital and their “liberal” apparatchiks, then the Working Class may well have voted for the radical-Left truth-teller.

Alas, the Left ground down any opposition to “we ‘earned’ $200 million” Hillary Clinton and her corrupt coterie of self-serving elites. Having beaten down, stripmined, insulted, denigrated, scorned and exploited the Working Class (whose “proper role” is to provide cannon fodder for the Elites’ neocon Permanent War), the privileged, protected Establishment (like every other elite that suddenly finds its entitled dominance challenged) is in a full-blown fury: how dare the Working Class not accept our self-serving rule! We are entitled to rule! How dare they!

Meanwhile, back in reality, household income for the bottom 95% has declined while the owners of capital and their privileged, protected servants in the Establishment have gorged themselves on private wealth.

Here’s what’s happened as the Left and its armies of privileged fake-Progressives threw the Working Class overboard in favor of serving capital on the First Class deck:

What will it take to shift the balance of power decisively in favor of labor? My guess is the downward mobility of another 10 or 20 million people who currently reckon themselves “middle class” into the unprotected, disenfranchised ranks of the Working Class will do it.

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