Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Martin Gurri is a national treasure..............

 American politics resembles a three-way scrum. An institutional center, dominated by a guardian class of elites, who manage pretty much everything in modern society, faces persistent assaults from the populist Left and Right.

On close inspection, the three contending parties can be reduced to two ideological streams: the politics of control and the politics of incoherence. Terrified by the rise of populism, the elites have hardened into what the French would call an “extreme center,” claiming a right to rule in perpetuity by reason of its superior virtue and moderation. Democracy has been redefined as the electoral triumph of the center. Candidates from outside the fold are deemed “semi-fascist” and thus illegitimate. . . .

The politics of control unite the extreme center and left populism: at present, the two factions share an uneasy alliance. This is only partly a contradiction. The center is ideologically exhausted and requires justification for control. In identity and environmentalism, the Left supplies that justification. The center is also aware that institutional power has decayed and verges on collapse. By its ability to summon the digital mob, the Left can offer social control over a restless public. At any rate, left populism today is not revolutionary but performative: it needs the media to build a proper stage on which to strut. The young rebels are often the children of the elites, getting credentialed in moral drama before they ascend to leadership.

-as culled from this post

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