Identity Overclass

Michael Lind, 2003, Texas Monthly:

at the end of the day, if you have an exploitative economic system where the exploiters are pro-gay, pro-choice, and PC, you still haven’t solved some fundamental problems in the economy like the class structure and the distribution of wealth.

The dilemma in this dynamic is institutionalized not just in political circles and the Democratic party but also in the neoliberal university system that, culturally, wrings-out any young person’s concern with class and replaces it with identity politics — a note that sustains through life. Then, economically, the moment this young person has enough money (or even social capital) to “be somebody” they forget how to think and advocate like a poor person, but of course retain their identity grievances. At last, finally, this person is set to believe and advocate that the world will finally be set right when a vegan transsexual POC, too, can be a sociopathic 1%er CEO of a major corporation and hire for pennies an illegal immigrant nanny (forced by economic necessity to leave her own children) to sit the adopted kids and teach them the correct use of pronouns.