The Baffler is awesome!
“…after a full generation of labor-soaking appeasement of business prerogatives, from free trade to financial deregulation, the Democrats are, at a minimum, in the process of morphing into the party of the rich—at least the affluent cohort of credentialed professionals and symbolic analysts who fund and plot out the party’s agenda. And since that class’s policy preferences are often directly at odds with those who don’t benefit from the great rolling largess of globalized capital, something a good deal more serious than message development and rhetorical recalibration needs to occur before Democrats can claim any semblance of credibility as economic populists.”
“So yes, here we go again: Once more we hear only muffled testimony of actual working class experience—not from a senator this time, but from a bona fide labor-law expert. And in a dumbfoundingly perverse transport, the benefits of unionism are described in terms of “their social-capital function”—i.e. via a classic neoliberal buzzword that in its very diction seeks to align the institutional arrangements of public life in line with the central economic formation opposed to the material interests of labor. And once more, we get a generous dose of the diagnostic feelspeak that, even in a quoted expert source, lets fretful neoliberal pundits convey to their discomfited readers that we’re discussing all this on the same credentialed plane of elite discourse: Workers need not only “a way to be heard,” it turns out, but also to dial down their anomic tendencies and to no longer feel “abandoned” and “forgotten.” Actual political agency, it seems, is a lesser virtue than the civic jolt proffered by a “mediating function.”