In Brief: First, Economic Insecurity, Now Straw Man Arguments
Another Case of the Media, Trumpers, and the Curse of Both Siderism
“To understand how the populist right sees the world, it helps to go back to the last time the left was “banging on the windows of the institutions.” The period after World War II was a time of strong political consensus in America, which a “new left” rose up to challenge. There are clear parallels between today’s populist right and the new left movement that exploded in the 1960s and 1970s.”
“C. Wright Mills, a sociologist at Columbia University, was that movement’s intellectual godfather. Consider a passage from his 1956 bestseller, “The Power Elite,” a polemical attack on the structure of America’s institutions that would inspire a generation of new left activists:”
It gets better.
“The power elite] are in command of the major hierarchies and organizations of modern society. They rule the big corporations. They run the machinery of the state and claim its prerogatives. They direct the military establishment. They occupy the strategic command posts of the social structure, in which are now centered the effective means of the power and the wealth and the celebrity which they enjoy.”
By Jason Willick, Washington Post, September 5, 2022
I saw this guy on TV this morning. I was just waking up and listening half asleep. But I jerked away when he presented his thesis — -that what’s happening with the American Right is akin to what happened to the late 1950s/1960s left’s moral suasion for equality, freedom, and Justice.
And the Washington Post published this specious argument? Totally ridiculous comparison.
I honestly thought it was clickbait.
The author half read C Wright Mills’ critique of American elitism. In The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills analyzed the confluence of class, capitalism, and militarism in America through a reasoned, fact-based framework. This is nothing like the self-interested, paranoid and disingenuous bunk emanating from the modern Right…