Class War
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Episode 120
Featuring Michael Lind
According to Michael Lind, contemporary populism is an autoimmune response by the body politic to the degenerative disease of oligarchy. Absent a compromise between the classes, full-out war will ensue. This episode explores the historical contours of this war and how it may finally be brought to an end.

In Episode 120 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Lind, a highly accomplished intellectual, writer, and academic about his latest book “The New Class War.”

According to Michael Lind, the animating force behind the new class war is not income or wealth inequality but power. The old spectrum of left and right has given way to a new dichotomy in politics among insiders and outsiders, the former of which wield social power in three realms—government, economy, and culture. Each of these realms is the site of the new class war punctuated by periods of intense conflict and contained by periods of interclass compromise. Michael Lind’s overall argument is that “only power can check power.” Absent a compromise between the classes there are only two possible outcomes: 1) The domination of the working class by a neoliberal, technocratic elite or 2) the triumph of the working class over the elite by way of reliance on populist demagoguery (e.g. William Jennings Bryan, Donald Trump, etc.). According to Lind, the technocratic neoliberal revolution from above, carried out in one Western nation after another by members of the ever more aggressive and powerful managerial elite, has provoked a populist backlash from below by the defensive and disempowered native working class, many of whom are nonwhite. Large numbers of alienated working-class voters, realizing that the political systems of their nations are rigged and that mainstream parties will continue to ignore their interests and values, have found sometimes unlikely champions in demagogic populists like Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Marine Le Pen, and Matteo Salvini. Michael Lind’s stated purpose in “The New Class War” is not to defend populist demagoguery, but rather to diagnose it and provide his readers with a cure: democratic pluralism: “Contemporary populism is a kind of convulsive autoimmune response by the body politic to the chronic degenerative disease of oligarchy. Demagogic populism is a symptom. Technocratic neoliberalism is the disease. Democratic pluralism is the cure.”

For those of you interested in listening to this week’s overtime segment or for anyone who would like a copy of the transcript and rundown to Demetri’s conversation with Michael Lind, you can gain access to that content through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers also gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily be added to your favorite podcast application. 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Michael Lind is the author of more a dozen books of nonfiction, fiction and poetry. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Politico, The Financial Times, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, and The International Economy. He has taught at Harvard and Johns Hopkins and has been an editor or staff writer for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New Republic, and The National Interest.

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Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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