Support the news

Michael Lind On The Rise Of Populism46:37
Download

Play
Ballots are counted by an election official for the 2017 presidential election at a polling station in Paris, The election was seen as a test for the spread of populism around the world. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)
Ballots are counted by an election official for the 2017 presidential election at a polling station in Paris, The election was seen as a test for the spread of populism around the world. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Michael Lind argues the rise of populism has been caused by the decline of religious and civic institutions and the rise of managerial elites. He's with us.

Guest

Michael Lind, co-founder of the New America Foundation. Professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Author of "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite."

From The Reading List

Excerpt from "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind 

Excerpted from "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind. Copyright © 2020 by Michael Lind. Published by Penguin Random House. All rights reserved.  

L.A. Review of Books: "Away in a Manager: On Michael Lind’s 'The New Class War'" — "A few days after Donald Trump’s electoral upset in 2016, Club for Growth co-founder Stephen Moore told an audience of Republican House members that the GOP was 'now officially a Trump working class party.' No longer the party of traditional Reaganite conservatism, the GOP had been converted instead 'into a populist America First party.' As he uttered these words, Moore says, 'the shock was palpable' in the room.

"The Club for Growth had long dominated Republican orthodoxy by promoting low tax rates and limited government. Any conservative candidate for political office wanting to reap the benefits of the Club’s massive fundraising arm had to pay homage to this doctrine. For one of its formerly leading voices to pronounce the transformation of this orthodoxy toward a more populist nationalism showed just how much the ground had shifted on election night.

"To writer Michael Lind, Trump’s victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of 'class war' by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a 'university-credentialed overclass' of managerial elites. The title of Lind’s new book, The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite, leaves no doubt as to where his sympathies lie, though he’s adamant that he’s not some sort of guru for a 'smarter Trumpism,' as some have labeled him."

Washington Examiner: "Michael Lind's class war" — "Michael Lind began his career as the sort of public intellectual who used to be called an enfant terrible. A prolific writer and the co-founder of the New America think tank, Lind has tirelessly promoted a neo-Hamiltonian approach to trade and economic development that calls for cooperation between a strong government and large, powerful businesses. His numerous critics are a testament to his independence.

"In the 1990s, figures as divergent as Paul Krugman and Harvey Mansfield swatted at him as if he were an impudent pest. Krugman called him ignorant for suggesting, accurately, that productivity growth in the United States might not be enough to raise the country's wages in the face of outsourcing and foreign competition. Mansfield characterized Lind's first book, The Next American Nation, as thin, incoherent, and slapdash, counseling Lind to 'wait many years' before publishing another. By my count, he has written 15 since then.

"His latest is The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite, a short volume that examines the populist revolts in the U.S., Britain, and Western Europe. All of them, Lind says, are part of a transatlantic class war being waged on three fronts — politics, economics, and culture."

The New York Times: "The Many Polarizations of America" — "This month has brought a surfeit of interesting new books about American politics, most of them attempts to explain exactly how we reached our current era of gridlock and demagogy, in which disliked establishments and disreputable populists clash by night.

"This task means that they are necessarily studies in polarization, in the roots of partisan hatred and ideological mistrust. And it means they usefully be read together, and against one another, to try to get a holistic sense of the forces tearing us apart.

"I’m going to do that with three of them in this column, starting with the one that formally takes polarization as its theme, Ezra Klein’s 'Why We’re Polarized.' Klein’s book is political and sociological, but its primary interest is psychological: how the tribal impulse shapes our interaction with news and information, how the partisan brain protects itself from unwanted data and uncomfortable truths, how 'the press secretary in your mind' finds a way to spin discomfiting developments so that your side comes out on top."

This program aired on February 3, 2020.

Related:

Meghna Chakrabarti Twitter Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.

More…

Stefano Kotsonis Producer, On Point
Stefano Kotsonis is a producer for WBUR's On Point.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news