Adam Posen: Woke Capitalist For Social Justice
This is making the rounds on Twitter, but for those who don't have Twitter, you have to see it to believe it:
When Adam Posen's BMW breaks down on the side of the road, I hope none of the working class people he so despises stops to fix it. Maybe he can call a fellow Harvard-educated economist.
As much as Ronald Reagan loved capitalism, it is impossible to imagine him saying something so hateful and so despicable. As someone I follow on Twitter put it, what's amazing is that this spokesman for ultra-capitalists (see the Peterson Institute's board of directors) dresses up his utter contempt for the working class in the language of social justice.
I have a friend who devoutly believes that Woke Capitalism is a plot by the super-rich to buy off the Left, to dissuade them from pursuing socialist policies that would affect the rich's bottom line. That is, if you go all in for "social justice," today's Left will leave you alone about "economic justice."
To be clear, I'm not a socialist, and I think capitalism is on balance a good thing. But the arrogance of someone like Adam Posen reveals the hatred many in his class have for working-class Americans -- especially white males. Sooner or later, someone will arise to speak for that despised class -- someone with more courage and common sense than Donald Trump. And when he does, the Adam Posens among us had better take to their yachts and sail to the Caymans.
It's baffling that Posen doesn't seem to know that black and brown people work industrial jobs too. Still, it is worth reflecting that the same contempt for the white working class exhibited by Posen exists in more veiled versions throughout the elites. In my years in newspaper journalism, I worked with liberals almost exclusively. They were usually nice people, and mostly nice white people, all with college degrees. But many of them had real fear and loathing of the white working class. My guess is that few of them actually knew any working-class people. They generally regarded the white working class as a cesspool of bigotry and backwardness -- even as they regarded the black and brown working class (none of whom they knew) as victims in need of white liberal attention.
Of course none of this reflected on the actual vices and virtues of the working class of any race; this was entirely about liberal psychological projection. I don't believe that any economic class, or racial demographic, should be valorized or demonized as a group. To paraphrase Solzhenitsyn, the line between good and evil passes not between social classes or races, but down the middle of every human heart. Still, it often struck me, listening to newsroom discussions, and participating in newsroom debates, that post-1970, American liberalism had gone from championing the working class to despising it. A parallel truth is that American conservatism has come to speak for the working class, but mostly to give it lip service.
It is time for the conservative movement to complete its move, accelerated by Trump, toward being a party of the working class, as well as the socially conservative middle class. Woke Capitalists are no friend of conservatism. Adam Posen -- who earned his bachelor's, his master's, and his PhD at Harvard, and who is a formidable establishment figure -- is the embodiment of woke capitalism. If Republicans can't see that and act on it, they are hopeless.
I'm glad Posen said what he said. It is useful to know who the enemy is. Here, by the way, is a selection of retweets from Posen's Twitter account. Open borders, screw-the-working-class environmentalism, and general contempt for social conservatism -- ecce, the Woke Capitalist:
UPDATE: According to the 2019 Form 990 filed by the Peterson Institute, Adam Posen was paid nearly $450,000 annually. I can't imagine that has gone anywhere but up in the subsequent years:
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What does the average American factory worker make? According to GlassDoor.com:
Yeah, those white male factory workers are in such a powerful position. How brave of a white male Harvard graduate who makes over twelve times their annual wage to put them in their place.