Tag Archive for: woke politics

Kotkin on Arquette Show: End of Progressive America?

By: Rod Arquette

On: The Daily Rundown (iheart radio)

Joel Kotkin, Professor of Urban Studies at Chapman University joins the program to discuss his recent piece for Unherd in which he questions if we have reached the end of progressive America.

“So, here’s the good news. On what sometimes seems the inexorable course towards progressive capture, we can see multiple fronts of resistance, and the early congealing of independent-minded forces, from the rational Right to the traditional liberal-left.”.

Listen to this interview:

An Unholy Alliance Between Big Tech and Woke is Destroying the Middle Class

By: Steven Edginton

On: The Telegraph

“An unholy alliance between big tech and woke is destroying the middle class”.

With wealth inequality soaring and the power of the elites growing, is society returning to the feudal era? The demographer and geographer Joel Kotkin joins Steven Edginton to discuss his theory of “neo-feudalism”.

Listen to the interview on Spotify

Watch this interview:

Have We Reached the High Water Mark of Woke?

Over the past decade, the woke agenda has crested like a giant tsunami, covering virtually the entirety of academia, the media, the corporate world and even the military. The Gramscian concept of ‘the long march through the institutions’, embraced by 1960s radicals like Germany’s Rudi Dutschke, has achieved overwhelming success.

Yet there are signs that the woke progressive model may be losing its appeal, even among some liberals. The bulk of public opinion is not in progressives’ favour. In the US, activist progressives, notes a recent study, represent eight per cent of the electorate – barely half the size of moderates and barely a third of the size of conservatives. What they lack in numbers, however, they make up for with single-minded determination; progressive whites, notes the Atlantic, are the most intolerant of all Americans, led by those in the Boston area, while people in smaller towns and cities seem far more open.

The scalps of those targeted by the woke are strewn across the landscape. There’s the cancellations of ideologically unacceptable speakers, the delisting of books and the increasingly selective media coverage, evident particularly in the 2020 election and its aftermath. Yet the very vehemence of progressives, their lack of humour or grace, may prove to be their undoing.

Among Republicans, wokeness drives them further away from the mainstream media, as many of them now regard certain outlets as little more than vehicles for proselytising progressivism. But it’s not just the nutjobs of the far right. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 58 per cent of likely voters ‘at least somewhat agree that the media are the enemy of the people, including 34 per cent who strongly agree’.

‘Cancel culture’ is no more popular than the rest of the woke agenda. More millennials oppose than support cancel culture, notes a recent Morning Consult poll. The older generations are much more firmly against it. But most heartening is that those in the younger generation, the so-called Zs, are the most hostile to cancel culture, with 55 per cent disapproving of it and only eight per cent supporting it.

Simply put, what progressives are offering the populace does not much like, particularly on social issues. There’s been a record-breaking surge of violent crime, but some progressive politicians and media enablers have refused to combat disorder. Some have even embraced riots, particularly the looting, and backed defunding or even abolishing the police. This has not worked out well for the progressives. In the New York City mayoral elections, a black ex-cop won the Democratic nomination against candidates sympathetic to the ‘defund the police’ approach. Even left-leaning constituencies are horrified by crime, disorder and massive homelessness, as demonstrated when Austin voted overwhelmingly to end camping on the street.

Read the rest of this piece at Spiked.


Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at joelkotkin.com and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.

Homepage photo: Eric Purcell via Flickr under CC 2.0 License.

Woke Politics Are a Disaster for Minorities

Bill Clinton may have been lionized as the “first black President,” and Barack Obama actually was half African, but no politician in American history owes more to African-American leadership and voters than Joe Biden. His campaign never smoldered, much less caught fire, until he was embraced by South Carolina’s heavily black Democratic electorate. African Americans paced his path also through states such as Texas, where he did far less well among whites and Latinos.

Yet will this triumph at the polls translate to a better life for most minorities, most of whom are working-class or poor? It depends which minorities. Biden’s commitment to healing the “sting of systemic racism” and repudiating “white supremacy” will certainly benefit the elite minorities—actors, lawyers, professors, media figures, corporate apparatchiks, non-profit functionaries—whose careers will be super-charged by demands that people be appointed to high office by race.

Viruses have no known biases, but even the pandemic cannot escape the taint of “systemic racism.” States like California are basing their re-opening policies on whether the infections and fatalities can be equalized by race, despite differences between races in health factors, housing, and work life. Some at the CDCmany state officials—including in overwhelmingly white Oregon—and numerous academic health experts have even suggested minorities get vaccinated first as a demonstration of “racial justice,” even if it threatens the most vulnerable, but grievously whiter populations of seniors.

The “Talented Tenth” v. the Vast Majority

But what about the vast majority of African Americans and Latinos? Even in the best of times, back in February, our economy was failing many of these minorities, as well working people in general. Corporate mea culpas about racism and solidarity with BLM may blunt criticism, but assertions of guilt don’t address the fundamental problem of diminished expectations, particularly in minority and working-class communities that continue to suffer economic distress and hopelessness. Minorities make up over 40% of the nation’s working class and will constitute the majority by 2032.

In writing about African-American progress, the great 20th-Century philosopher W.E.B. Du Bois embraced the notion of “the talented tenth”—the educated upper stratum of black America—as the primary vehicle for social change. Others with a more popular touch embraced either the crude nationalism of Marcus Garvey or the ameliorative, grassroots improvement approach of Booker T. Washington.

The elitist vision of minority outlook was epitomized by the Obama Administration, where African Americans and other “people of color” enjoyed enormous influence and access while the conditions for middle- and working-class minorities generally declined. Minorities with elite degrees flourished, but policies that protected banks and targeted homeowners wiped out much black and Hispanic wealth. “The first black president in American history,” notes the widely-read Marxist blog Jacobin, “ turned out to be a disaster for black wealth.”

Read the rest of this piece at American Mind.


Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at joelkotkin.com and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.