If Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were somehow transported to the present day and given a newspaper, the apparent lack of class conflict would probably make the revolutionaries think they’d won. They would see a society split on all manner of subjects — from identity politics to the correct COVID-19 strategy — but virtually silent on the eternal struggle between labor and capital, the oppressors and the exploited.
How different it would be if they’d returned just 10 years ago when the Occupy movement was in full swing, with tent cities springing up in protest against crony capitalism, corporate greed and a reckless, out-of-control financial sector. A decade on, the same problems persist, but they’ve become a barely discernible background hum amid the roiling, raging culture wars.
The 1% may sleep easier these days, but any complacency they feel is profoundly misplaced. The rage never actually went away, and as inequality has grown even more pronounced, capitalism’s discontents are no longer limited to the Left. Crucially, these proto-revolutionaries now have access to the most powerful economic weapon that ordinary citizens have ever had.
Welfare for the rich
Why is revolution brewing? Because people aren’t stupid. They see governments spending trillions of dollars on propping up the too-big-to-fail while the poor continue to struggle from paycheck to paycheck. What most don’t realize, however, is that governments know that welfare for the rich hits the poor hardest. Indeed,…