Discover more from Antithesis by Shailesh Vickram Singh
Of left wing, right wing and the new privileged class of intellectuals
Are leftist liberals the new privileged class and more like capitalists of yesterday and right wing is more like communists of past !!
There are capitalists and there are communists, or these days there are right-wingers and they are left-wingers.
Earlier, capitalism meant establishment or rather people of privilege while leftists were anti-establishment, the masses who were fighting to get a fair deal from the establishment which controlled money and power. Right-leaning people were all about freedom of choices as the rich want to have freedom of choices while the left craved far more government support/intervention as the poor did need a lot of govt support to survive and to ward off the exploitation and politicians in usual style hunted with hounds and ran with the hare.
Come the 21st century and like many things, the definitions are getting blurred or rather changing. In these crazy times suddenly underdogs coming from small towns are touting themselves as capitalists while well-heeled educated are proclaiming themselves as leftists.
So what has changed?
If one browses old literature/art, one will find that almost every artist was progressive and communist. It's very hard not to hate capitalism if all one sees is empty stomachs and people getting nothing even after back-breaking labour while the capitalists enjoy even bigger cars, mansions and whatnot.
But was everybody really against the money/capitalism or was against the exploitation of the masses or rather against an unfair advantage that the capital was providing?
Revolutionaries of the past were not revolting against the money or the opportunities, there were rebelling against rent-seekers and privileges. They were protesting against a system which was designed to exploit, was extremely unfavourable and decked against them from day one.
People do not rebel about talent, inequality or the growth of others. People do not have jealousy against Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Sachin Bansal or Narayan Moorthy but they have resistance towards those who have an unfair advantage and do not have the same rule of performance applied to them?
To use an analogy from war, one is not afraid of street fights or trauma but is disgusted with a fight where the one has just fists while the incumbent comes with not only guns and knives but also with an army of advisors, trust-funds, corporations and state in support.
In nutshell, the resistance is always more about the unfairness of the system which rewards rent-seekers / privileges and keeps on punishing the talent/labour.
However, as it happens, during the war between poor and rich, a new class emerged which didn’t have money but somehow managed to get all the power without money. This new class consisted of professionals/intellectuals. On the basis of intellect and well-connected networks, they start occupying top positions in government, corporates, and media. Interestingly this new class of people with all power and no money achieved something which the earlier moneyed class could not achieve and that is immortality.
While business families went through cycles of life from being rich to poor in line with boom and bust cycles of economies, the new power class, just keep on accumulating more power and remain immune to change in power structures or vagaries of economic cycles e.g. Paul Krugman a career economist, despite being wrong about almost everything still maintains all privileges, wealth and carry same moral superiority over everyone.
This new class has become the new rent seeker, the new privilege class for which the system is decked in favour from day one. Admissions to top universities, privileged postings in global agencies, jobs in policy-making/access to power, this new class have all and on top no accountability or risk to status and thus is more privileged than the moneyed class.
Interestingly this new intellectual class wear the mask of the left as it gives it moral power and it hates capitalism as it aspires to the life of the rich but hates the rich at the same time. Interestingly this new class is more brutal than anybody in capturing opportunities and privileges. So it exploits the poor and harasses the rich and it is the new left-liberal class.
And if one sees today's right-wing, he or she is not against communism or poverty per se, he/she is against the same rent-seeking establishment as today's left-liberals are as privileged or rather more privileged than the capitalists of yesterdays.
The right-wing of today comes from the street embolden by the capital ready to take the world and is against the left which comes from the background of privileges. So in this new world order, the right wing seems more like communists of past who are fighting against the privileges of left who smell more like capitalists of the past.
Wars have remained the same. The story is always getting repeated between rentiers/privileges vs upcoming new kids on the block with raw talent ambition and ability. Just names have changed.
-- The end --