Moreover, the erosion of the middle class in both Britain and the United States means that the buffer which would have prevented class conflict in these two places is now gone to a large extent. As Pew Research has shown, the middle class share of the population in the United States has shrunk in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas between the years 2000 and 2014. And the erosion of the middle class has only gotten worse in the United States since 2014. And in a context that is defined by the erosion of the middle class and the widening of class disparities and inequities, the Republican party has become the anti-elite party, whereas the Democratic party has become the party of the elites. As Thomas Piketty wrote: “If the Democrats want to regain the socially disadvantaged vote, whatever its origin, then more needs to be done in terms of social justice and redistribution. The road ahead will be long and arduous. All the more reason to get started now.”
As Cornel West argued, what made Karl Marx different from the Marxist philosophers who came after him was that Marx sought to “describe, explain, and ultimately change the world” whereas today’s Marxist philosophers – as well as other types of philosophers – are confined to mere philosophizing. In reality and in practice, tough choices have to be made which armchair philosophers are incapable of making. As Karl Polanyi argued: “Either Democracy or Capitalism must go. Fascism is that solution of the deadlock which leaves capitalism untouched. The other solution is Socialism. Capitalism goes, Democracy remains.” Polanyi added:
“Socialism is the extension of Democracy to the economic sphere. It is, therefore, essentially functional, Fascism is the opposite. Fascism means the short-circuiting of political, economic, and cultural functions in a minute ruling group of self-interested owners. Such a society cannot in the long run continue to exist.”
Self-regulation of markets has also led to the combination of unemployment and inflation, and the combination of unemployment and inflation calls for popular intervention into the markets. As Polanyi wrote: “The protection of man, nature, and productive organization amounted to an interference with markets for labor and land as well as for the medium of exchange, money, and thereby, ipso facto, impaired the self-regulation of the system.” Intervention aims to
“rehabilitate the lives of men and their environment, to give them some security of status, intervention necessarily aimed at reducing the flexibility of wages and the mobility of labor, giving stability to incomes, continuity to production, introducing public control of national resources, and the management of currencies in order to avoid unsettling changes in the price level.”
The basic concept or idea of history which progressives and socialists wield is that feudalism led to capitalism, and in turn, capitalism will eventually lead to socialism. Thus, there is a clear and natural directionality or trajectory embedded in the economic and political evolution of a Western society, and socialism is seen as its maturation and final stage. What thwarts this clear and natural directionality and trajectory towards progressivism and socialism – which in turn is made evident in the ideological and social dispositions and leanings of the majority of people in the United States – is the state within the state in the United States. As Antonio Gramsci wrote:
“The state has always been the protagonist of history. In its organs the power of the propertied class is centralized. Within the state, the propertied class forges its own discipline and unity, over and above the disputes and clashes of competition, in order to keep intact the privileged positions in the supreme phase of competition itself: the class struggle for power, for pre-eminence in the leadership and ordering of society.”
What the “deep state” has essentially done is create “a corresponding concentration of working human masses” who are now pushing their will through the legislative and political mechanisms which are at their disposal in the societal level. And if push comes to shove, the “deep state” would perhaps ally itself with fascist, tyrannical, and populist elements in order to thwart the natural directionality and trajectory towards a more progressive and socialist future so that they can preserve their narrow and privileged money interests which in turn are buoyed by ideological, philosophical, and social underpinnings such as fascism, Nazism, antisemitism, islamophobia, pseudoscience, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, male patriarchy, and sexism, given that somewhere between 95 to 98 percent of the individuals who wield executive and leadership positions in the American ‘Deep State’ are male ‘White Anglo-Saxon Protestants’ (WASPs).