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Are most recent protests in the UK led by the urban well-off middle-class bourgeoisie? It’s a claim that is so pervasive that it has become axiomatic. There is circumstantial evidence. Liberal activists are routinely seen harassing black police officers. Recently, for example, an African-American police officer documented how much hate he got, from primarily white, college-educated "Black Lives Matters" protesters in a video that went viral on twitter. In the UK, minority police officers faced the most abuse, as they are considered "part of the system."
So far, however, the demographic angle of the recent protests was not clear. The latest study from the UK, however, provides empirical evidence about protest demographics and shows exactly how much the ratio is skewered.
London, for those who remember, was recently rocked by an upstart climate activism group (known in the US and Canada as well) called the Extinction Rebellion, with a penchant for vandalism and public property desecration. The study provided data that corroborated with the assertion that the project was upper-middle-class and elite-driven.
Around 85 percent were college-educated with a degree. Two-thirds of them were "upper-middle-class" and a lot were self-employed in boutiques and fine arts. A majority of the protesters recorded were females. The report states that "protest participation is highly feminised, with more women than men present in both the major 2019 demonstrations (64.5 percent in April, and 56.8 percent in October)."
Geographic location was incredibly important, majority of the protest demo was from the "posh-South" (London/Oxford); the American equivalent of that would be the Atlantic corridor demographic, NY/DC/Harvard/MIT. They are also overwhelmingly supportive of Green parties and politics, followed by the Labour party. There were no Conservatives and very few Liberal-Democrats. The protests got backing of the Belgian royalty, and Hollywood celebs, among other people.
This is perhaps the most understudied and important sociological phenomenon in the last quarter-century, and it increasingly explains our times. The realignment of working-class politics have shifted to a technocratic urban bourgeoisie, and the conservatives are now the working-class party.
It is the conservatives who are the party of trade protectionism in the US, going back to their Teddy Roosevelt roots. It is the conservatives who won the so-called Red Wall, the traditional Labour heartlands, in the UK. In Australia, it is the right, which defeated the supremely woke, feminist/climate activist left in the last election. The political dimension is clear, but the academic argument was rarely made.
In reality, this has been a hostile takeover. A "Rachel Dolezalisation" of working-class politics, where educated liberal middle-class woker-than-thou activists have taken over and channelled activism towards a more racialised neo-liberal politics, contrary to even a significant section of minority voters. And it is the economic angle which Michael Lind highlighted in his new essay (and book).
Lind wrote, "The goal of so-called progressivism in 2020s America is to expand employment opportunities for college-educated, center-left professionals while adding new wings to the welfare state that are tailored to their personal needs. The slogan 'Defund the police' is interpreted by the bourgeois professional left to mean transferring tax revenues from police officers, who are mostly unionized but not college-educated, to social service and nonprofit professionals, who are mostly college-educated but not unionized."
He adds that "The enactment of proposals for free college education and college debt forgiveness would disproportionately benefit the professional bourgeoisie, not the working class majority whose education ends with high school. Likewise, public funding for universal day-care allows both parties in a two-earner professional couple to maximize their individual incomes and individual career achievements by outsourcing the care of their children to a mostly-female, less well-paid workforce at taxpayer expense."
The London Extinction Rebellion protest paper underscores that the old liberal argument of "demography is destiny" is dead. If this paper is replicated in the US with regard to protests led by Antifa and BLM professional activists in Portland and Seattle for example, one can imagine similar findings.
The ongoing revolution is top-down and elite-driven, and conservatives would do well to focus on blue-collar needs, for a true national-conservatism, which will not cater to an urban uni-educated minority, and would pave the path for proper conservative faith-flag-family politics in the future.