The black-clothed Antifa activists who are leading the anti-police riots are mostly the discarded, angry college-grade workforce of an increasingly high-tech, globalized economy, say a variety of experts and millennials.
Colleges are producing many “graduates who’ve absorbed a worldview that trains them for “metropolitan elite” job types that turn out to be far scarcer than the graduates competing for them,” writes Mary Harrington, a young writer at Unherd.com. She continues:
The result is a frustrated would-be middle class, treading water in what the writer Venkatesh Rao has called ‘premium mediocre’ lifestyles, a rented simulacrum of a genuinely prosperous existence designed to signal preparedness for the day when, by luck or application, they make it into the dwindling numbers of the real bourgeoisie.
These graduate left-behinds are then stuck in a holding pattern, in precarious housing and employment, as opportunities to take the big steps into adult life — traditionally home ownership, coupledom and kids – recede ever further into the distance. A recent Pew report showed 30% of millennials living with a spouse and child, a fall of 10% on Generation X and a whopping 40% drop on the 1968 generation. That’s America, but ONS data shows the age of first child climbing relentlessly in Britain too — while the birth rate is falling in all cohorts save the over-40s.
They are failing because the investor class is pushing them and their college peers out of good jobs to make room for an imported workforce of cheap and compliant visa workers.
This means Antifa people are now going through the same outsourcing pain and poverty that was imposed on the American working class by the elite’s imposition of mass migration and free trade deals with Mexico and China.
Antifas college graduates are being hit hard by the little-mentioned population of roughly 1.3 million visa workers.
The visa workers are imported into the U.S. for a variety of tasks. Many are imported for on-the-job training so they can export their jobs to India, where they can be paid at India’s pay levels. But many also are put into the jobs at the Fortune 500 companies that would otherwise carry many young Antifa people up into middle class prosperity.
CEOs, vice-presidents, hiring managers, and investors want to hire many visa workers because they are compliant and helpless.
They are compliant because they were already powerless in their own Indian or Chinese culture. But they are also impotent because they know they can be easily thrown out of the United States and back to India or China, with a signature from any of their managers and executives.
Their powerlessness means they cannot argue with bosses, unlike American professionals. They cannot quit for different employers, as is the norm Among American graduates. They cannot quit to invent a rival product that grabs market share from their former employers, as millions of American graduates hope to do.
Congress created this powerless and growing workforce at the request of Silicon Valley’s tech companies and the Fortune 500.
So far, President Donald Trump has done nothing to shrink this massive loss of middle-class jobs, salaries, and careers.
Please read @NeilMunroDC 's latest before you assume (as I once did) that H-1B "guestworkers" are all super-skilled foreign tech whizzes doing work Americans can't do. I'm sure some are, but most …. https://t.co/MRvndFDXsQ
— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) May 25, 2020
But the young progressives and Antifa schemers have been trained to not see how their futures are being drained. Instead of learning economics and history, they were programmed in schools and colleges to focus on identity groups, on race, and on sexism — and to never follow the money.
The flow of money is rarely mentioned on TV, in Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post, or in the pro-diversity New York Times. So Antifa’s economic frustration becomes political frustration as they chase their identity-politics delusions. NBC reported in 2017:
Daniel is a sophomore studying political science at a private Bay Area university. The 19-year-old asked to have his last name withheld so he could speak freely about his experience with the Antifa movement. He said he became involved two years ago, after becoming disillusioned with what he calls a corrupted American dream.
“These false promises we’ve been told throughout our lives that we just have to follow the American dream of working hard and things will be all right. We’ll get a middle class existence with house, lawn and the picket fence,” Daniel said. “This promise, this future has never materialized, and we kind of realized that the system’s rigged against us and we need to do something about it.”
Twitter commenters echo the same theme of frustrated and angry college graduates:
A great insight that explained a lot of what I see in Toronto. Tons of graduates with Master's degrees and PhDs acting all social justicey and marching around decrying the system when the real problem is their degrees in criminology or gender studies don't get them jobs.
— Greg Tolan 🏴🇷🇸 (@Greg_Tolan) June 5, 2020
The Antifa graduates collect in the inner cities as they try to climb the career ladders towards the comfortable life promised by their teachers, professors, peers, and parents. This makes it is easy for them to scheme and riot, says the anti-establishment author, Michael Lind, the author of “The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite.”
In an article titled “Hub City Riot Ninjas: A young overclass gets dressed up to join the burning,” Lind says:
For the most part, the members of groups like Antifa, the latest incarnation of the violent left, have always been the pampered children of the white overclass. Twenty-somethings who are poor and working class lack the money to buy fancy black ninja outfits and the leisure to spend time plotting in advance of demonstrations. This is nothing new; as a veteran ’60s leftist told me, “Your Mom and Dad had to have a lot of money for you to take part in the Summer of Love.”
Their impact is large, in part, because they live alongside each other in the urban centers where their spending power has pushed poor minorities and workers out to distant, ungentrified districts. Lind writes:
The children of the white urban elite—some of them downwardly mobile for life, some of them just going through the underpaid intern phase of professional careers—have colonized rowhouses where workers once lived and have converted former factories and warehouses into settings for la vie bohème.
Many of today’s big city riot ninjas will look back in the future with pride on their nights of prancing around in black leotards and spraypainting “BLM” and “Fuck Trump” on downtown buildings. A decade from now, the most successful will have well-paying jobs, many of them in the politically progressive sectors like the universities and NGOs. The unlucky ones may still be working at Starbucks—perhaps at the very stores whose plate glass windows they once spray-painted or smashed.
Californian Joel Kotkin says the middle-class is shrinking, and political power is flowing to the business elite and their allied class of cheerleaders in the media and universities:
The new class structure resembles that of Medieval times. At the apex of the new order are two classes—a reborn clerical elite, the clerisy, which dominates the upper part of the professional ranks, universities, media and culture, and a new aristocracy led by tech oligarchs with unprecedented wealth and growing control of information …
Below these two classes lies … the yeomanry, which is made up largely of [middle-class] small businesspeople, minor property owners, skilled workers and private-sector oriented professionals. Ascendant for much of modern history, this [yeomanry] class is in decline while those below them, the new Serfs, grow in numbers—a vast, expanding property-less population.
In this vision, Antifa consists of people who want to get into the “clerisy.” But many of them will fail and fall down into the serf class, where they tend bars, deliver food, do piecework journalism.
But these descriptions also mean that Antifa’s graduates and Trump’s working-class MAGA are potential allies.
The underemployed Antifa college graduates are close cousins to the millions of working-class Americans who rallied to Donald Trump’s 2016 message of national solidarity, and “Buy American, Hire American.” As Harrington writes in Unherd.com:
Both radical Left and Right are, the authors suggest, “different segments of the same pool of losers of globalization”. The left-behind bottom rungs of the new graduate precariat mix cosmopolitan style identity politics with a simmering anger at a system that feels rigged against them, and a demand for economic redistribution ….
Meanwhile, adherents of the alt-right face similarly left-behind economic prospects, just without the graduate worldview. So the main mode is the same anger at a rigged system, just overlaid with the mirror-image of the cosmopolitan worldview: nativist identity politics.
Trump’s conventional, non-racial demand for national solidarity — Make America Great! — was the unspoken assumption of all presidential campaigns since the Great Depression in 1929. But now this call for national solidarity is smeared as “racist,” “xenophobic,” and “nativist” by the clerisy as they trumpet the Tech Elite’s demand for global business rules and a global labor market.
The clerisy has done its work well: Antifa’s college graduates have been trained to love the imposed diversity and identity politics that make them helpless to stop the outsourcing of their jobs and futures.
As Harrington writes:
From the point of view of effecting political change, then, the tragedy of the [Antifa and MAGA groups] is that they should waste their energy quarrelling among themselves. [They] represent different subsets of an ever-swelling precariat, watching in real time as the last of the twentieth century social contract goes up in smoke. Right now they largely see the enemy as one another. Should that change, though, we could see our faltering political settlement shaken to its core.
Supporters of the OPT foreign-employee scheme release data showing OPT sends jobs & wealth to wealthy, coastal states.
Why would heartland Senators & Reps. support a GWBush/Obama scheme that sends their jobs to the coasts & their wealth to Wall St.?#H1Bhttps://t.co/iwTq6ruuC3
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 23, 2020