Everyone wants to join the liberal bubble

It's gratifying to talk about "values" when you are the new elite.

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Giulio Meotti,

giulio meott
giulio meott
צילום: עצמי

A book by California sociologist Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, “The sum of small things”, reveals why everybody wants to join the liberal bubble. She tries to decipher who the “new yuppies” are, a category in which the scholar places different professional figures such as the producers of HBO series, the employees of non-governmental organizations, the screenwriters, the journalists, the university administrators, the Silicon Valley engineers and the attorneys. 

Elegant people, between the ages of 40 and 50, with physically fit and attractive bodies, who read the New Yorker and discuss “inequality” and “justice”. It is they who make up the new “cultural elite” and they are winning the debate in the public opinion about immigration, terrorism and Islam. 

Donald Trump is the antithesis of this class. These people believe in “facts” and “experts”. Most grew up comfortably during the boom of the 1970s. Their education is their insurance policy and their political utopia is made of egalitarianism, feminism and ecology. They want to be the “better men” rather than simply wealthy. They consume a lot, but they cultivate the “contempt for things”. They do not buy Suvs anymore, but they spend a lot in their bodies. They think that bodies (like food) should look “natural”. They no longer shop in the malls, but socialize on Facebook. It is a cultural elite “engaged in a ruthless project of reproduction of its social position”.

The children of this elite will be the elite of 2050. Meritocracy has become hereditary. It is the opposite of capitalism. 

This new elite is not measured by ostentatious money, although they have plenty of it, but by “acquiring a system of values”. The cult of the body has become a virtue. Reading the New York Times is a part of the common language of this class. These “intelligent people” want to be surrounded by other intelligent people and want their children to marry members of this elite. 

In that sense, Paris, London, Paris, the Los Angeles coast, northern Chicago, Manhattan, Seattle, Toronto, Berlin and San Francisco (Tel Aviv too?) have more things in common than they do with their own suburbs and nearest cities. 

Last year, Christophe Guilluy published a book titled “Le crépuscule de la France d'en haut” (Flammarion), where he attacks the “bobos”, the bourgeois-bohème, the new metropolitan upper class, the children of the new industrial boom, “the progressive, urban, rich, just, globalized left”. This is a left which is “benevolent with 'others', immigrants, minorities, aliens, but which really despises popular (i.e. lower) classes. It holds economic and cultural power”. A left which lives “in the city and glorifies nature, eats organic foods, enhances cultural diversity and public school but puts its own children in private schools”.  Guilluy concluded that this left is “protected by globalization and the conflicts created by a multicultural society, two evils that are delivered to the popular classes, the masses to re-educate”. 

Everybody wants to join this liberal bubble. It's the genuine gourmet food. And now let's return to enjoy the certitudes of political correctness.