Nancy Fraser at Dissent:
Bernie Sanders is the exception that proves the rule. Though far from perfect, his campaign directly challenged established political fault lines. By targeting “the billionaire class,” he reached out to those abandoned by progressive neoliberalism, addressing communities struggling to preserve “middle-class” lives as victims of a “rigged economy” who deserve respect and are capable of making common cause with other victims, many of whom never had access to “middle-class” jobs. At the same time, Sanders split off a good chunk of those who had gravitated toward progressive neoliberalism. Though defeated by Clinton, he pointed the way to a potential counterhegemony: in place of the progressive-neoliberal alliance of financialization plus emancipation, he gave us a glimpse of a new, “progressive-populist” bloc combining emancipation with social protection.
In my view, the Sanders option remains the only principled and winning strategy in the era of Trump. To those who are now mobilizing under the banner of “resistance,” I suggest the counter-project of “course correction.” Whereas the first suggests a doubling down on progressive-neoliberalism’s definition of “us” (progressives) versus “them” (Trump’s “deplorable” supporters), the second means redrawing the political map—by forging common cause among all whom his administration is set to betray: not just the immigrants, feminists, and people of color who voted against him, but also the rust-belt and Southern working-class strata who voted for him. Contra Brenner, the point is not to dissolve “identity politics” into “class politics.” It is to clearly identify the shared roots of class and status injustices in financialized capitalism, and to build alliances among those who must join together to fight against both of them.