The Long March Ahead for the Real Right

The American electorate split strongly along class lines in the 2020 election, as revealed by a Bloomberg News data chart that correlated campaign donors with their professions. This data map looks like an inverted triangle made up of circles in varying shades of blue and red. At the top are large circles in deep blue, denoting professions that donated large amounts and which slanted their donations toward the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Large blue circles for lawyers, teachers, professors, nurses and doctors, editors and writers, and internet technology professionals dominate the top of the map.

The bottom of the data map narrows into a small collection of circles of deep red, representing the occupations whose members donated heavily to Donald Trump’s campaign. These circles denote small business owners, truckers, construction workers, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, farmers, and homemakers. The red circles were far fewer and far smaller than the blue end of the triangle; they represented a smaller total number of donors and less political and economic clout. The most devoted, deep-red Trump donors were homemakers, with 96 percent supporting the president. The fervor of homemakers for Trump was nearly matched on the other end of the spectrum by professors, social workers, and public relations professionals, each of whose members supported Biden at a 94 percent rate.

This picture of an electorate split strongly between blue-collar and white-collar professions is as stark a division along class lines as any Marxist theorist could wish, except in this case, the disempowered proletariat of 74 million Trump voters is noticeably on the right, and the ruling class is just as conspicuously on the left. This division confounds the shopworn narrative of both the conventional right and the conventional left, that American politics is made up of a conservative right that serves corporations and capitalists versus a progressive left that serves the working class. The results of the 2020 election should make it painfully obvious that the old categories of “right” and “left,” “conservative” and “progressive,” and “capitalist” and “socialist” no longer represent the American political situation.

A political tract written in 1941 by James Burnham, entitled The Managerial Revolution, offers a better guidebook to understanding present-day America. Burnham predicted a gradual, subtle shift in power would occur just under the surface, in which, over the course of many decades, control would move from the capitalists to a new dominant class, which Burnham characterized as the managers. Rather than owning productive forces outright, these overseers of increasingly complex systems of governance and production would gain control of society through their direct management of its functions.

If you were going to make a modern-day list of occupations that comprise Burnham’s managerial elite, you could hardly do better than Bloomberg News’s list of professions that donated chiefly to Biden’s campaign.

The real power struggle in America is between an elite class of professionals and their dependents, who mainly occupy the urban cores in Democratic “blue states,” and working-class people, especially in the American heartland, who Chronicles columnist Sam Francis described as “Middle Americans.” All other struggles are at best a distraction. The election of Donald Trump tore away once and for all the illusion that there is a legitimate “right” or “conservative” wing among our current managerial elite that cares about the interests of Middle Americans. The members of the managerial elite among the Republican Party, Fox News, The Federalist Society, and all other ostensibly conservative groups recoiled in horror at Trump’s election in 2016, which upended, however briefly, the power they held jointly with their counterparts on the political left.

Hence, when Trump challenged the results of the 2020 election, alleging fraud, very few of the “conservative” members of the managerial elite rose to his defense in either the political or the legal sphere. It was only after Trump’s base threatened to boycott the Georgia runoff election that this faux right was spurred to action, mounting a half-hearted attempt to support the president’s challenge of the 2020 election results. At press time, their support appears to be too little, too late.

Our faux right is used to playing a theatric oppositional role. They have long been the Washington Generals to the left’s Harlem Globetrotters—“beautiful losers,” in Francis’s phrase. The electoral battles are a distraction to the governmental managers—that cadre of the permanent bureaucracy that is called the Deep State—who are eager to drop the pretense of representative government and get back to managing their subjects.

And manage they do. This new class justifies its position by either magnifying existing threats to the public or inventing them out of whole cloth to keep up demand for their services. A whole slew of scientists, economists, social service workers, and bureaucrats are on hand to save us from the wretchedness of global warming, the calamities of COVID, the perils of white privilege, and the ruin of systemic racism.

To make matters worse, our present group of managers subscribes to an ideology based on a need to reform the American populace along cultural revolutionary lines. Taking on the character of a medical intervention, this “therapeutic managerial regime,” as described by our editor-in-chief, Paul Gottfried, in his 2002 book Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, grows ever more intrusive.

The therapeutic managerial ideology is based on the idea that the American people, especially the Middle Americans of red states, need to have their mentality reformed. The therapists must root out any last vestige of ethnic preference or resistance to foreign immigration, which, in the case of those of European ancestry, is to be considered racism. This group of social inferiors also need to abandon any commitment to Christian morality, which is  to be called intolerance, particularly resistance to the normalization of homosexuality or of the gender dysfunction known as transgenderism. And they need to drop any resistance to the globalist neoliberal and neoconservative consensus, which sends their jobs overseas and their sons to die in pointless wars abroad. This opposition is to be demonized in the one case as socialist, and in the other as unpatriotic.

The genie of the managerial revolution is not likely to be put back in its bottle. Fortunately, however, the “woke” anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-American ideology that marks our managerial class is not a necessary feature of this revolution. It is there because the cultural right adopted a doctrine of laissez-faire, limited government, while the cultural left went on to seize the reins of power uncontested and to define the managerial elite’s woke ideology.

This fight is not over—because the real right has not yet begun to fight. If there is to be a single aim for a post-Trump right, it should be to contest the present managerial class’s cultural influence over our society. We must make our own march through the institutions of government and education. With the blessing of Providence, we may be able to expel the “woke” ideology that now divides the American people and to enshrine a new unifying creed: one nation, under God.

Edward Welsch

Edward Welsch

Edward Welsch is the executive editor at Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

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An insightful editorial, which makes a useful distinction between the professional-managerial class and the working class, drawing upon the classic work of James Burnham; and which sees that working class support for Trump has been caused by a professional-managerial class ideology that disrespects the cultural values of the working class. But our understanding also ought to include the insights of the seminal work of C. Wright Mills, who in 1956 described a “power elite,” forged by managers of the largest corporations, the highest members of the executive branch of the federal government, and the military chiefs. The power elite still exists, although the corporations have become more concentrated and more global since Mills wrote. Domestically, the power elite has an interest in converting U.S. citizens into consumers. Internationally, the U.S. power elite seeks to reduce the capacity of Third World states to regulate and protect their economies, so that it will have unrestrained access to the natural resources, labor, and markets of the world; to this end, it is driven to aggressive imperialist wars in distant lands. The power elite uses its control of the media and think tanks to disseminate ideas and news reports that support its domestic and international objectives. The power elite supports the woke ideology of the professional-managerial class, because said ideology channels the movements of historically excluded sectors toward participation in the consumerist, globalist, and imperialist agenda of the power elite; and because the woke ideology divides the people. What we need today is a popular movement that transcends the conventional distinction between left and right, based on an ideology that respects the cultural values of the working class, and that rejects imperialism as an unpatriotic violation of the founding principles of the American Republic. Charles McKelvey, Professor Emeritus, Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina


The citizenry is no longer sovereign, because our nation is no longer sovereign - March 8, 2018 To the Editor: “Who really controls our government and the direction our country takes?” [ https://altamontenterprise.com/03082018/citizenry-no-longer-sovereign-because-our-nation-no-longer-sovereign ]
Edward Welsch
Thank you very much for your comment, Prof. McKelvey. I certainly agree with your sentiments, and I'll have to add Mills to my reading list. We may consider publishing this letter in the magazine's Polemics section.
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This is a masterful assessment of the situation, but it ends on a hopeful note that does not resonate with me. It took these devils a century to infiltrate every corner of American life, in a free and open America. The "managers" will not allow freedom and openness, therefore there can be no counter-transformation. Ask the Chinese how easy it is to end the tyranny of an entrenched totalitarian regime. America is ended, but I am thankful that we the people had one last moment under President Trump, to remember the dream that inspired us.


An excellent and accurate drawing of the battle lines. You are very late in entering the battlefield. You will probably need to give your obsession for The Southern Tradition a rest, and study closely our other tradition; The Northern Tradition. You will need to know the ways of the Puritan RoundHead/Parliamentarian Tradition of the Church Militant. You will need to become as comfortable taking your Bible to the battlefield as you are, in taking it to the Church Pew. One thing to be discovered: Are we to fight for "Thy wil be done on Earth as it is in Heaven", and FIGHT for the establishing of the Good and Right and True; or retire to our prayer closet, to petition for "forgive us our trespasses AS WE FORGIVE those who trespass against us"? There is a VERY large contingent of the faithful who sees THIS World as the irredeemable Devil's Playground, and should be abandoned for that Highground upon which rests our Father's Kingdom, which is in Heaven, and NOT of this World. Where is the Battle to take place; on the Worldly "Western Front" or the inner "Eastern Front" of the prayer closet ? Which Soldier are you; of the Western Front, or the Eastern Front?