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    1. Exactly! Stop acting like it was some force of nature that made the tenure-track job all but disappear within a generation or two. I have all the sympathy in the world for the emotional side of this but jeez, that emotion also seems very depoliticized.

  1. but the “left behind” ex-academic is just the most plaintive note in the chorus of young white adults: children of good suburban families, went to college being told they were making the right choices and then came out the other end into a world where temporary jobs just led to other temporary jobs, lifetime barista humiliation (at least until you are too old to flatter the customers with your presence), learn a trade: library, massage and yoga school, and a growing feeling that something is not right.

    there’s politics there but once you scratch the left-veneer it isn’t very pretty. a left driven by the feeling that we need to get back to a time when things weren’t so broken. Bernie Sanders “free college” policy line neatly encapsulates this: an idea whose main benefit would be fully eliminating “college” as a plank in opportunity politics , championed by a young college-educated left who are selling opportunity politics but both see and don’t-see that this opportunity was never about college, of itself, but the web of bourgeois social connections that college brings together. free college is the perfect new new left policy: everything changes but still stays the same.

    aggrievement politics for the ex-middle class starts somewhere and ends someplace way worse.

    1. the aggrieved ex-middle class has been pretty potent historically, it’s just an indictment of the professional left that so many haven’t moved beyond the melancholia yet

      1. Well said. The “ex-middle-class” knows, firsthand, about a society that’s been slowly impoverished and reduced by austerity. And college is good for other things besides opportunity-peddling, as all of us obviously know. It’s easy enough to keep your eye on the social goods that can be produced out of the “grievances,” your own and others’.

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