In 2016 and 2020, the Bernie Sanders campaign gave American leftists a path towards social change through electoral politics. In order to combat neoliberal and reactionary uses of identity, the 2020 Sanders campaign combined a working-class agenda of universalist policies with various forms of social movement activism. In doing so it compromised on universalist principles and socialist radicalism in order to appeal to distinct demographic groups and win the election. Bernie Bros Gone Woke reveals how intersectional politics contributed to the failure of the Sanders campaign – a lesson that the organized left must learn if it is to challenge progressive neoliberalism and move beyond postmodern post-politics.
Marc James Léger is an independent scholar based in Montreal. He is author of several books, including Don’t Network: The Avant Garde after Networks (2018) and Vanguardia: Socially Engaged Art and Theory (2019).
List of Figures
1 Democratic Brocialism
2 Identity Politics Is Class Politics
3 Progressive Neoliberalism
5 Outline of the Book
1What Does the Professional-Managerial Class Want?
1 From the New Deal to the New Democrats
2 A Stratum without an Ideology
3 The Fall of the Liberal Class and the Rise of the Far Right
4 Left Populism as Compromise Formation
5 The Wages of Wokeness
2Bernie Beats Trump, Clinton and Obama Beat Bernie
1 Millennials Feel the Bern
2 Whose Revolution? Whose Party?
1 Your Candidate Here
2 I’m Bernie Sanders and I Approve This Message
3 The Difference That Universalism Makes
4Less than Bernie
1 I Know There Is No Democracy, but I Choose to Ignore
2 I Can’t Breathe
3 Sectarians, Splitters and Fellow Travelers
4 When I Hear the Word Culture, I Reach for the Political Economy
5 Role Model Ideology
1 The Bipartisan Endgame
2 Meanwhile, Back in Wokeville
3 Political Revolution Inside
The book is of interest to scholars and activists who are interested in knowing how issues of class and identity inform the American electoral system and neoliberal ideology more generally.