Kotkin’s home page here.
I think it’s fairly obvious that certain people and institutions will be incentivized during Obama’s second term. Kotkin presents his own ideas riffing on a work published 30 years ago:
‘In contrast, today’s new hegemons hail almost entirely from outside the material economy, and many come from outside the realm of the market system entirely. Daniel Bell, in his landmark 1973 The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, may have been the first to identify this ascension to “pre-eminence of the professional and technical class.” This new “priesthood of power,” as he put it, would eventually overturn the traditional hierarchies based on land, corporate and financial assets.
Forty years later the outlines of this transformation are clear. Contrary to the conservative claims of Obama’s “socialist” tendencies, the administration is quite comfortable with such capitalist sectors as entertainment, the news media and the software side of the technology industry, particularly social media. The big difference is these firms derive their fortunes not from the soil and locally crafted manufacturers, but from the manipulation of ideas, concepts and images.’.
Have globalization and technology so changed our economy that technocracy is a natural outgrowth of those changes?
I suspect Obama’s comfortable with certain capitalist sectors because they are politically useful to him. Some may even believe he’s a supporter of freer markets, as those markets just need to be used in service for the right ideas, like environmentalism and ‘social change’. America’s decided to double-down on Obama’s leadership, and I think we’ll get more ideological lobbyists of the Left claiming their ideals and the laws they draft will serve all in the name of principles they claim to be universal. Of course, where the sausage is made, like all politicians, progressives will be hustling, seeking rents and getting money funneled their way by treating our politics as a system of patronage.
Comments are worth a read.
Some related theories:
Kenneth Anderson At Volokh: ‘The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, Or, Downward Mobility’
Angelo Codevilla’s polemic: America’s Ruling Class-And The Perils Of Revolution.