What mattered to this new generation of leftists was the distribution of cultural power among groups—not the fortunes and universal rights of “working men” in the abstract but the fortunes and rights of specific types of men and women, whose race or gender or sect was “privileged” and whose was not. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the absurdities of planned economies settled one question. But the political and social and cultural questions—who was on top, what spoils would they reap—remained open.

…In his policies and his idealism, Bernie Sanders is something of a fossil: a relic of socialism past. I disagree with his conclusions and prescriptions, but I admire his honesty and his goal of helping all Americans regardless of race or ethnicity or religion. What I can’t stand are the liberals who disguise their profit-seeking and social prominence by claiming to stand with the oppressed, who never miss an opportunity to signal their allegiance to the cause of the day, but who would never set foot in Baltimore without a security detail, and have never lost a job because an undocumented worker priced them out of the market.