JOEL KOTKIN: The COVID Class War: The Obedient Online Educated vs. The IRL Resistance.

A new class conflict is emerging across the world. You can see its face in the mass protests over COVID-19 restrictions from Paris, Berlin and London to southern California and Melbourne. The protestors are often cast as a death cult of ignorant rubes, but they are exposing a new class conflict that’s pitting two increasingly irreconcilable populations against each other: those who wish to obey and those who refuse restraints.

To be sure, a serious public hazard like Covid-19 requires that steps be taken to protect the vulnerable and develop vaccines and treatments. Resisting a jab, as all too many Americans have done, does suggest that there is no vaccine for stupidity, as one writer put it.

But at the same time, the attempt to achieve total safety—notably in places like Australia and parts of North America—has expressed itself in a highly authoritarian approach that even to some on the Left seems more about social control than just an emergency response.

Well, that’s because it is.

A friend writes: “Low value people favor mandates, because obedience is the only place where they can compete.”

Related: The rich and powerful thrived as the rest of us suffered in the year of lockdowns.