I just read this in Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy, p. 173: people living in stagnant White communities….”They have bought the myth sold to them by people trawling for ratings and votes – the story that immigrants and people of color are the source of their problems rather than technological disruption and exploitive, outsourcing, tax-evading corporations. White power, expressly and implicitly, has always been about segregating insurgent whites from people of color to insulate elites from economic demands.” [N.B. exploitive is more common but dictionaries prefer exploitative]
My brain immediately goes to the motivation of those who want to insulate themselves from insurgent economic demands. What do they think will happen? Eventually, things will go awry. So why do the rich pursue destructive policies? Immediate gain. That’s how people think and is a good indicator that the rich are not necessarily all that smart. Either that, or they don’t care about their progeny nor the country. Biology tells us they do care about their progeny. So my guess is that they believe they can insulate their progeny from change just like they insulated themselves from economic demands. Good luck. Conservatism arose from the French Revolution and conservatives did not learn from that: more repression, more digging in their heels, more hiding their heads in the sand, more reaction. That’s why Corey Robin titled his book [if he did] The Reactionary Mind.