"Rather, today’s progressive movement has come to be dominated by what Wagenknecht calls the “lifestyle left.” Its followers, who often tend to (erroneously, Wagenknecht contends) describe themselves as left-liberals, “no longer place social and political-economic problems at the center of left-wing politics. In the place of such concerns, they promote questions regarding lifestyle, consumption habits, and moral attitudes.”

Lifestyle-leftists are cosmopolitan and staunchly “pro-European” (that is, pro-European Union). They care about the climate and stand up for emancipation, immigration, and sexual minorities. They are convinced that the nation-state is, or should be, on the verge of extinction. Members of the lifestyle left also tend to prize individual autonomy and self-realization above tradition and community. Since lifestyle leftists hardly ever suffer real financial hardship, they show little real interest in working-class economic concerns. Of course, the goal remains that of a “just” and “nondiscriminatory” society, but the path to get there no longer passes through the old themes of the political economy—wages, pensions, taxes, unemployment benefits, and the like—but through symbols and language."