Philip Pilkington rejects both the Liberal and the Marxist approach to economics and culture — and proposes a better, postliberal analytic framework for understanding political economy.
Two observations to add to this excellent essay:
1) "....wokeness is so obviously a consumerist phenomenon". Analyses of our mad 21st c. Western hyper-liberalism almost always fight shy of an aspect of humankind that is hard to face up to. And so they look for some kind of bogey - whether it's 'the elite' or 'politicians' or 'economic forces' - as a locus for blame in order that the (liberal democratic pluralist) illusion can be maintained that absolves 'ordinary decent folk' of blame. To take another context, it is an almost universal conceit that the horrors of WW2 were all about Hitler and his gang and that the horrors of The Cultural Revolution were all about Mao and his gang. The truth is much darker. Hitler and Mao would have been nothing without tens of millions of biddable, favour-seeking, grudge-bearing 'ordinary folk' . Most people (and perhaps especially tertiary-educated people) are not really suited to Liberalism's cornerstone concept of 'free', independent-minded individuals - the need to feel on the right side of the fence and the seductions of feeling good about yourself etc are way too strong. All this is implied in the concept of Post-Liberalism but it still needs to be confronted head on. In pre-Liberal times, most people were seen as sinners (not all bad but a mixture of good and bad). Late-stage Liberalism exported the 'badness' to 'elites' 'whiteness' 'racism' 'patriarchy' etc etc. so that 'ordinary decent folk' could be blameless. But a Post-Liberal order must be one that reminds people that we are all still 'sinners'.
2) Having said all that, if one is to identify a locus for Wokeness it is academia. All the nonsense starts in its (taxpayer-funded) petri-dishes and spreads out from there coursing its way through media and all the institutions of civil society. A Post Liberal order would need effectively to re-build our education of the young root and branch - including removal of the great majority of current teachers/academics at least in the humanities and 'social sciences'. If anyone doubts this they should read Heather Mac Donald's forensic investigation of the current state of American academe - which I reviewed here in 2020: https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/p/how-diversity-narrows-the-mind.
It seems to me that vol. 3 of Capital may not fit with the Marxism vs Capitalism dichotomy. Marx criticizes the unproductive nature of ‘rentier capitalism’ in that taking rents sucks wealth out of productive investments. The role of the FIRE sector (finance, insurance, real estate) in the so-called Western world, sustained by expressive individualism, has hollowed out ‘Western economies’ where the only way to increase profits is by reduction of costs, especially labor and long term investment. The West is on a downward spiral of the current elite’s own making.