I maintain that the Republicans knew in their very bones it was all fuckin' over the minute the proletariat learned their shit wages were a choice, not a necessity. You don't unlearn that. You don't come back from that. You aren't suddenly cool with it again after you've starved for a while. People will lower their standard of living before they'll lower their standard of dignity and the pandemic demonstrated to a lot of people that their standard of dignity had been set for them.
I've been soldiering through Black Reconstruction in America. It's rough. Essential, eloquent, spirit-breakingly rough. DuBois makes the argument that the Civil War was fundamentally Crony Capitalism vs Feudalism, and that the principle white argument against slavery is that the white proletariat couldn't economically compete against slave labor. He also makes the point that if you have a two-class system with two races, you can make poor whites put up with anything so long as they're free while blacks are enslaved.
He also makes the argument that the entire period from 1965 to 1933, when the book was written, had been a period of enforcing the misery of slavery and serfdom on the proletariat in order to maintain the country in the economic conditions of oligarchy, and that de jure slavery and de facto slavery are spiritually distinct but economically similar.
gonna be a wild ride.