It has always been a source of angst to those on the Left that the workers of the world were not so eager to join them in the search for the worker’s paradise.
Some of this has to do with that fact that expecting utopia to work in the real world is something only smart and highly educated people could believe in.
However, I think there is more to it than working class distrust of grand plans from academics.
The problem the Left faces is that it has always (at least in its modern forms) being transnational. Aside from the obvious goal of communism for worldwide revolt, the Left in general has mostly being “internationalist” in outlook.
The Left tended to see nationalism much as they saw commerce: as something grubby and rather distasteful. Unfortunately for them, although perhaps fortunately for the rest of us, the common people retained “tawdry” affections for nationalism. If Hitler, as Peter Brimelow posits, has extracted his revenge on the Right via multiculturalism, he also extracted his revenge on the Left via the fear of National Socialism. Thus their appeals to worker solidarity excluded the oldest and most potent form of solidarity: nationalism.
During the post-war period, up until the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, capitalism implicitly (while not explicitly) represented a form of national identity. For most of the Western countries capitalism represented “our” system compared to “their” system of communism. For most of this period large corporations were seen as representing the nation of their home base (e.g., Boeing or GE in the US, Bosch in Germany, Rolls Royce in the UK). Most in Western nations found some form of national pride in “their” system of capitalism and “their” corporations.
Some of the recent challenges against capitalism represent a collapse of that national identification with large corporations as those corporations became explicitly trans-national. Capitalism no longer represents “our” system and the corporations no longer even make pretence at any form of national identity.
It is now supporters of capitalism that are most transnational in their outlook, with their sanguine attitude to off shoring and favoring of mass immigration. The establishment Right has become the bourgeois version of the thing their grandfathers fought against: seekers of a transnational utopia where national borders are erased and all is provided not by all encompassing government but by all encompassing corporations.
This vision is about as appealing as the old one, and may well end like the old one did: in collapse, or at least bitter disillusion.
Some of the establishment Right (at least in the United States – think American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, or Wall Street Journal) have taken on a horrible mixture of both: global empire, authoritarianism at home, and transnationalism for corporations.
The same feeling of nationalism for “our” system probably helped to hold communism together in the Soviet Union. In the end, feelings of nationalism brought it down (e.g., Poland).