Image from Who or what is the middle class?
Excerpted from my post in the comments thread at The Rogue Columnist: Can Liberalism Be Saved?
I've got a quibble, and I'll mention only partly to stir the pot: This "middle class" business, and the "saving" of it. (My adolescent dabblings with Marx's paradigm - not "Marxism" per se - have come 'round again.) I'm taking the liberty of conflating Jon's & Walter's posts, since they are to me of an harmonious piece.Update: from today's Archdruid Report:
Walter:"Into this bad mood, the necromancers of the American right conjure a Total Explanation: liberalism is to blame. It makes you share with people who are not like you. It tells you that you're no better than the street thugs jostling you in line."
This. What fertile soil does this seed fall upon? The middle class has always been about codifying and justifying a very un-democratic inequality that is endemic to the post-Revolutionary Republic that has well-masqueraded as "democracy." The easily beguiled "middle class" specialises in the "turning away," it embraces the fiction of justice in this faux meritocracy. It has always been bought off by the so-called elites - and now that the greed of the movers and shakers (and, to a lesser extent - for awhile - the looming resource crunch) is consuming their ability to sate a critical mass of this enabling class, we now lament its demise and ponder its salvation?
Most of us here are, or have been, or considered ourselves, or at least aspired to, middle class. Are we asking ourselves the right questions about our complicity in keeping other classes down in service of our "justified" lifestyles? Now that we are jostling with these "lesser folks," is the right question to be how we make our return as the administrators of class inequality, or do we wake up and look around, and remake our view of America, the world, our fellows?
I put this to better minds than I, here, in this forum.
...it’s important to get past the rhetoric of victimization that fills so much space in discussions of social hierarchy these days. Of course the people at or near the upper end of the pyramid get a much larger share of the proceeds of the system than anybody else, and those at or near the bottom get crumbs; that’s not in question. The point that needs making is that a great many people in between those two extremes also benefit handsomely from the system. When those people criticize the system, their criticisms by and large focus on the barriers that keep them from having as large a share as the rich—not the ones that keep them from having as small a share as the poor, or to phrase things a little differently, that keep their privileged share from being distributed more fairly across the population as a whole.
- John Michael Greer