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Since When Did We All Become Middle Class?

with 2 comments


-Brother Jack

It must be a good thing to be middle class, everybody seems to have their back. Wait I take that back, because everybody also seems to also be oppressing them. If you’re middle class you’re both the friend and foe of both the Republican and Democratic parties, because the other one apparently wants to eat your children. Uh, what doe middle class mean again?

Lets look it up in Jack’s Compendium of American Politicalisms and Assorted Patriotic Prognostications (in state of publishing limbo). Middle Class – Noun – The middle class is everybody that is not poor or rich. Since class does not exist in America, unlike in the barbarian wastes of Canada/Mexico (see rest of world), everybody is middle class. The middle class own small businesses or at least have a “really good idea” about setting up one. The middle class lives in apartments, houses, or are in a state of “extended camping” (see foreclosures). Terrorists want to kill the American middle class because they love freedom. You are middle class (see you – put down the dictionary retard, find a mirror).

So roughly 95% of the country, from a conservative estimate, is “middle class”. Virtually everyone in the US that doesn’t live under a bridge or in a mansion, when asked about economic standing will almost unfailingly respond with middle class. To our political ruling class this is an incredible advantage. It gives them the coveted ability to speak to all of us, without speaking to anyone at all.

It also allows a way for Americans, not just politicians, to deny that economic class plays a major role in our society. Americans have since the time of Tocqueville’s critic of our early democracy, have wanted to believe that we are the coveted classless society. That if you work hard and persevere you too can grab the American dream. The vast majority of Americans seem to believe that they are entrepreneurs destined to commercial success. We all are small businessmen/women, the other great abstraction of modern American politics, is likewise used to deny anything resembling class conflict.

The sanctification of the middle class is a compromise we make with politicians. We let them use an obviously meaningless word to obscure their political agendas and personal ambitions. In return, they kiss our collective asses and we don’t have to admit that not everyone is cut out to own a fortune 500 company by virtue of enough elbow grease. More importantly we don’t have to admit to anyone that maybe we aren’t destined for success and glory.

This is where our pride shows itself to be a fatal weakness. Our inability to admit that we are more than likely not going to set the world on fire with our brilliance leads to policies that hurt most of us. We have to admit to ourselves not that we are failures, but that statistically and logically, most of us have to be just normal. Some of us, by the cruelty of indifferent fate, are literally born to fail. When we assume that we are a meritocracy born of a majority class of winners, we spawn polices that ignore the normal and punish those unlucky to be born with deformity or poverty.

We also have to admit that economic class is not representative of self worth. Some very rich people are special in “oh my, isn’t he special” kind of way. Remember that our last president was somehow floated from failed oil company to failed oil company to the White House and was almost assassinated by a salted pretzel. On the other side of the coin, some very brilliant people toil away with the rest of us. There is a good chance you know not only someone that was a better president than our previous example, but someone who could probably be rich if they wanted to be. They just don’t apply themselves because they’re lazy or don’t care for fame and fortune or just plain unlucky, or some combination thereof.

Furthermore, worth is measured not simply in ability, but in intention. Yeah, its an obvious point, but it seems lost in the discussion on American economics. Free market capitalism doesn’t serve the inept, no matter how noble they may be. Under the “free market” ideology peddled in our country these people are dirt, provided they weren’t lucky enough to be born to a wealthy enough to support them for their entire lives. The myth of the middle class would have you believe that even though some people are untalented, unskilled and poor, they too will succeed if they try hard enough. It ignores the fact that this doesn’t happen, and we ignore this because we want it to be true. In the end, our lies about our own status fuel a system that if we were more conscious of, we would detest.

Part of being a good person, either in terms of morality or mental health, is one who is willing to challenge unconscious assumptions by bringing them to their conscious mind. The biggest moral failures of our political system are laid bare by the light of conscious criticism. All that is necessary is that we face these failures and test our political theories by not allowing them to be abstractions.

The middle class doesn’t exist. What we often mean is the term we used to use, before it became politically untouchable by those opposed by what it started to represent. That term my friends is working class. If you work for a living, whether its pushing a broom or a pencil, whether your pay is by the hour or year, you are part of this class. If anything this shows not the divisiveness that those who raise middle class banner claim it does, it shows unity. If you work for a living, you deserve a wage that can be lived upon. Yeah, people should be rewarded for accomplishment, but not at the expense of the rest of us.

So when someone asks you where you are on the economic ladder, tell them that you are part of the working class. That is if you work for a living!

*********************************************************************************************************

Originally published in Dynamic, the publication of the Young Communist League USA.


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Written by jackofspades83

May 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Wow! Jack’s back with a vengeance!!

    What you’ve been observing is tragic social myopia. Where government marketing has enticed the masses into believing great success is possible without talent, skill or the right opportunity. To point out otherwise is the hallmark of a commie bastard.

    …Brought to you courtesy of the same good folks who switched Patrotism with Jingoism.

    With all the ultra-conservative banter, I’m reminded of a scene in THX 1138…

    Economics must not dictate situations which are obviously religious

    eksith

    May 21, 2009 at 5:57 am

    • Thanks for stopping by Eksith, its been a long time comrade.

      Social myopia is a very good way of wording it. The scariest thing about it, is that it is almost entirely subconscious. The whole concept of the nation of successful entrepreneurs is not something that was planned or implemented by some conscious malevolent entity that you could point to and inspire righteous indignation. I don’t even think that the people who benefit from this myopia even realize it.

      A nation of entrepreneurs is a great model for capitalism, not so much for a democracy, political or economic.

      jackofspades83

      May 22, 2009 at 3:31 pm


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