The NYT had a opinion piece on the Tea Party people and the dwindling working class values our nation once had, yet the Party of Tea should not be confused with Middle Class Values of our Nation’s short venture into true Materialism and Positive Liberty. The writer searched for a way to mark the passing of this last decade since “Silent Generation,” searching for a way to capture the plight of the Middle Class, but “FUBAR” is not the kind of tag the middle-class NYT is fit to print. “Working class” is a term that has lost its meaning outside of academia. Those lost professors who still think it’s 1968 and those forever young activists who want it to be 1968 again and perhaps forever. This erosion of the term “middle class” signifies a loss not of a simple tag or euphemism for those who work with their hands, but a loss of working class people who have been silently replaced by a pod person army of consumer slobs bloated fat and sassy on corn sugar and Walmart cheepie deals and a New American Man/Woman emblazoned with words like “pink” and “juicy” on their expansive posteriors. Those kiddies feeding and breeding are not “working class” they’re poor people. To be working class you had to have a definable trade, perhaps belong to a union, and work in a definable location, and identify with other tradesmen or such. Frying the fries is not a trade. Neither is manager of Denny’s, Footlocker, or doing some vague “computer technician” crap that amounts to running cable and holding down “Ctrl” “Alt” “Delete” for much of your day. Shifting from city to city following the “what’s hot/ what’s not” economic development and along the way enrolling and dropping out of on and off line Universities does not count as “constantly improving” one’s community even if it enriches many universities along the way (see past rant on how middle class people make money off of poor people).
There are fewer and fewer jobs that provide a stable source of work and identity to give ‘working class” any meaning whatsoever. Back in the bad old days there were company towns (true there was also shifting workers but these were also not working class but lupenprols). Rights of workers under capitalism came up concurrent with Communism’s rights of everyone. Unions became the pseudo-communists and companies came to be the pseudo-state to compensate for the lack of socialized supports such as retirement, elder care, and health offered by the government. Fearing communists, Americans tossed the yoke of state on the shoulders of private companies who for a time (think IBM, Ford, etc) provided generous benefits. These benefits required the entire power of our post war Weretheonlyonesstanding economy. It was clear to even those who started these worker benefits that they were unsustainable by private industry. War and recession and a rise of other nations after WWII provided the stress test. American corporations failed. In the 1980s private industry shed its responsibilities and government side-stepped the issue calling out “Say No To Drugs” along the way as working class rights and values went out the window. Clinton was a zero for social reform and then add to our decline of the worker, union obstructionism, cheep energy, huge cargo ships, and communications, and we have a perfect storm where our “workers” would be unrecognizable by Lenin and perhaps inspire him call for Cossacks and Tzars… of which in this country we are getting more every day.
Today capital and industry globe trot and the American “working class” flips burgers for a few months before tending to dipper delivery or other meaningless job for 24 – 36 months before that job vanishes, or is made obsolete by some new improved technology. While the educated classes call tout the benefits of “changing careers” 37 times in as many years, the former working class cannot keep up with such a pace. While the middle class sell the poor university degrees and “life long learning,” families and communities find these adjustments and readjustments destabilizing and debilitating and the working class devolves into slob culture much the way British working class invented the heroin addict and footie yob as a response to their declining empire. To compound this evaporation of working class values, our country promotes the notion that everyone can become a fast millionaire if they just find the right trick, invent the next troll doll, or slip and fall on the right part of the sidewalk. I mean, not too much of a stretch since the middle class lunges from fast buck bubble to bubble – passing on the bill to the poor.
From savings and loans to bundled whatever, our formerly working class folks today scramble from boondoggle to boondoggle getting poorer financially and spiritually along the way. It is the joke that a farmer with a million dollars would farm it until it was gone. Our Nuevo poor will work until they are destitute.
Our Tea Baggers at these Parties…. they’re not an angry “working class” as the chattering classes propose. They’re a segment of the Nuevo poor distantly related to the hod hauling longshoremen as lemurs are related to the cast of Friends, they are afraid since they are barely holding on, and fear has a way of turning all animals, vicious….
Editor’s Note – I have re-posted this 2009 post and there are some edits made in 2014.