Skip to comments.The Two Middle Classes
Posted on 03/01/2020 4:39:50 PM PST by CheshireTheCat
Politicians across the Western world like to speak fondly of the middle class as if it is one large constituency with common interests and aspirations. But, as Karl Marx observed, the middle class has always been divided by sources of wealth and worldview. Today, it is split into two distinct, and often opposing, middle classes. First there is the yeomanry or the traditional middle class, which consists of small business owners, minor landowners, craftspeople, and artisans, or what we would define historically as the bourgeoisie, or the old French Third Estate, deeply embedded in the private economy. The other middle class, now in ascendency, is the clerisy, a group that makes its living largely in quasi-public institutions, notably universities, media, the non-profit world, and the upper bureaucracy.
(Excerpt) Read more at quillette.com ...
Since we’re talking about it in French revolutionary terms, can we cut their heads off?
For later reading
“Clerisy” is the new vocabulary word for the day.
Mostly a very interesting read, although I was mildly put off for a bit when I saw the name “Piketty” show up in the middle of the article.
In fact, this is a terribly crude model of society that does not capture the complexity of class mobility and the tendency of the working class toward something outside its own putative boundaries. Note, for example, what happens when you do visit a factory these days, an activity that few of the nomenklatura care to contemplate. What's the first thing you run into? A parking lot, full of automobiles owned by the workers, bought either by capital amassed in savings or by participation in that aching example of popular capitalism, an auto loan from a bank. Proletarians can't do that, petit bourgeoisie can. And worse, who among those line workers has a pension plan, either through the company or through a union? These are collectively among the largest owners of common stock in the country - not proletarians, not even bourgeoisie, but capitalists. Marx was right about one thing: they do have a stake in the game, and because of it they're not a revolutionary class.
That's a real problem for any dedicated Marxist who defines himself or herself as a hero of a class of which he or she isn't a member and doesn't understand, and whose interests he or she does not share. The whole thing is a sham, a pretense, a bit of moral shielding from the ugly reality that Marxists are essentially parasites on the classes they profess to defend.
Ultimately class analysis devolves unto the individual, which merely restates what Locke and Algernon and Montesquieu and Madison and Paine were trying to tell us all along. It is the individual that is the only proper repository of political rights. The 20th century wasted an awful lot of time and blood trying to prove otherwise and it looks like the 21st isn't done with it yet.
Here in NJ our public employees, who I assume to be part of the “clerisy”, are our upper middle class; our private sector workers are either middle class or lower class (McJobs).
Sorry, “Algernon” should be “Algernon Sydney”. Mea culpa.
The other middle class, now in ascendency, is the clerisy, a group that makes its living largely in quasi-public institutions, notably universities, media, the non-profit world, and the upper bureaucracy.
IOW< they are the failed larvae of impoverished nobility, and recent (often illegal) immigrants.
Funny. That seems to be that way in Ohio, too.
“Here in NJ our public employees, who I assume to be part of the clerisy, are our upper middle class; “
That’s the divide as I see it.
Government Class. Arrogant, Rich, Selfish.
You need to be like Illinois and starve the beast by having the productive members move to red states.
Originally, the “middle class” occupied the position between the landed aristocracy, and the “working class”.
If you worked for pay, for an employer who could fire you, then you were working class, even if you were highly paid.
The middle class were the business owners, the merchants, the factory owners, the people who employed the working class.
Probably most critical - the public employees serve Caesar (regardless of which party is in power), and they’ll always do Caesar’s bidding. They are captive votes for Dems; Chris Christie put them in their place (by representing the taxpayers who paid them), but I don’t think we have enough private-sector taxpayers left to elect another Republican here.
It seems to be much more damaging here; the economy has never recovered from the 2007/2008 job losses, and there is no reason why it would. The taxes are punitive, and anyone moving here or opening a company is simply buying a share in massive IOUs to government workers (past & present),
One problem is, people who are on a defined benefits pension plan don't see themselves as having a stake in the economy, because "somebody" (ultimately the federal government) guarantees they get their money regardless of the economy.
One reform that's really needed is to get everyone onto 401K plans. THEN the Democrat's screwing around with the economy looks less attractive.
Already happening here (and in neighboring NY); that is why we are “sanctuary states” (just to keep the housing occupied/public schools open).
A few years ago, NJ’s wealthiest resident (hedge fund manager David Tepper) moved to Florida, and the state had to revise its budget because of the lost income tax revenue he took with him. They revised their budget because ONE MAN moved out...
Only in America does middle class often mean the working class. Why is that?
The productive members for the most part are leaving, and not necessarily by choice; there is little opportunity here, and younger professionals who aren’t tied to mortgages and/or families here are fleeing in droves. NJ is looking at “free tuition” in a lame attempt to keep them here; I don’t know if it will work. In neighboring NY, the “free tuition” has an indentured servitude aspect to it - you must remain in the state one year for each year you’ve accepted “free tuition” -and you can bet you’ll be working those years if you want to survive in these high-cost states. Even if there is no work in your field/area of study, you’d just have to work a McJob or three to get by...
Many, many NJ license plates (recent NJ immigrants) in the Carolinas. I mean lots of them. It’s an exodus!
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