|The Great Recession is now the Great Restructuring||Liberals and "Austerity"|
by Christopher Chantrill
November 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm
THERE'S plenty of fight left in the white working class. In Ohio last week it decisively defeated the Republican plan to curb government union power. Pity it doesn't make any difference. Pity the policemen and the firemen and the teachers and the social workers and the pension fund bondholders; they are screwed anyway, because there is no more money.
All in all, the white working class has had a raw deal. First, it escaped the frying pan of rural laboring only to land in the fire of the factory system. But it didn't give up. It organized its own social safety net, with labor unions, fraternal associations, and ethnic clubs, and was well on the way to making its factory fate bearable when the Serpent turned up in the Garden of Eden, this time disguised as an educated progressive elite.
You chaps are being screwed, said the Serpent. Why, if you vote for us we will force the bosses to give you More. More unions, more wages, more health care. It seemed like a dream come true until the unionized steel industry collapsed and then the unionized auto industry went into terminal decline, and corporations started moving their businesses to non-union states or even overseas.
Not to worry, said the educated elite. You policemen and firemen are getting screwed. Why, if you vote for us we will force the taxpayers to give you More. More wages, more pensions, more health care. We will even help your schoolteacher and social-worker wives. It seemed like a dream come true until the money started to run out and taxpayers started objecting to government workers earning 50 percent more than private-sector workers.
Not to worry, said the educated elite. You health care consumers are getting screwed. Why, if you vote for us we will force the insurance companies to insure pre-existing conditions, insure the uninsured, and lower overall health costs. It seemed like a dream come true except that health insurance premiums are already sky-rocketing and ObamaCare hasn't even officially begun.
Not to worry, said the educated elite. You seniors are getting screwed. Why, if you will vote for us we will stop the GOP and their Wall Street fat cat pals from ending Social Security and Medicare as we know it. If only those millionaires and billionaires paid a little more...
Here's Malcolm Muggeridge: People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.
At some point the white working class needs to man up and join the capitalist system. This is not rocket science. When daily personal income goes from $3 to $100 in 200 years, it pays to figure out why. Even KISS legend Gene Simmons, son of a Holocaust survivor, gets the picture: Capitalism is the best thing that ever happened to human beings. The white working class needs to stop whining about the bosses and exploitation, and accept the basic contract of the free economy. Get a skill and then offer it to the world. If you find that you don't make enough money, don't go whining to a politician. Go to school and improve your skills. By the way, in North Dakota right now the evil capitalist oil industry is begging for people with skills.
Here's the nasty truth about the last century and the travails of the white working class. When you sign on as somebody's rank and file, whether it as a union rank-and-file or a political party's rank-and-file, you better understand that you are expendable, cannon fodder just like a common soldier. Political power is a poisoned chalice and sooner or later it will poison you.
People keep complaining that the Republican Party doesn't do enough to appeal to the working class, not to mention women and blacks. But what can you do about economic deniers that refuse to look at the facts in front of their face? Nice little deal your union got you with the final year pension plus disability, Brother. We Republicans think it is time to cut back on the disability add-on.
Democratic capitalism works; it has worked better than anything else, ever. As Gregory Clark writes in A Farewell to Alms, before 1800 in Britain there was downward economic mobility as the poor had less children than the rich and got squeezed out by the formerly rich. After 1800 the poor reared more children than the rich and experienced upward mobility. What more do you want?
At some point you have to stop buying the liberal lie. People might think you are dumb or something.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel