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It's the Liberal Oppression, Stupid Do Women Want to be Responsible Individuals?

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Dems Can't Stop Sneering at the White Working Class

by Christopher Chantrill
December 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

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WHAT HAPPENED to the white working class? It finally figured out that Democrats didn’t even want to be LBGFs. It’s hard for them, because the Democrats used to love the working stiff.

Nobody really intended it, but the bottom line on liberal politics for the last half century is that the white working class were the suckers that had to pay for liberal race politics.

Thomas B. Edsall, who’s a good guy at heart, wants to look a little deeper, and he stumbles over a point I’ve been making for a while. He writes in the New York Times about the growth, since the Sixties, of “expressive individualism,” the move among the youth from a “utilitarian self” to an “expressive self.” According to Andrew Cherlin, professor at Johns Hopkins,

The utilitarian self... accepts “conformity to external standards which included doing what your supervisor at work told you to do.” This conformity was essential for industrial work, “which required self-discipline and the suppression of feelings such as alienation and anger.”

The expressive self, in contrast, “emphasizes one’s feelings and emotional satisfaction and the pursuit of a personally fulfilling life.” For the less educated, however, the kind of low-skill, low-wage jobs available to them offered little or no opportunity for self-expression.

So too bad; there wasn’t any room in the brave new world of expressive individualism for the white working class. Or for the religious white middle class, for that matter. Screw ’em.

And what about today’s little darlings of the ruling class, the Hispanics and African Americans, and the catfishing college girls engulfed in today’s college “rape culture?”

Won’t they get caught in the undertow between working class dependency and the brave new world of expressivism?

Of course they will. That’s because this supposed move from the “utilitarian self” to the “expressive self” is baloney; it’s not how the world works. You can’t move directly from the subordinate life of an obedient factory drone to the expressive life of a creative artist. Life doesn’t work like that. Creative artists start from a solid base in the responsible middle class. They need a start like Picasso, whose middle-class dad sent him to middle-class art school, and only then sent him to Paris to change the world.

So here we come to the fatal flaw at the center of the liberals’ little-darling politics. The little darlings, obediently sucking at the teat of the Mommy Party, never learn how to take responsibility for their lives. So they never get to rise out of dependency and helplessness. They obediently march and protest, and nothing changes. They go and “share” their issue with the Dean of Students and bury themselves in single-issue activism. But to live and act as a Person of the Responsible Self? No clue.

You certainly won’t escape learn about expressive individualism by joining the rank-and-file in fashionable “activism” and “peaceful protests;” that’s for the community organizers that get their creative juices flowing by going out and bullying the rest of society into caving in to their “non-negotiable demands” with the help of their biddable followers.

So where does that leave the white working class, suspended in a no-mans-land between dependent submission and creative expression?

It leaves them in a world of hurt. Cynics might say that liberals left them “on their own” about the time that Norman Lear taught hipsters to sneer the white working class in the person of TV’s Archie Bunker.

It would be easy for the white working class to be angry, because all the liberal “help” they got arguably set them back 50 years. But the past is gone; it’s a sunk cost. The question is what to do now?

That is easy.

The road ahead for the white working class has been marked out by millions before them. In the Great Awakening it was mechanics like George Eliot’s Adam Bede that showed the way; in the Second Great Awakening it was Abraham Lincoln and Joseph Smith that followed the trail. In 2000, according to the sneering Hanna Rosin, it was the religious right that had debouched from the Appalachians into the horribly kitsch striver suburbs south of Charlotte, NC.

You could read all about it in my Road to the Middle Class. It’s a mere $0.99 on Kindle.

The point is that in order to make a successful transition from life in the countryside to life in the city you need to abandon the culture of resignation in the feudal countryside and learn the culture of responsible individualism that you need to thrive in the city.

And now it’s the white working class’s turn to try it. Give them a generation and they’ll be the backbone of the GOP. Liberals won’t be sneering at them then; they’ll be raging at them.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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