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  1. #81
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    I openly admitted that there is a lot of hypocrisy going on (I guess that´s what you guys call middle class guilt, even though this whole notion of "hey, don´t feel guilty, after all, you don´t belong to the upper class, so you have nothing to do with the wrongs of the past" gives me a severe stomach ache!). I guess it is statistically safe to assume most people on this forum are middle class. This thread might attract the exeptions, but I didn´t get the impression that this was a cross class pillow fight where the middle class was just one among others to get hit. Reading the thread the conversation went something like this: Are you class conscious? -> no -> only the middle clas is class conscious -> yeah, they suck -> I hate liberal PC babble, which is typical for the middle class.
    At least that was my impression of the flow of the conversation. Under different circumstances I might be the first to criticize many middle class habits.

    And speaking of consciousness, according to Kracauer, the problem with the middle class is exactly their LACK of class awareness (eg. they don´t have a realistic perception of their position on the social ladder). There is a hierarchy and they don´t see it. That would be the opposite of what has been stated here (i.e. that only the middle class believe in class distinction while the upper and lower class live happily in a world of rainbows and unicorns unbothered by their neglectable differences).
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    I openly admitted that there is a lot of hypocrisy going on (I guess that´s what you guys call middle class guilt, even though this whole notion of "hey, don´t feel guilty, after all, you don´t belong to the upper class, so you have nothing to do with the wrongs of the past" gives me a severe stomach ache!). I guess it is statistically safe to assume most people on this forum are middle class. This thread might attract the exeptions, but I didn´t get the impression that this was a cross class pillow fight where the middle class was just one among others to get hit. Reading the thread the conversation went something like this: Are you class conscious? -> no -> only the middle clas is class conscious -> yeah, they suck -> I hate liberal PC babble, which is typical for the middle class.
    At least that was my impression of the flow of the conversation. Under different circumstances I might be the first to criticize many middle class habits.

    And speaking of consciousness, according to Kracauer, the problem with the middle class is exactly their LACK of class awareness (eg. they don´t have a realistic perception of their position on the social ladder). There is a hierarchy and they don´t see it. That would be the opposite of what has been stated here (i.e. that only the middle class believe in class distinction while the upper and lower class live happily in a world of rainbows and unicorns unbothered by their neglectable differences).
    That's really odd since I replied to Highlander that lower class people are more aware of class because they don't have the social luxury of being able to avoid it because of their lack of status and money, and the upper class are more aware of it because it determines who they are to associate with socially, the "right" people. The middle class would probably be the least conscious of it UNLESS they are preoccupied with social science, humanitarian efforts, religion, or some other interest that would cause them to lean in that direction...and that would also include "middle class guilt."

    I guess you totally missed the parts where people were mocking toffs, and where I - born into the working class - acknowledged the concept of people of my own class of birth becoming "nigger rich" and bemoaning their ignorance. Of course that doesn't mean that I think that about ALL working class are ignorant (though many are through lack of choices in life, or simply through social networks that don't provide them with educational pathways) but I've witnessed A LOT of white trash bullshit, lemme tell you what, and if there's anything I've learned that it's education and opportunity that will lead you out of it. That's why I snapped at Edgar when he said I equate class with money, because even if I wasn't born middle class, I certainly know better than that.

    Another thing is too, I don't think it's fair to keep calling someone who has multiple degrees or who has maintained a professional status, or who has even just maintained a "yuppie" sort of lifestyle through finacial comfort "working class." I think it's a logical fallacy to say that ALL people maintain the same social class for all of their lives in the United States. It's absolutely absurd.

    My own mother already sees my ideas and choices and lifestyle as different from her own, and when I go back to WV I find it very difficult sometimes to relate to some of the people there, and I don't even have a SRS PROFESSION. I also know that has a great deal to do with emphasis my grandfather put on my education. Furthermore, when people are that much further removed (as I probably will be someday, and as my great-aunt was, she married minor local political power) they relate to it - the working class - less and less and less...

    In fact, the more I think about it, the funnier it seems to me...to be born into a working class family but to simultaneously be related by marriage to the state road commissioner, and to attend their parties full of politicians and wealthy people. Yes, I remember being a child, and looking at pictures of my second cousin sitting on the lap of John F. Kennedy. It was on my great-aunt's mantel, she was my favorite baby sitter, I stayed in the Georgian mansion by the Kanawha river often. So I actually had BOTH a working and middle class upbringing.

    Not only that, but middle and working class kids all go to school together, and grow up to get some of the same jobs, go to the same colleges.

    There are not hard and fast class distinctions, and they certainly aren't lifelong...and people can be just as downwardly mobile as upwardly mobile. Take my mother's husband for example: he was born into an upper-middle class family, fairly wealthy by West Virginia standards, and following a series of harrowing life events, he now lives with my mother in one of those "fancy" trailer parks that have nice little yards and trees. That's right, I said trailer park. I'm sure that's not where his family pictured him. My mother still calls him East End boy or some such non-sense, because of the family he was born into. He's actually my mother's third husband, but they met when she was seventeen...and of course were introduced by my great-uncle, the minor local politician.

  3. #83
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Okay then we are more or less on the ame page
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Also, Victor, for crissakes people don't elect kings, kings get sovereign power from God.
    Christ is on the line!! He wants to talk with Victor.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Christ is on the line!! He wants to talk with Victor.
    Maybe He wants to tell Victor that he's been elected king.

  6. #86
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    There is no such thing as a working class in modern society unless you look to East Asia where most of our goods are produced in the global economy. Infact the 'working class' are some of the best paid in the west producing high quality and efficiency goods such as high tech instruments, cars and pharmaceuticals. Most westerners now exist as part of the service industries and are very well rewarded for their efforts. There is such disdain for this everywhere I look but this is an incredible level of economic opulence unparalleled through history. 40 Hours a week of work sitting behind desks doing nothing bar answering the needs of others. It isn't altruism, but it is safe, secure and warm.

    What we now have are those who wish to destroy aspiration and success via envy as they disdain the lack of wealth their lives decisions have earned them.

    In many cases those who chose not to work are rewarded for their choice because they don't have enough wealth.

    For example, I often question if the need for equality has overrode common sense when it comes to life decisions such as child bearing; why should the childless pay for those who make the decision to have children through taxes? How can it be justified and be seen as fair in countries like the UK where families earning less than $25k a year are taxed to allow life long unemployed by virtue of their living location earn up to $20k a year tax free in state benefits? Do these people not realise that they are in effect raiding the pockets of money that should go, rightfully, to the old, the infirm and the disabled?

    This rolls down to education where due to arbitrary targets the lowest common denominator takes hold. Middle class parents demand university spaces for their children who have achieved little in terms of academic achievements in secondary education. This is expensive and is another unnecessary tax on the living quality of all in society.

    It would seem nonsensical to send a child who does not achieve in education to suffer another 4 years of education and likely limits the paths available in their future. Is not the function of the state in this instance to provide sufficient coverage of supply to everyone who shows the ability and willingness to perform well; those who will achieve and use the knowledge gained as a net positive result for everyone to re contribute and grow and strengthen society? Surely this is not a matter of wealth, all savants are an asset to society so encourage this whether from wealthy parents or poor parents. Why Tax Aspiration and Achievement?

    I encourage achievement and recommend that people are rewarded for their success, not taxed and penalised.

    There is a state system that is overlooked with is more advanced than the US and Europe and it exists somewhere between the two and too many politicians are too focused on class and who to rob than optimising the lives and wealth of all of their countries peoples. Unfortunately talking common sense doesn't necessarily win votes when many people will base their decisions on what is best for them.

  7. #87
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    Well, Invisible Jim obviously doesn't actually know any working class people.

    I mean I almost just wanted to leave this post at that (and perhaps I should have) but REALLY Jim...you think working class people sit behind desks???

    You don't realize how dangerous a lot of working class jobs are, apparently, how people work outdoors and do back-breaking labor and frequently get injured.

    And to assert that they are some of the "best paying jobs in the West" is a slap in the face to the working poor.

    I don't consider my jobs working class at all, I'd consider myself lower middle class at this moment, to be perfectly honest with you, because I'm an editor and an adult performer. Those aren't "working class" jobs and I'm not silly enough to think they are...because I actually grew up working class, and many of the people I know IRL are also working class.

    Best paid jobs in the West! Desk jobs!

    You're a laugh riot, Jim.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Well, Invisible Jim obviously doesn't actually know any working class people.
    By your definition incorrect. My hometown is in the 'buckie triangle' of Scotland, well defined because of it's world record levels of alcoholism, heart attacks and cancer. By the governments definition in this country 'UK Levels' of poverty are rife. I went to a fairly average state school with very poor achievement records. My statistics show that 6/30 the females in my year group had teenage pregnancies, approximately 30% of the people in my classes had at least 1 permanently unemployed parent from the glorious 70s where the steel and shipbuilding industries shut down in Scotland, usually the father (if the parents weren't divorced). About 10/60 of us went off to university (not bad all things considered) the rest either became unemployed, worked in call centres or in supermarkets and other services industries.

    Probably a few went off to work as plumbers, electricians or joiners. These are the few remaining working class which typically refers to a section of society dependent on physical labor, especially when compensated with an hourly wage remaining in the west due to extensive automation. In places like the UK being a plumber or builder can typically earns $75k per year once fully trained and qualified.

    I don't argue that these jobs aren't dangerous. Every time I go onto an oil rig to commission it I risk blowing myself up, but its a risk to reward that I measure in terms of pay to risk and the preparations and studies I do beforehand to understand exactly what is required.

    Next time try asking for information before make big assumptions based upon social preconditioning.

    I was lucky to have parents who were relatively travelled and were both employed and willing to support and push their children, a father who worked abroad and opened my eyes to other parts of the world and a mother who demanded we achieved academically because she valued something that she had never succeeded in. Something I hope to be able to give to my children if that ever happens.

    With regards to desk/shops jobs the decision making and risk are linked to pay. They are relatively comfortable when you really consider what they merit. Imagine telling a factory worked from the pre-war era that he could afford a rent in a small apartment including a range of amenities and discretionary spending for himself by just sitting behind a desk and dealing with crap that others don't want to? He'd probably consider it far too good to be true. Despite all of the recent economic problems I do believe we still live in an economically opulent society when you consider the lives of people even 70-80 years ago.
    Last edited by InvisibleJim; 11-09-2010 at 06:52 AM. Reason: re-ordered to read properly.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Victor, for crissakes people don't elect kings, kings get sovereign power from God.
    Please, Marmalade, please - you have democratised royalty while we have democratised aristocracy.

  10. #90
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    I hope you read my edited post, Jim.

    And *I* haven't done jack shit, Victor.
    Royalty is given power from God, not from the people, or so they'd have the peasants think. I can't believe you're even arguing that point.

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