Understanding America’s class system

The Wobblies Pyramid of Capitalist System

Joe Bageant, who is redneck and leftist has a new genuinely wondrous (and painfully true) rant. Here’s a few excerpts. Be sure to read the whole thing.

Honk if you love caviar

Moneywise, Washington’s political class is richer than the working class by the same orders of magnitude as the ruling class is richer than the political class.

Along with the habits, the political class adopts the ruling class’s social canon and presumptions, especially the one most necessary for acceptance: That the public has the collective intelligence of a chicken. OK, so it may be very hard to disprove that at the moment, but we must maintain at least some egalitarian semblance here. Anyway, as a group, the political elites think, look and act alike, and act toward their own interests. That makes them a class.

He just said in a couple of sentences what some Marxists take entire books to say. Yes, we have a class system in the US. The political and media elites are the lower rungs of the ruling class, and thus emulate, defend, and support that class. This explains quite a lot about the corporatist slant of the media and Congress. What they do is of benefit to the elites, not the rest of us.

You hear it all the time these days: The top one percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 45% of the rest of Americans combined.

I have seldom met an American who thought this is a good thing, and seldom met one who understood how the ruling class got so rich. Simply put, it was through constant cultivation of bigger and more labyrinthine government, creating legal and technical complexities to sluice money nationally and globally in their direction, and to cover their asses in the process. The results are such things as 3,000 page health care bills (defining which corporate elites get which parts of the cake), or the 2,000-page NAFTA and its 9,000 tariff product codes.

This is called kleptocracy, the deliberate looting of the many by the few.

Most educated American liberals, however, believe simply being progressive makes them, by default, the nation’s saviors — morally and intellectually right in all things. As proof, they read more and, allegedly, are more open minded than most conservatives, except when it comes to their daughter dating a redneck named Ernest who lives in a trailer court behind the strip mall.

Look at the arrogance of Barack Obama’s characterization of American heartlanders “clinging to God and guns.” Which we do. However, implicit in his statement was that both God and guns are indicators of an ignorant loser class. When opponents scalded him for his remarks, he justified them by pointing out he had said, “what everybody knows is true.” Meaning everybody in his class, the educated liberal class. Hard to believe their predecessors were the point men and women for the Scopes trial, the eight-hour day, unions, anti-McCarthyism, Cesar Chavez, Negro civil rights.

Yup. This is sneering liberal elites class bias. We know what is best for those illiterate gun nuts who don’t live in big coastal cities. Even if we’ve never actually talked to or know any of them.

Bageant thinks we’re screwed. I’m more optimistic than that. I see the populace across the political spectrum being increasingly aware of what’s going on. They just aren’t sure what to do about it yet. History shows us that one day they will know.


  • woody

    Pah.. as if. The masses aren’t chicken… They’re sheep, duh!

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