I was in a good enough mood when I woke up this morning, I mean the situation with the Kurds even seems to have improved over the night a tiny bit (although it’s still very concerning). Ha! …But then I read an article on Huffington Post that was terrifying. It almost verbatim echoes thoughts I’ve shared on this blog over the last few months about the growingly static nature of class in the US and how anxious the middle-middle and upper-middle classes have become as of late. But…what it still fails to fully recognize, in my opinion, is the greater context.
No, Huffington Post, the glass floor will not create a group of stupid, unwise weaklings at the top. No, dear. That’s your middle class anxiety taking over your otherwise objective analysis and driving it off a cliff. What will happen is what already did happen in Europe. Many, many years ago. They’ll be some stupidity at the top, as there are some “stupid people” everywhere, but overall I think…it’ll all “work-out”. *forced peppy smile* Plenty of “smarties” will be at the top. We’re a species after all and natural selection is a force beyond that allows for the fittest to thrive and survive and that’ll be at work in the upper-classes as much as anywhere else (the article accidentally hints at this). AND that’s why it’s terrifying, actually… There might not be an implosion to save us from ourselves.
First, it’s scary that people (often in the middle classes) in this country are still so (often subconsciously) bound in their understanding by American Exceptionalism and (growing) liberal pseudo-intellectualism as not to realize that countries other than ours with varying systems have “worked” too. And for longer, in many cases, than we have. Stiff class distinctions doesn’t necessarily mean the ruin of a country overall. No. *shaking head* We could get much worse and go on for another few hundred years, sadly, because the scum doesn’t sit at the top (or rise) more than the creme. It’s much more chaotic than that, I think. More finely nuanced too.
Secondly…resting on the assumptions of the first premise, it will indeed, as the article suggests, become harder to be anything less than solidly middle class, which is a label more complex in real meaning than Americans usually allow for. And with the growing anxiety and crassness of some people in the middle to lower classes they’ll damn themselves and their offspring in ways they won’t see or comprehend until it’s too late. Their kids will have to reject them, in a way we don’t fully understand anymore, in order to “succeed” as their sometimes brutish, evil, sometimes even frighteningly violent, but always off-putting machinations will be damning. And people aren’t honest or open with each other about what the “mistakes” really are anymore either – we’re moving into a time of darkness and closed doors socially in regard to class. Read pre WWI literature to get a hint of what I mean… *ahem* And, again, that’s why it’s tragic. Kids will suffer in one way or another. Read Dickens.
We’ve been here before. Matter of fact, I think…we are going in a circle. *gallows humour chuckle* Could someone please suggest we make a u-turn? And no, it’s not the fault of any one intellectual group (let’s get past polarization). It’s that we all forgot that we’re but humble creatures, same as the rest, who have tendencies good and bad, and need to have the freedom to worship the God of our choice or none at all AND…and that we aren’t more inherently morally superior, by virtue of being a nation of immigrants, than the rest of the world.
What we have, however, been blessed with, are truly great ideals… It’s our ideals that have been great not our so-called immigrant breeding. No, again, in general, we in fact naturally have the same tendencies toward class structures as many other human groups in history. Well, perhaps all human groups, in my opinion. Hierarchies are ubiquitous. It takes effort from everyone and moral intervention to avoid them. Maybe, just maybe, Marx may have been wildly wrong about where it all naturally leads… And perhaps, especially given the climate situation, humility is in order to break the developing cement floor.