Friday, July 10, 2015

The Worker and the Hedgie Should Be Friends

Ace has a long piece at the Ace of Spades HQ (H/T Instapundit) on class warfare within the Republican Party. The Middle/Working Class whites don't like the Professional Class (or Comfortable Class) and the Professionals don't like the crudities of the rubes down in the cubicles and on the factory floor. Ace calls down a plague on both their houses.
Both classes, frankly, disgust me, depending on the day of the week.
In fact, all politics is disgusting. I am re-discovering that as I read Eric Foner's Reconstruction. Back in the 1860s everyone -- radicals, abolitionists, workers, planters, hill-billies, freedmen, free blacks -- was out for themselves, didn't give a damn about anyone else, and wanted the government to do the dirty for them.

So yeah. Of course the ordinary middle class is embarrassing to educated folk, and of course the professional class are sickening hypocrites that suck up to the establishment left by sneering at the bigoted rubes.

Earth to conservatives: The whole point of a political coalition is that it's a group of people that hate each other, but hate the guys in the other party more.

I don't know what white ruling-class liberals think about their black and brown supporters. But I'll bet you'd learn a thing or two if you got to be a fly on the wall at some meeting of the great and good. The point is that, way back, your Marxes and your Frankfurt Schools cooked up an ideology that allowed elite snobs to patronize and gush over workers and blacks and browns and bribe them with other peoples' money and think that their kind were the most enlightened and evolved people in the world.

Talk about genius.

Never mind that liberals have in fact plunged African Americans into a cesspool of cultural disintegration, and are doing their best to do the same to Hispanics. Their ideology blinds them to all that, and lets them know that they are the bestest and brightest ever.

The other technique of the political ideology is to sow division in the other guy's ranks. That's what the Joe Soptic commercials were all about: Hey, white working class, the hedgies up at Bain Capital don't give a damn about you!

I'm here to say that, pace Rodgers and Hammerstein, "The worker and the hedgie should be friends."

In other words, we need an ideology, the right's equivalent of Marxism, that imagines a common interest between the capitalists and business owners and professionals on the one side, and the cubicle workers on the other.

The point of Marxism -- and its child, cultural Marxism -- is that the workers (and now the traditionally marginalized from women to blacks to gays and transgendered) -- are the salt of the earth and are being monstrously oppressed and/or exploited by the evil rich and/or racists, sexists, and homophobes. The educated and the evolved are called to minister to the oppressed and exploited, nd be a scourge to the evil oppressors and exploiters. More than that, they are called to be heroes, doing good in the world instead of merely making a buck like the booboisie.

The point of the new conservative ideology should be that the People of the Responsible Self, whether diligent workers toiling away in offices and service businesses or business owners and entrepreneurs and skilled professionals, are the good guys in this world. We are the people that make the products and deliver the services; we are the people that surprise the world with new technologies and business ideas. We are the ones that have been driving the economy for the last two hundred years as it grew from $1-3 per capita per day to $100 per capita per day.

Some of us are newly-born people of the responsible self, through the agency of enthusiastic Christianity. Some of us are responsible creatives, inventing technologies, risking everything in startups, leading great businesses and corporations that deliver products and services to the world. Some of us are advocates for freedom and limited government. Some of us are just fathers and mothers and good neighbors, raising a family and always ready to help a family member or a person down on their luck.

The point is that Ace is wrong. We shouldn't be disgusted with people who aren't like we are. We should be working together, building a new libertarian-conservative movement on the common faith in voluntary cooperation and limited government, combining a prudent, but realistic faith in tradition with a yearning to make the world better while observing the Hippocratic oath to do no harm.

We can do it, folks. We did it with the post-WWII conservative movement and we can do it again with a 21st century Fight for Freedom.

It's an irony that socialism, the idea that we are all brothers and sisters and should work together through brotherly love, in fact operates on the idea that rich and poor, white and black, are utterly irreconcilable and must fight to the death.

But classical liberalism and limited government promote the idea that, given appropriate defenses against enemies foreign and domestic everyone can get along if, paraphrasing JFK,they ask not what others can do for them, but what they can do for others.

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