Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The White Working Class Was Once the "Little Darlings" of the Ruling Class

Another day, another WaPo article about "The incredible crushing despair of the white working class." And as usual it blames the white working class for its problems. Working class blacks are three times more likely to have an optimistic view of the future.

What's the problem?
Part of the optimism gap is indeed because of "a shrinking pie of good jobs for low-skill/blue collar workers," Graham said in an email. "Whites used to have real advantages (some via discrimination) that they no longer have ... they are looking at downward mobility or threats of it, while poor blacks and Hispanics are comparing themselves to parents who were worse off than they."...

If you're a working-class white American, in other words, it may seem as though you are stuck with a losing hand in a bleak zero-sum game: Minorities are getting richer. The rich are getting richer. They're all doing so at your expense, and it's difficult to imagine things being any different in the future.
Cue a plug for my "little darlings" theory. Don't become a little darling of the ruling class. Because when they are done with you they will throw you onto the ash heap of history. Like the medieval peasants.

Once upon a time the ruling class loooved the white working class and gave them lots of presents and gew-gaws, as Sugar Daddies will do: Union laws, child-labor laws. Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid. Obamacare. So you learn to be a medieval peasant all over again and tug your forelock when the lord drives by in his private jet.

But then comes the day when the lord fancies a new bit of crackling. In the 1960s it was blacks and women. And so, rather quickly, working class whites became embarrassing. And then downright bigoted and mean. You got movies like In the Heat of the Night where the hero is a black man and the villain is not the racist white planter but the greasy white soda-jerk.

But never mind about the Washington Post and its articles written over the grave of the white working class. go read the comments under the article. Where's all that celebrated liberal compassion?

Yep. The comments that I read told the white working class to stop propping up the bar and go and get a job. Or words to that effect. Try this:
Why can’t poorly educated angry people who believe in conspiracy theories get jobs? Probably because those are the exact qualities employers DON’T want.. 
 DON'T become the little darlings of the ruling class. I am talking to you, ladies. I am talking to you, African Americans. I am talking to you, Hispanics. Or you too will end up on the ash heap of history, just like the white working class.

I always wondered what happened to people thrown on the ash heap of history. Now I know. They do not die, they only fade away, from the death of hope.

You can see that the various means by which humans fortify hope are important. There is the charismatic leader, the tribal gods. There are the Axial Age religions that promise humans the ability to understand the world and work to live in it. There is the millennial hope of leftist movements for perfect community and equality. There is the revival of tribalism in fascism and Black Power. And of course there is the hope provided by the comfort of being the ruling class's little darlings.

You can see the advantage of the Axial Age religions. They do not get blind-sided by history, like the rise and fall of tribes. Or the vagaries of ruling class favors. They simply say things like: If you love God, God will love you back. Or: God sent his Son to die for you so you don't need to sacrifice any more.

Well, it looks like the white working class will have its revenge, as its support of Donald Trump has demolished the conservative-Republican coalition of the last 50 years. So conservatism and today's Republican Party might end up being thrown on the ash heap of history.

How do you like them apples?

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