Global Class War Coming to a City Near You?
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  • Luke Lea

    The growing chasm between the classes has its roots in globalization, which has taken jobs from blue-collar and now even white-collar employees; technology, which has allowed the fleetest and richest companies and individuals to shift operations at rapid speed to any locale; and the secularization of society, which has undermined the traditional values about work and family that have underpinned grassroots capitalism from its very origins.

    Two out of three ain’t bad. The one he missed is Third World immigration.

  • Luke Lea

    Brownstein: The demographic eclipse of the white working class is likely an irreversible trend as the United States reconfigures itself yet again as a “world nation” reinvigorated by rising education levels and kaleidoscopic diversity.

    Reminds me of some of the things Ben Wattenberg said in The Good News Is the Bad News Is Wrong, in which he argued for unlimited Third World immigration despite its impact on American living and working conditions:

    “Holy Smoke! The half-true, evolving, poetic proclamation of America is becoming truer and truer: we are a fee people, we do come from everywhere [author’s emphasis]. There are some potential problems and some specific potential blessings associated with this development, which will be discussed in a moment. But if you believe, as the author does, that the American drama is being played out toward a purpose, then the non-Europonization of America is heartening news of an almost transcendent quality [my empasis] . . .

    Will it work out? Immigration is never an easy process. Strangers scare natives. But it is an easier process in a scattered nation of immigrants like ours. God shed his grace on America by arranging it so that Italians, Irish, Swedes, Ukranians, blacks, Germans, and Chinese don’t each liv in their separate places. It’s hard to arrange a civil insurrection when Italian-Americans are scattered from Long Island to San Francisco, when Chinese are dispersed in almost every city across the face of the continent. . .

    If anything, recent arrivals to America ma be even more patriotic than natives. Remember that immigrants, unlike natives, choose to come here. . .

    But there will be problems mixed with the blessings of the new American universalism. Take foreign policy. Every American immigrant group at some point lays claim to a piece of American foreign policy. . . Most prominently, American foreign policy towards Israel has come under close scrutiny, to find where “the American interest” lies as compared to “the interests of American who are Jewish. So too, be it noted, American policy toward black Africa has changes substantially in recent years, as black in America have become more politically active.

    All this, of course, often bother the professionals at the State Department. Typically “the American interest” and “the interest of Americans” conincide or can be made to coincide. When they don’t, there is torn fur at Foggy Bottom and on Capitol Hill. The diplomats sulk a little bit about this, but they are for the most part good professionals who have learned to live in a complex world of making foreign policy for a polyglot nation.

    They ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Already we see a foreign policy impact stemming from our new Latin American immigration. What issue will galvanize the Filipinos in the U.S.? Or Indians? Or Arabs?

    We can guess, but only guess. Who would have thought that Jews, Greeks, and Poles — in steerage less than a century ago — would one day play an important part in the formation of American foreign policy in key areas?

    Looking toward the future from this hawk’s point of view, it surely seems as if Cubans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Russians, Tiawanese, and many of the Central Americans make a pretty good chorus of firsthand anticommunisits. I salute them. But it will be complex and tumultuous. There has never been a universal superpower before. We don’t yet know all the ground rules. One thing you can bet on, however: it’s not a recipe for isolationism.

    POWER

    Enough of this sentimental balderdash. et us thing about our current immigration patterns in terms of power. Demography influences power, immigration influences demography.”

    In other words, for people like Wattenberg — and they seem to have had their way — it is not what is good for the American people that is uppermost but what is good for the state.

    In my opinion the way we’re going isn’t good for the state or the people. And the idea that we can’t do anything about it is defeatist.

  • As globalization and new technologies accelerate the pace of destabilizing social change, old solutions to these problems become increasingly obsolete. Nobody yet knows the way forward — least of all established intellectuals, who are mostly still in love with the paradigms of the past.

    How about disestablished working-class intellectuals like me? 😉

  • “. . . the secularization of society, which has undermined the traditional values about work and family that have underpinned grassroots capitalism from its very origins.”

    Gee, did somebody say a mindful here or what? And he’s only just gotten started. On top of it, I suspect the cold truth is that this same process of secularization has been continuing unabated – yes, even here and now in the good old God-fearing USA. Indeed I wouldn’t be surprised if it was advancing pace for pace with our culture’s much-lauded “religiosification” (another awful phrase I’ve coined).

    So far as I can tell the bulk of us Americans – in one degree or other, including myself – are PRACTICAL deists. Our “God” is a useful and convenient enough stick with which to beat those who dare to disagree with us. But beyond that, He is understood mostly as a kind of watchmaker who set the whole process in motion. As for the day-to-day business of our family, work, professional and political lives, we seem to govern these with a great deal of reference to the demands of Man, and precious little concern for the demands of God. Indeed it’s almost as if the presumption were that God WANTS it this way: that He has in effect left us to our own devices, and that in PRACTICAL terms it behooves us to regard ourselves either as our own creators , or else as the temporary (and ever-recreated) creatures of those for whom we work. It’s as if in any other age He would have been much more intrusive and insistent and “peculiar” in His demands. But Today is different. Today the struggle of life is such that we must become the “gods” of our own lives, so to speak. And so His “special” lovingkindness for Today is likewise different. NOW His special grace is be merciful to, and overlooking of, our singular lack of mercy for each other. Almost as if He were saying: “Go ahead, be as hard and ruthless and grasping to everyone as you deem necessary! Remember, in extenuating times like these, to survive, to advance , to prosper – these are necessities that cover a multitude of what would otherwise be sins.”

    Again, I’m not saying a majority of Americans literally believe these things. But if they did, it might give to their weekday lives a logic, coherence and intelligibility that is presently missing.

    PS – A special thanks also to Mr Lea for some very instructive quotes and comments.

  • Jim.

    The proof that the Blue Social Model is not going to work is in the London riots. The rioters have everything a human being needs to physically survive… but it comes at the cost of their purpose in life and their self-respect.

    Transfer payments are not the answer. The problem is spiritual, and the solution has to be so, too.

  • Toni

    Hmm. Isn’t this rather like waiting until the patient has untreated pneumonia and then pondering his or her prognosis?

    I refer to the Great Recession, which I believe to be curable if only the maniacally over-regulating federal government would back down and get out of the way. Also, raising the minimum wage was a good way to make inexperienced teens less attractive to employers — meaning, a good way to increase teen unemployment. Creating a lesser “starter” wage for newcomers to the workforce would likely ameliorate the damage.

    As for college grads seeing darkened prospects, well, blame grade inflation. Graduates don’t have to learn as much or as well as in the past. (Millennials have only themselves to blame. Don’t get me started.)

    I’ve seen commentary on income inequality, but the way the US has always been different from the Old World is income *mobility*. More people here migrate from lower economic echelons to higher ones, and also the other way, from higher to lower. Last I knew, Americans (and immigrants) were very mobile, on average, and though the Great Recession may be suppressing upward mobility, I’d like to see what happens when we get back closer to the old normal.

    Maybe I have more faith in American economic resilience — if only DC would get out of the way.

  • William Bradford

    So they begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtaine a beter crope then they had done, that they might not still thus languish in miserie. At length, after much debate of things, the Gov r (with y e advise of y e cheefest amongest them) gave way that they should set corne every man for his owne perticuler, and in that regard trust to them selves ; in all other things to goe on in y e generall way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcell of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no devission for inheritance), and ranged all boys & youth under some familie. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted then other waise would have bene by any means y c Grov r or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente. The women now wente willingly into y e feild, and tooke their litle-ons with them to set corne, which before would aledg weaknes, and inabilitie ; whom to have compelled would have bene thought great tiranie and oppression.

    The experience that was had in this comone course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of that conceite of Platos & other ancients, applauded by some of later times ; that y e taking away of propertie, and bringing in comunitie into a comone wealth, would make them happy and florishing ; as if they were wiser then God. For this comunitie (so farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion & discontent, and retard much imploymet that would have been to their benefite and comforte. For y e yong-men that were most able and fitte for labour & service did repine that they should spend their time & streingth to worke for other mens wives and chil- dren, with out any recompence. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in devission of victails & cloaths, then he that was weake and not able to doe a quarter y e other could ; this was thought injuestice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalised in labours, and victails, cloaths, &c., with y e meaner & yonger sorte, thought it some indignite & disrespect unto them. And for mens wives to be commanded to doe servise for other men, as dresing their meate, wash- ing their cloaths, &c., they deemd it a kind of slaverie, neither could many husbands well brooke it. Upon y e poynte all being to have alike, and all to doe alike, they thought them selves in y e like condition, and one as good’ as another; and so, if it did not cut of those relations that God hath set amongest men, yet it did at least much diminish and take of y e mutuall respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have bene worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none objecte this is men’s corruption, and nothing to y e course it selfe. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdome saw another course fiter for them.

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