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Pocketbook? What pocketbook?

By Owen Paine on Tuesday May 9, 2006 09:32 PM

Fromnik Stephen Rose muses:
... the old working class has been subsumed into a broader middle class..... today's working Americans have a very different economic outlook .... Their outlook is more aspirational and less infused with class grievance or resentment.
This is an old song now. To hear the "class is now in recess" brand of politicos tell it, there is no voting the pocketbook 'round here. And that ain't about to change, even as they begin morphing out of their DLC "ME TOO!" elephant suit and into Prog of Prog Hall, singing "we're all in it together .... even the corporations. No, especially the corporations."

Well, maybe they got something with their first line -- it's true, we're all in it together -- up to our necks in fact. And yeah, it's a greater good vision we need -- only upside down from what we have now.

The DLC incognitos like to tell us the old New Deal working class is gone -- it's mostly merged with the "broader" middle class. True enough -- but it's not by an uplift of the wagery, but by the drop of the traditional middle class into a kind of ill-defined protoplasmic class goo -- a class of a new type, not by any means the old middle class or the old working class, but bearing the historic burdens of both -- a job that hangs motionless, at best, in mid-air, and attached to it, a ball-and-chain household mortgage.

Savor that and tell me these citizens of gooville won't vote their pocketbook, if someone actually and believably offers to fill that barren bag with something beyond a promissory note: "to be paid in full .....when you make it."

Make it how? "Self improvement," say the promoters of intellectual capital -- and add, under their breath, "how else, you useless piece of shit."

Comments (5)

Gah! Can't stand that new-age corporate "self improvement" bullshit. All you have to do to succeed is prioritize-your-action-items / get-right-with-jesus / align-your-chakras.

DLC'ers seem to think all they have to do is "reimagine" the "paradigm" et voila! All is solved! It's magical thinking of the rankest sort.


it would indeed be magical thinking
if they believed it

but the witch doctors
over there at
the local branch
(national association for the advancement of virtuous human capital )

any more then father murray
belives in trans-substantiation

Who replaced my cheese with this chunk of parafin ?

(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

J. Alva Scruggs:


Change, like cheese, is something that "just happens"; it's presented in much the same way Tom Friedman presents "globalization": not as the product of human action, but as an inevitable and impersonal force of nature. We're expected to accept as it comes, and deal with it within whatever framework is established by the anonymous gods in white coats who structure the maze. The idea that some authority figures are in a position to dole out cheese, and that we must jump through whatever hoops they require in order to get it, goes without saying.

I think that James Joyce once referred to cheese as "the corpse of milk." I guess in this case, cheese would be the corpse of self-determination. Or something. :/

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