Author Topic: Class  (Read 16991 times)

Boom Boom

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« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2007, 12:52:31 PM »
Over the years I've read about difficulties in trying to remain in the 'middle class' especially when it keeps moving up in economic terms but many jobs do not, and real take-home-pay is in decline for various reasons. I think class distinctions are harmful, yet inevitable. :(

lagatta

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« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2007, 01:04:17 PM »
Lance, remember that I speak French most often, and it is the prevalent language (with Italian, Spanish and Portuguese also very common) in this 'hood, so it doesn't sound as moonbattish, and while I don't want to overemphasize the exposure to Marxist-inspired discourse, it is certainly more common here than in the RoC for a variety of social factors, from the trade-union radicalism of the 1970s (often just bombast, but...) to more exposure to European media. That does not mean we are more left-wing - right-wing parties dominate here now - but I suspect even a lot of people on the right have heard the term petit-bourgeois.

I still think "middle-class" is worse than useless, as it is a way of denying reality and getting victims of exploitation to deny reality.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

sparqui

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« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2007, 01:21:41 PM »
Middle class is such a soft term that when people self-identify, they will often go for it since working class has such negative connotations in North America. It's funny but the terms blue collar and white collar have fallen out of favour as has general respect for unionized labour. Sad that.

But you can tell that classism exists extensively even among those who have been thrown together in the meaningless "middle class". In most work environments ("white collar") that I've been in, there is this invisible wall that seperates the "professionals" from "support".
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

'lance

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« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2007, 01:21:51 PM »
But who said anything about "moonbattish"? If you use the terminology -- and I'm certainly not denying its usefulness, depending on context -- then you're comfortable with it and can use it convincingly. That's not true in my case, is all.

skdadl

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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2007, 01:28:44 PM »
I've always made my living as a craftworker, which has something but not everything to do with my education. I think that the point of my education was to turn me into a professional, but that didn't work, did it. I have been a craftworker for forty years, and I've always found it calming to think of myself that way. Honesty is calming.

Garbage rhetoric about the "middle class" and being a "professional" has served to distract huge numbers of people from recognizing how seriously this economy screws them over, and I can't say that I've seen any movement in popular consciousness on that front in my entire adult life. Depressing but true. Many of my best friends still use the word "professional" as though it were a good thing. To me, it is very close to an obscenity unless we're talking about doctors and lawyers, and even there, my tolerance is limited.

The crafts and trades are the real work, such as it still gets done. I don't understand any of the other, ah, stuff.

'lance

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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2007, 01:31:31 PM »
I know first-hand what a joke the rhetoric of "professionalism" is, but still...

Quote
The crafts and trades are the real work, such as it still gets done.


... thanks, skdadl.

vmichel

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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2007, 01:41:08 PM »
Quote from: sparqui
But you can tell that classism exists extensively even among those who have been thrown together in the meaningless "middle class". In most work environments ("white collar") that I've been in, there is this invisible wall that seperates the "professionals" from "support".


I fell for that in my first job. I got a "promotion" in which I ended up making less than I had before, for exactly the same job duties, because I was no longer eligible for overtime pay. But hey, I was classed as a "professional employee!" I had made it!

It's kind of stuck with me, both that so many people treated me so much more respectfully when my job title changed and that I got suckered into a bad deal because I, too, wanted that "professional" title. Won't make that mistake again!

deBeauxOs

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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2007, 01:48:18 PM »
My friend N's son says that an old term is enjoying a rejuvenation.  'Maker' has become a category that includes most people who work with their hands and use a variety of tools or instruments, take pride what they produce and sell what they make directly to their clients.

skdadl

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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2007, 01:59:48 PM »
"Lament for the Makers"  
William Dunbar (1460?-1520?)

"Timor mortis conturbat me": "the fear of death confounds / distresses me."



Quote
Lament for the Makers

I THAT in heill was and gladness
Am trublit now with great sickness
And feblit with infirmitie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Our plesance here is all vain glory,
This fals world is but transitory,
The flesh is bruckle, the Feynd is slee: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

The state of man does change and vary,
Now sound. now sick, now blyth, now sary,
Now dansand mirry, now like to die: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

No state in Erd here standis sicker;
As with the wynd wavis the wicker
So wannis this world's vanitie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Unto the Death gods all Estatis,
Princis, Prelattis, and Potestatis,
Baith rich and poor of all degree: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He takis the knichtis in to the field
Enarmit under helm and scheild;
Victor he is at all mellie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

That strong unmerciful tyrand
Takis, on the motheris breast sowkand,
The babe full of benignitie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He takis the campion in the stour,
The captain closit in the tour,
The lady in bour full of bewtie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He spairis no lord for his piscence
Na clerk for his intelligence;
His awful straik may no man flee. --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Art-magicianis and astrologic,
Rethoris, logicianis, and theologis,
Them helpis no conclusionis slee: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

In medecine the most practicianis,
Leechis, surrigianis and physicianis,
Themself from Death may nocht supplee: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

I see that makaris amang the lave
Playis is here their padyanis, syne gods to grave;
Sparit is nocht their facultie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has done petuously devour
The noble Chaucer, of makaris flour,
The Monk of Bury, and Gower, all three: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

The good Sir Hew of Eglintoun,
Ettrick, Heriot, and Wintoun,
He has tane out of this cuntrie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

That scorpion fell has done infeck
Maister John Clerk, and James Afflek,
Fra ballat-making and tragedie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Holland and Barbour he has berevit ;
Alas! that he not with us levit
Sir Mungo Lockart of the Lee: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Clerk of Tranent eke he has tane,
That made the aventeris of Gawaine;
Sir Gilbert Hay endit has he: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has Blind Harry and Sandy Traill
Slain with his schour of mortal hail,
Quhilk Patrick Johnstoun might nocht flee: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has reft Mersar his endite
That did in luve so lively write,
So short, so quick, of sentence hie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has tane Rowll of Aberdene,
And gentill Rowll of Cortorphine;
Two better fallowis did no man see: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

In Dunfermline he has tane Broun
With Maister Robert Henrysoun;
Sir John the Ross enbrasit has he: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

And he has now sane, last of a,
Good gentil Stobo and Quintin Shaw.
Of quhom all wichtis hes pitie: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Good Maister Walter Kennedy
In point of Dedth lies verily;
Great ruth it were that so suld be: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me

Sen he has all my brothers sane,
He will nocht let me live alane;
Of force I mon his next prey be: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Since for the Death remeid is none,
Best is that we for Death dispone
After our death that live may we: --

    Timor Mortis conturbat me.    
     
 

Holly Stick

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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2007, 04:22:53 PM »
Relently Progressive Economics has a couple of relevant posts.  One recent one about the top 1% earning more, and not just because they live together as Wente and others have written:
Margaret Wente and Inequality

And an older post about how the poorest people's incomes are not reported well enough in survey data: Another Statscan error, a big one  They quote from a study:
Quote
The tax data we use, points to much larger increases in market income inequality driven both by rises at the top of the distribution and very substantial falls at the bottom. According to the tax data, and in contrast to the survey data, significant increases in after-tax and transfer income inequality were witnessed in the 1990s. Moreover, the level of inequality is much higher in the tax data than the survey data in each year, due mainly to much lower earnings at the bottom of the distribution...
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

lagatta

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« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2007, 05:53:55 PM »
I'm not surprised. The rich have always married each other (in general, of course there are a few notable exceptions) and even though women earning as much as men in the workplace were rare, they arrived with a family fortune - not just an inheritance, but in many cases a dowry. And in many societies, women with money or land and servants were a considerable addition to the home-based economy.

This line has also been used to explain away income discrimination in Britain - those benighted South Asian Muslims, Hindus etc who keep their women in purdah. (Though I wouldn't be surprised if Afro-Caribbean families also experience income discrimination, although so many women arrived from the colonies as nurses and other trained healthcare workers)... There of course it is their defective families. Oh well, there is no fighting the Invisible Hand.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

fern hill

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« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2007, 08:31:39 AM »
Here, April Reign has an excellent post about class.

This morning, well, actually last night, I was struck again by how class just never goes away as an issue in one's personal life.

I was born into the 'professional' class. (OK, already I'm screwed by terminology. One side of my family were pretty successful farmers; the other pretty successful professionals. There wasn't great wealth, but there was education and ambition. Am I making sense?)

If all had gone as planned, I would have grown up in a well-off family, gone to private schools, had the right friends, blahblahblah.

But things didn't go as planned. When I was seven, the parents separated. My father (ha, it's Father's Day) was not good with the support payments, there were sibs younger than me. . . so it wasn't quite the tea and toast that April Reign speaks of in a follow-up comment to her blog post, but it was often 'breakfast for dinner'. And it was hand-me-down clothes and not going on school trips and knowing from a cruelly young age not to ask for stuff.

And it was exacerbated by being 'from a broken home' when no one else was (I was in high school before I met another kid with divorced parents) and by bouncing back and forth between classes. When Papa had us for visits, it was all steak and new clothes and restaurants. . .

Mama had a rather touching belief in schools. Back in the day, you had to live in the district of the school you attended. So Mama found out where the 'good' schools were and moved us. Of course we lived on the wrong side of the tracks in the those districts. And most of the kids in the good schools had the clothes and the cottages and the music lessons. . .

Did I resent it? You bet I did. I was as smart, as pretty, as everything as those other kids. So why the fuck did they have it all?

Did I let on? No way. I was the smart-mouth, the class clown, the 'bad' kid it was dangerous but fun to be around. I was in and out of the rich kids' clique as they saw fit.

Thank gord for the 60s. (A much younger woman I know who grew up in similar circumstances says, 'Thank gord for grunge'.) Fuck the establishment. It was cool to be poor. And cool to be angry.

But the anger just never goes away.

Last night I had a bad fight with someone I love over fucking class. We had dinner with an old friend. The two of them are from the same class, the class I woulda been in, if my fucking father could have kept it in his pants. Both of them are, in their own ways, black sheep in their families. They did not do what was expected of them. And both of them are aware, if not acutely, at least periodically, that they enjoy class privilege.

So last night stuff got stirred up and I lashed out. And I feel really bad about it, because, you know, they can't help what class they were raised in either.

Fuck. It just never goes away.

brebis noire

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« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2007, 10:21:45 AM »
That is a really great post Debra. Really amazing - very true about how a same behaviour will be perceived differently depending on where a child is coming from.

The class thing seems (to me at least) to be slightly attenuated here in Quebec - in large part, at least in recent decades, due to daycare and the CEGEP system. Part of the huge impact of the Silent Revolution was in making education more accessible and public. That hasn't come without problems however, and hasn't exactly been a resounding success everywhere - more of an overall, generalized kind of success - the kind that has meaning for a "society" but not necessarily for all individuals. There are still class prejudices here like everywhere else, and people and families who get left out and marginalised.

I was talking about this very thing with one of my neighbours recently; she was telling me how she had been gifted at school and way ahead of others - but because she found school boring and wasn't really encouraged to think about CEGEP and university, she somehow fell out of the system so to speak. It's obvious to me that if her family hadn't been poor and rural, she'd be an engineer or a business owner today. She's still trying to figure out where she went wrong, but I don't think she'll be able to put her finger on it without considering the overall picture. Some kids, no matter how bright, just aren't considered to be university material, or else they just can't conceive of that kind of life because the feeling of not fitting in is too acute.

Toedancer

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Re: Class
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2012, 07:42:25 PM »
This is definitely classic classism, but doesn't it also put to shame the 'war on terra'? Or is there an unspoken equation that rich = innocent?


The UK Border Agency has disclosed that it is working on plans for fast-track passport lanes for rich travellers at Heathrow and other British airports so it can avoid a repeat of the two-hour queues witnessed this year. Brian Moore, the departing head of the UK Border Force, told MPs that "high-value" people who were considered valuable passengers by the airlines or valuable to the British economy would be given priority treatment at immigration control under the plans


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/sep/18/high-value-fasttrack-passport-checks
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 07:43:58 PM by Toedancer »
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Antonia

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Re: Class
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2012, 11:27:43 PM »
If this is about airlines fastracking customers, well, no problem. Biz and first class passengers always get priority boarding etc. But, if this is the GOVERNMENT, then whoa.
  :mad2
It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity. It is when we all play safe that fatality will lead us to our doom. It is in the "dark shade of courage" alone that the spell can be broken.
-- Dag Hammarskjöld

 

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