Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Contempt for the working class

I copied some of Chris Dillow's recent post in my last. Here it is again, with my gloss:

Think of all the policies that could improve the condition of the working class:
The condition of the working class can only be improved by policies imposed from above. They can do nothing for themselves.
a reform of education to break the link between parental income and school quality;
We must remove all possibilities that parents - of any class - can have any affect on the outcomes their children will enjoy. People should not be allowed to do anything for themselves.
more redistributive taxation;
We should take other people's money and give it to them.
a citizens’ basic income;
We should take other people's money and give it to them.
democratization of the police force and removal of illiberal laws (such as those against drugs) that impose disproportionately upon the poor;
No, illiberal drug laws affect us all. Democratisation of the police will be used more by the middle classes than anyone else. This has no more to do, and perhaps less, with the working class than with any other group in society
an assault upon the causes of inequalities in life expectancy;
We should take other people's money and give it to them.
nationalization of mortgage lending or utilities;
use of government procurement policies to promote the growth of worker co-ops;
We should take other people's money and give it to them. (That's what buying at higher than necessary prices means, and if coops could offer competitive tenders there'd be no need for any intervention.)
encouraging “democratic finance” so people can insure themselves against risks to their industries or occupations.
We should take other people's money and give it to them.

The idea that the only thing the working class needs is a removal of choice and autonomy - an even greater one than the circumstances we currently face - and the donation to them of other people's money is contemptuous. Hay and a barn for human cattle.


dearieme said...

The poor and powerless are most in need of the state's protection. And they've been pissed upon for two generations.

Peter Horne said...

It was once said that the neatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing people that he doesn't exist.The neatest trick socialism ever pulled was convincing people that it has the interests of the masses at heart, whereas it is no more than a mask for the acquisition and exercise of absolute power.

In a book of quotable quotes "On Power-The Natural History of its Growth", this paragraph stood out for me

"Where will it end? In the destruction of all other command for the benefit of one alone-that of the state.In each man's absolute freedom from every family and social authority, a freedom the price of which is complete submission to the state.In the complete equality as between themselves of all citizens, paid for by their equal abasement before the power of their absolute master-the state. In the disappearance of every constraint which does not emanate from the state, and in the denial of every pre-eminence which is not approved by the state. In a word, it ends in the atomization of society, and in the rupture of every private tie between man and man, whose only bond is now their common bondage to the state. The extremes of individualism and socialism meet: that was there predestined course."
Bertrand De Jouvenel

Hence the anti-capitalism, anti-clericalism and pseudo-anti-elitism. Power cannot stand centres of authority over which it has no control.

Anonymous said...

Well the core thought that emerges from Chris' post is that "it hasn't worked so we need to do more of the same until it does".

This won't change while elitists like Chris fail to recognise that they are the establishment now.

Faustina said...

Look to Norway. And Sweden. These two countries have spent the last 40 years trying to decrease the gap between those who come frome a privileged background and the working class. This has not been successful, as class background still is as important as it used to be. Working class kids choose short education, middle class kids choose university education. Of course this behaviour is seen as purely coincidental, because class doesn't matter anymore according to popular belief. This does not necessarily mean that the working class is poor. At least in Norway any carpenter og plumber make more money than somebody with a Masters degree from university.