[Marxism] The "middle class" [was "Question: Joe Hill...]

Horacio Oliveira horaciooliveira at mac.com
Tue Nov 22 13:00:23 MST 2005

I always laugh at this obsession about being middle-class. It is not  
just a US phenomenon, but it certainly reaches it's zenith here.

I remember seeing some TV news pop vox in the 90's and they asked  
some guy a question,  and in his response he self identified himself  
as being  "a middle class person who works for a living", needless to  
say it was the funniest thing to hear but sadly insightful at the  
same time.

I think the gist of his self-identification was that he trying to say  
that he was not a welfare person. Just adding salt to a wound...

On Nov 22, 2005, at 5:10 AM, Mark Lause wrote:

> I'm not sure about the quote, but--all respect to the memory of Joe
> Hill--any use of "middle class" like this gets my eyeballs rolling  
> back
> into my head as I slump forward in a stupor over the keyboard, almost
> snoring before I hit the keys....well, not always, but it's
> happened...almost sometimes.
> Anyway, I remember seeing a TV news blip where the local  
> spokesmodel was
> talking to a homeless guy living in a cardboard box and he was saying
> that he didn't understand how this could have happened to him  
> because he
> was just an ordinary "middle class person."
> Dude, I thought, you live in goddamned cardboard box!
> In America, "middle class" has no real meaning other than the specific
> meaning attached in the mind of the person using it and in the  
> minds of
> the people hearing or reading it.  Some workers earn a "middle class"
> income (whatever that is and whoever decides what that is).   
> Autoworkers
> enjoyed a "middle class" standard of living (home ownership?  A new
> car?--who knows?).  White collar workers have a "middle class"
> mentality?
> "Middle class" is another version of the "new and improved" slogan in
> the advertising world.  It's a psychological hook that remains smudged
> because agreeing upon a definition of it would destroy its  
> value...which
> has nothing to do with sociological understanding or anything.
> To add put this in the context of what "the established labor mov't"
> advocated in an "official" sense sloops this entire mess into a
> undefined crust and bakes us all a fresh new muddle pie.
> Can the question be made more precise?
> Solidarity!
> Mark L.
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