[Marxism] A Conversation With Matt Taibbi and Molly Crabapple - The Awl

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 4 07:38:40 MDT 2014

Q: Where do you think this hatred of the poor comes from? It’s always 
been there, but it seems to be getting worse.

Crabapple: I think sometimes you demonize what you fear becoming, and if 
you’re a middle-class person, your grasp on security and stability has 
gotten more and more tenuous over the years. The buy-in to having a 
safe, comfortable life has gotten higher and higher, and you’re actually 
quite close to becoming poor. You’re one mistake, one illness away. To 
emotionally cope, you say: "These people are scum, they’re fucking lazy, 
I will never become like them because I’m better than they are."

By the same token, we all think that we can become millionaires. So we 
think: "Don’t tax those people, because my plumbing business is just one 
year away from putting me in that strata." So I think that it’s based on 
aspiration and fear.

Taibbi: I think that’s exactly right. I also think it’s been exacerbated 
by lobbying and mass media. There are interests that want to deregulate 
the economy, and so have to come up with justifications. There’s a 
sweeping public relations effort to tell ordinary people that 
entrepreneurship is what drives America, and that it’s lazy people who 
took out mortgages they couldn’t afford who are to blame for the crash. 
So there’s a lot effort to accelerate the blame and adulation.


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