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Thread: Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

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    Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

    This guy nails it. This stuff was pissing people off way before Trump came on the scene. He was smart enough to see it.
    What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump's election and the "yellow vests" protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and the stunning recent Australian re-election of conservatives?

    Put simply, the middle classes are revolting against Western managerial elites. The latter group includes professional politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, condescending academics, corporate phonies and propagandistic journalists.

    What are the popular gripes against them?

    One, illegal immigration and open borders have led to chaos. Lax immigration policies have taxed social services and fueled multicultural identity politics, often to the benefit of boutique leftist political agendas.

    Two, globalization enriched the cosmopolitan elites who found worldwide markets for their various services. New global markets and commerce meant Western nations outsourced, offshored and ignored their own industries and manufacturing (or anything dependent on muscular labor that could be replaced by cheaper workers abroad).

    Three, unelected bureaucrats multiplied and vastly increased their power over private citizens. The targeted middle classes lacked the resources to fight back against the royal armies of tenured regulators, planners, auditors, inspectors and adjustors who could not be fired and were never accountable.

    Four, the new global media reached billions and indoctrinated rather than reported.

    Five, academia became politicized as a shrill agent of cultural transformation rather than focusing on education -- while charging more for less learning.

    Six, utopian social planning increased housing, energy and transportation costs.

    One common gripe framed all these diverse issues: The wealthy had the means and influence not to be bothered by higher taxes and fees or to avoid them altogether. Not so much the middle classes, who lacked the clout of the virtue-signaling rich and the romance of the distant poor.

    In other words, elites never suffered the firsthand consequences of their own ideological fiats.

    Green policies were aimed at raising fees on, and restricting the use of, carbon-based fuels. But proposed green belt-tightening among hoi polloi was not matched by a cutback in second and third homes, overseas vacations, luxury cars, private jets and high-tech appurtenances.

    In education, government directives and academic hectoring about admissions quotas and ideological indoctrination likewise targeted the middle classes but not the elite. The micromanagers of Western public schools and universities often preferred private academies and rigorous traditional training for their own children. Elites relied on old-boy networks to get their own kids into colleges. Diversity administrators multiplied at universities while indebted students borrowed more money to pay for them.

    In matters of immigration, the story was much the same. Western elites encouraged the migration of indigent, unskilled and often poorly educated foreign nationals who would ensure that government social programs -- and the power of the elites themselves -- grew. The champions of open borders made sure that such influxes did not materially affect their own neighborhoods, schools and privileged way of life.

    Elites masked their hypocrisy by virtue-signaling their disdain for the supposedly xenophobic, racist or nativist middle classes. Yet the non-elite have experienced firsthand the impact on social programs, schools and safety from sudden, massive and often illegal immigration from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia into their communities.

    As for trade, few still believe in "free" trade when it remains so unfair. Why didn't elites extend to China their same tough-love lectures about global warming, or about breaking the rules of trade, copyrights and patents?

    The middle classes became nauseated by the constant elite trashing of their culture, history and traditions, including the tearing down of statues, the Trotskyizing of past heroes, the renaming of public buildings and streets, and, for some, the tired and empty whining about "white privilege."

    If Western nations were really so bad, and so flawed at their founding, why were millions of non-Westerners risking their lives to reach Western soil?

    How was it that elites themselves had made so much money, had gained so much influence, and had enjoyed such material bounty and leisure from such a supposedly toxic system -- benefits that they were unwilling to give up despite their tired moralizing about selfishness and privilege?

    In the next few years, expect more grassroots demands for the restoration of the value of citizenship. There will be fewer middle-class apologies for patriotism and nationalism. The non-elite will become angrier about illegal immigration, demanding a return to the idea of measured, meritocratic, diverse and legal immigration.

    Because elites have no answers to popular furor, the anger directed at them will only increase until they give up -- or finally succeed in their grand agenda of a non-democratic, all-powerful Orwellian state.
    https://townhall.com/columnists/vict...angry-n2548037

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

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    Those are all good points.

    This seems to be an endless human cycle that crosses all cultures, geographic boundaries, and times: a people has a nice little thing going on that outgrows the villiage/small town level, they decide to appoint full time people to handle some of decision-making and execution of routine functions, the people doing that expand their duties, hire other functionaries, and become permanent fixtures, the real leaders defer to the expertise of the bureaucrats, the leaders get greedy so the bureaucrats squeeze the people, the people eventually kill the leaders and bureaucrats and then each other, a new leader arises with an army to put down the people, and since the army can't feed itself or the leader they leave the people alone long enough to get a nice little thing going and........
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    Town Hall. Ah, that's why I smelled horseshit from all the way across the room.

    If conservatives keep painting this country like it's one step away from a barbaric uprising, it may actually encourage it to happen when it otherwise wouldn't. But of course we all know that there's a subset of conservatives who WANT to see this country's current government overthrown so they can force us into a theocracy, and op-eds like this are just propaganda to further that cause.

    The system is not broken; the mindset that generates trash like this, however, is.
    Elect a clown ó expect a circus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Town Hall. Ah, that's why I smelled horseshit from all the way across the room.

    If conservatives keep painting this country like it's one step away from a barbaric uprising, it may actually encourage it to happen when it otherwise wouldn't. But of course we all know that there's a subset of conservatives who WANT to see this country's current government overthrown so they can force us into a theocracy, and op-eds like this are just propaganda to further that cause.

    The system is not broken; the mindset that generates trash like this, however, is.
    The system is broken. The rich, the poor, and the illegals are what the system works for today. Reporting the facts does not cause the uprising Tom, the facts do.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. Itís the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Town Hall. Ah, that's why I smelled horseshit from all the way across the room.

    If conservatives keep painting this country like it's one step away from a barbaric uprising, it may actually encourage it to happen when it otherwise wouldn't. But of course we all know that there's a subset of conservatives who WANT to see this country's current government overthrown so they can force us into a theocracy, and op-eds like this are just propaganda to further that cause.

    The system is not broken; the mindset that generates trash like this, however, is.
    I think you're badly off base to dismiss the writer, Victor Davis Hanson, on account of Town Hall's reputation. He's a professor of military history (Stanford) and classics (Cal State/Fresno) who lives on his family farm in California.

    This piece reads like a summation of his thinking, bullet points more than explanations. In more expansive settings he often finds parallels in ancient Greece, for example. His essential view is that populism of the sort that supports Trump is a worldwide phenomenon, decades in the making, and severely underestimated by the "managerial elites."
    What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump's election and the "yellow vests" protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and the stunning recent Australian re-election of conservatives?

    Put simply, the middle classes are revolting against Western managerial elites. The latter group includes professional politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, condescending academics, corporate phonies and propagandistic journalists.
    elites never suffered the firsthand consequences of their own ideological fiats.
    He see this as an existential struggle of Western democracies, and he's not wildly optimistic. He finishes here:
    In the next few years, expect more grassroots demands for the restoration of the value of citizenship. There will be fewer middle-class apologies for patriotism and nationalism. The non-elite will become angrier about illegal immigration, demanding a return to the idea of measured, meritocratic, diverse and legal immigration.

    Because elites have no answers to popular furor, the anger directed at them will only increase until they give up -- or finally succeed in their grand agenda of a non-democratic, all-powerful Orwellian state.
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." óCNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    It's not smart to be dismissive of conditions that reoccur over and over in human societies all throughout the world.

    Hanson's observations aren't about student clashes or Antifa street performances. They're about the cycle that causes major push-back against any ruling/bureaucratic system that attempts to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

    In the current Western case, that's the middle class. At other times it's been the peasants or military or traders but right now for us, it's the middle class all across the West.

    The middle class is being squeezed by both the rich and the poor as well as seeing their own wages stagnate and the value of money decline. The influx of low/no skill labor means that the labor market is way over-supplied and this is affecting working class and middle class people as well the working poor. Middle class people know that demands for more taxes, fees, usage permits, etc., will not be paid by "the rich" (as do the politicians who promote these schemes) but will fall on the middle class.

    Beyond that, the bureaucrats are forcing the mind-your-own-business middle class to accept and support a wide variety of cultural changes and identity changes that they don't particularly like and which are already having destructive consequences.

    This is no trivial thing. Fairly dramatic things have happened in human history when fewer of these factors have been in play.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Town Hall. Ah, that's why I smelled horseshit from all the way across the room.
    Replace "Town Hall" with "The Nation" 15 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    If conservatives keep painting this country like it's one step away from a barbaric uprising, it may actually encourage it to happen when it otherwise wouldn't. But of course we all know that there's a subset of conservatives who WANT to see this country's current government overthrown so they can force us into a theocracy, and op-eds like this are just propaganda to further that cause.

    The system is not broken; the mindset that generates trash like this, however, is.
    Let's try something:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo in 2004
    If liberals keep painting this country like it's one step away from a theocratic uprising, it may actually encourage it to happen when it otherwise wouldn't. But of course we all know that there's a subset of liberals who WANT to see this country's current government overthrown so they can force us into a socialist state, and op-eds like this are just propaganda to further that cause.

    The system is not broken; the mindset that generates trash like this, however, is.
    See the parallel?
    "What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."

    link

    Time will tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Beyond that, the bureaucrats are forcing the mind-your-own-business middle class to accept and support a wide variety of cultural changes and identity changes that they don't particularly like and which are already having destructive consequences.

    This is no trivial thing. Fairly dramatic things have happened in human history when fewer of these factors have been in play.
    I don't think that's accurate. I think there are opportunists trying to stoke those fires but in reality it's not that. The pressure comes from a government too big - squeezing the middle class from both ends.
    "What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."

    link

    Time will tell.

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    I think you're badly off base to dismiss the writer, Victor Davis Hanson, on account of Town Hall's reputation. He's a professor of military history (Stanford) and classics (Cal State/Fresno) who lives on his family farm in California.

    This piece reads like a summation of his thinking, bullet points more than explanations. In more expansive settings he often finds parallels in ancient Greece, for example. His essential view is that populism of the sort that supports Trump is a worldwide phenomenon, decades in the making, and severely underestimated by the "managerial elites."
    Eh, give me a week and I might be in a different mood and agree with him. But right now, I see several things that make me think he's totally off-base.

    First and foremost, the system of government we have in place is nothing like Rome or ancient Greece or even most of Europe. It has a fairly robust series of checks and balances that keep things from going off the rails too spectacularly. It's why all the teeth gnashing by liberals that Trump is destroying this country are unfounded. He would if he could, but the system in place won't let him or his administration get away with too much. It won't let anyone veer out of their lane, which is a good thing.

    If this makes me a Pollyanna saying, "It can't happen here," so be it. But I don't think it'll happen, not like the scaremongers are claiming.

    Now, other countries, with less robust systems of government, and more direct democracy? Yeah, I can see something happening over in Europe. Or Africa. Or South America. But not here, or Canada or even the UK.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott View Post
    Replace "Town Hall" with "The Nation" 15 years ago.

    Let's try something:

    See the parallel?
    No, because I haven't the slightest clue what The Nation is. I had to go look it up.

    But this only proves my point to Newman. The same worries about things going off the rails in 2004 were unfounded because the people in charge then were hemmed in by the same safeguards that keep us fairly level today. We are wobbling back and forth between the left and right but aside from a few jerks (so to speak) we always balance ourselves back out.

    Always.

    Trump will more than likely win re-election in 2020, and the election after that will go back to the Dems because that's how things tend to work. Life will go on, and these worries will seem as quaint as your 2004 scenario does now.
    Elect a clown ó expect a circus.

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  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    If this makes me a Pollyanna saying, "It can't happen here," so be it. But I don't think it'll happen, not like the scaremongers are claiming.
    Hayley Mills?


    Maybe. My head runs more toward Frank Zappa. Turn up the volume....





    By the way,
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    all the teeth gnashing by liberals that Trump is destroying this country are unfounded. He would if he could, but the system in place won't let him
    Is that a considered opinion? Based on? It sounds like the Daily Kos to me, or CNN. I get them confused.


    Trump will more than likely win re-election in 2020, and the election after that will go back to the Dems because that's how things tend to work.
    I keep thinking one Party or the other will split. Back at the height of the tea party fever, I imagined the GOP would splinter into the old GOP and the new "Liberty Party" or something, a more libertarian rendition of conservatism.

    It's tempting at the moment to see the Dems splitting into the old guard and the Socialist Dems, but that's probably wrong, too.

    But it's true that the parties are radically transforming. The young socialists are moving the DNC away from the aging ranks of the Bill Clinton Party.

    Trump's populism has realigned the GOP, I think as a direct consequence of the tea party insurgency a decade ago.

    However, I really don't think the American electorate is going to embrace a socialist Party, so they might find themselves in the wilderness for awhile.

    I'm tempted to hope they go the way of the defunct Whig Party (that would be Whig Way, as in, Whig Way did they go), but I recall enthusiastic predictions of the death of the GOP after the AuH2O wipe-out in '64, which predictions weren't realized either.
    Last edited by Newman; Friday, June 14th, 2019 at 8:15 AM.
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." óCNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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