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August 27, 2010

Comments

When a commenter on this site refers to a prole they are not referring to the stereotypical Tea Party attendee.

Maybe you need to revise your glossary and advocate the use of lumpenprole in the stead of prole in conversational HBD vernacular.

[HS: Paul Fussell's proles and Karl Marx's Proletariat are two different things with two different names.]

I actually don't know if the Tea Party is prole. Sure, that's how the media portrays them, but surveys have shown they're more educated and wealthier than average.

[HS: You're confusing Karl Marx's Proletariat with Paul Fussell's proles.]

"The people who write columns in newspapers opining how much they hate the Tea Party movement come from the class most closely analogous to what Marx called the Petit-Bourgeoisie."

If you consider the SWPLs - especially the media and the academics - petit bourgeois, maybe. That's probably not how they think of themselves. I am sure they think they are the Vanguard of the (Lumpen)Proletariat!

OneSTDV, proles can have education (though most likely a non-elite one) and money. SWPLs especially hate proles with money, because SWPLs think they "deserve" more money and status than any prole.

We need something to stop us being crushed. I was looking at some golf resorts on the Net and how they cater to corporate retreats. The executives will go on these golf "meetings", while at the same time cutting the occasional pizza lunches for the office workers.

Who is Paul Fussell?

[HS: Is Google down or something?]

Bourgeoisie fooling the Proletariat into defending their own big businesses does not in any way represent a Marxist movement in any way, shape or form.

Nice try though.

Well put. I will use your words to throw into the fact of liberals when they yammer on about their concern for the "people".

The proletariat are supposed to be those lacking property (the latins viewed them as only having children and unable to pay taxes). Tea Partiers, as mentioned, are upper-middle to upper-class. Furthermore, they are disproportionately old, so the value of their 401Ks likely exceeds their expected future salary. That would make them capitalists in the sense that the Crooked Timber commenter denied his colleagues were. Marx' proletariat were factory workers, and it was that industrial environment that was supposed to give them class consciousness and realize that all they possessed was the labor on which such output was based.

Here is the marxists.org page on the proletariat:
http://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/p/r.htm#proletariat
It mentions that managers qualify as petty-bourgeois. Managers (along with owners/proprietors) have become quite Republican-leaning in recent times.
http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2008/04/the_decline_of.html
I would guess they are disproportionately represented among tea-partiers.

HS,

Movement x draws disproportionately from social status group y; therefore, it is Marxist?

Really?

That's an interesting point you make. There does seem to be a class consciousness at work. It seems to include all of the classes that do anything productive for a living, whether working class or professional. However, there also seems to be more than just economic class at work. There is also a certain cultural similarity among all the members, and obviously they all look pretty White. Race seems to trump class every time. So I doubt we will see Mexicans in large numbers at the rallies and certainly not Blacks.

Once again, Mencius Moldbug does a better job than you at class analysis:

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/bdh-ov-conflict_07.html

Its a fascist movement, a populist nationalist uprising against cosmopolitan elites. I don't think the Tea Partiers, as a rule, have a problem with non-banking business tycoons like the Kochs or T. Boone Pickens or other capitalist exploiters. Like earlier fascist movements class is actually downplayed relative to nationalism.

The proletariat has many fears ranging from a (literal) Satan to so-called "death panels".

"SWPLs especially hate proles with money, because SWPLs think they 'deserve' more money and status than any prole."

Maybe many think that it is because the poor tastes and upbringing of the proles would invade their neighborhoods? There are neighborhood associations meant to keep such people out ("application flaws" being one such excuse employed), because who wants to have basketball players, "musicians", mafia members, and actors as neighbors? Also, talking to proles is in itself a skill that must be learned. From how the golden ratio has been used by DaVinci and Michelangelo Grecian ideal face and body, and the Parthenon statues to Angkor Wat, to the contrasts between the Manchester and Vienna school of economics, and other topics proles still insist on talking about television. What makes them difficult to communicate with is their general inability to think beyond themselves and lack a global view. Fussel has stated that the prole, "Is innocent of the objective case", and this might be a reflection of the lack of an objective viewpoint. Proles often misuse the word "you" and have to clarify with, "I don't mean you personally", then why not simply say a person, people, an individual, or one, depending on the context? Using the third person objective is proper, and Bill Gates has used terms such as "the rich" and "billionaires" in the third person in public speech. A prole would ask, "isn't he rich and a billionaire?" Yes, but he is properly using the objective voice, since it is more accurate and understandable.

Many could also be identified by their regional accents, and some day schools even give demerits if a person were to speak with an accent. Speaking with an accent could be as bad as letting a boy's hair grow long enough to touch their blazer collar. Although many in the upper classes have their distinctive accents as well, such as Locust Valley Lockjaw and the Boston Brahman accent. It is unfortunate that Brahmans are becoming fewer in number.

I have read Fussel's Class: A Guide through the American Status System, and I want to mention a few observations. First, there is a practical application to speaking French, because many Swiss boarding schools teach in both English and French. Besides that, however, it is purely honorific, since when a person is in France the only people one would care to communicate with already know English, which is the international language in business. In addition, Fussel failed to mention that Oxford and Cambridge are (only very slightly) more distinguished and honorific than the American Ivy League, and therefore are at the zenith as far as colleges are concerned. Although the American Ivy has been apart of the established families traditions for centuries. Socially indoctrinating and educating the elite is the ivy's raison d'etre, everyone else are intelligent fillers. To Fussels credit he did mention the importance of elite boarding schools such as Choate, Farmington, Exeter, St.Mark's, and other world class secondary schools where people send their children from all over the world to attend (and people criticize American education!)

Additionally, he did not mention how much of the upper class send their children to Swiss, and sometimes English boarding schools. Perhaps because these schools are overseas Fussel might have thought them beyond the scope of his book. He also failed to mention hereditary clubs. Fussel also forgot to mention debutante balls.

I did like that he mentioned how upper class people tend to own their own islands. The Forbes family owns one of the Elizabeth islands (MA), and the Rockefellers have an island off Maine's coast, and a few DuPonts even summer in Maine.

Supporting the conservative party isn't simply a self-interested act, but is an evolutionary obligation to maintain and defend one's social privileges. Since lines are essentially drawn in blood and genetics one might as well fight for their own camp's best interests. The problem is, much of the working class doesn't know what is best for it. The primary problem with Democracy is that the poor decisions of the many drown out the objectively better decisions of the more intelligent. The proles' poor decision making is evident by its tastes in music, clothing, and food.

Also, entire sciences are based on outright forming and molding the working class person's mind and influencing consumer choices. After all, if they have been influenced to despise valid, genuine culture, have a taste for the unhealthy, and are naturally attracted to certain areas they would seemingly naturally self-segregate. Many actively seek to ensure that certain information stays out of the proles' reach.

Fussel also said that according to the upper classes it is a disgrace to be professional (contrast with the middles, who must be professionals at any costs). Fussel also mentions how the middles confuse context and content. I find this to be a poor example, since the two words have clearly different sounds and meanings, and the context in which these two words are used is vastly different. I think exacerbate v. exasperate would have been a better example.

I also found it interesting that he mentioned wearing boat shoes and loafers without socks. The boat shoes and loafers look has been popular down in Marblehead for decades. Similarly, Backgammon has been popular there for decades, if not centuries; perhaps the end for Backgammon as an honorific game started in Marblehead? Although he could have mentioned Nantucket Reds. It is unfortunate that Murray's Toggery has shut down their vineyard location, but at least they still have their original Nantucket location.

Many comments on the book mention how the book will just be used for class climbing. Yet, Fussel himself in his book notes that climbing is difficult, but history itself shows that it was meant to be that way. For instance, as more people learned how to read orthography became more complex, and absolute ways of spelling were developed. Shakespeare spelt his name in many different ways, but this was before the absolute spelling rule was developed. When one reads King James VI &I, Francis Bacon, and John Dee's unabridged, original works one could see plenty of "poor spelling" by today's standards. As education became widespread, English underwent a Latinization process, so those already familiar with Latin could be comfortable with the new English. After high school became free for many, college became the class divider. As proles become more proficient in English, and consistently receive Bachelor's Degrees from good colleges the new cut off will be a Master's, and new rules of English will be invented (lexicographers are probably already working on it). In grade schools teachers tell their students that "'aint' isn't a word", a word which many probably learned from the custodians. Saying "aint" is worse than not capitalizing and underlining a book title. Some teachers would also encourage their students to go for their master's if they want to improve their chances of making it to senior executive or senior partner, depending on the profession. One could speculate on how unruly students of the inner-city handle their marine biology classes (if they decide to take them) and the wave generators, or how they would only care about looking up base 4 Godan verbs, rude command forms, and vulgar words if they took Japanese.

Fussel says that surgeons are upper-middle, which is an obvious and understandable proposition on the surface. However, in prior centuries surgeons were considered "commoners" because they worked with their hands, while doctors were considered gentlemen.

I apologize for typing such a screed, but Fussel's book had a lot of material on which one could comment. Many aspects of it are clearly dated, but I did enjoy how he talked about Reagan's poor sartorial decisions. He could have also mentioned that Reagan wore tacky brown suits, had his lapels far from his chest at times, and wore tie tacks. People have accused Bush Sr. of being a Brooks Brothers Republican; he has then shown his audience that he wore a J.Press suit that day. He is Bush Sr, so why not wear a bespoke suit from the Andover Shop? Speaking of the Andover Shop, it is ironic that Andover (AKA Phillips Academy), which is an Andover themed clothier, does not even have a dress code.

The problem with the Tea Party and "conservatives" like Beck is that their slave mentality. They operate within leftist premises of colorblindness, even as color blindness is cover for disposessing them from their own country.

Once a populaist movement confronts the premises of a leftist society, and begins to assert their rights as a particular people wiht a histopry and an identity, is when I will begin to take such a movement seriously. And this will probably come.

By the way, if a MLK-lover like Beck is labeled an extremist right winger, why even bother with the anti-racist eyewash? go straight-up WN. It's not like the press will hate you even more. And you do this intelligently and with excellent PR, you might even inspire young people to follow you.

I'm sure everyone has seen the liberal media's new stories about how many important Tea Party organizations, like Americans for Prosperity, are primarily funded by the Koch Brothers. They have also been long-time financial backers of the Cato Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason Univ.

The liberal stories have focused on the relationship between the Kochs' business interests and their political positions. Predictably, they mostly talk about their insidious attempts to get Tea Partiers to advocate for loosening environmental regulations that would benefit Koch Industries subsidiaries.

But, if you're right that the Tea Party is mainly a "proletarian" movement, it concerns me that the Kochs' companies may be benefiting from the overseas outsourcing of American jobs. Specifically, it looks like Georgia-Pacific, which Koch Industries purchased in 2005, might be a big exporter of U.S. jobs. They show up on Lou Dobbs's "Exporting America" list (http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/lou.dobbs.tonight/popups/exporting.america/content.html#g). And they've been closing and conducting layoffs at many of their U.S. operations over the last few years. But it's difficult for a layman like me to get a clear picture of what's really going on, considering the Koch Industries is privately held.

So, to what extent do you think that we should be worried about the Tea Party being "manipulated" by the Kochs? Is it possible that they may be encouraging Tea Partiers to advocate for policies that would actually be inimical to "proleatrian" interests? Or is the whole story just liberal media scaremongering?

Josh is closest to being right. "Fascist" (in the Mussolini, pre-Hitler sense) best describes the Tea Party. Fascism is also the logical consequence of (and maybe best hope to solve) the current economic disaster.

Only on multiple question begging assumptions can one make out Tea Partiers to be Proletariat or indeed any part of Marxist analysis. First, you have to accept Marxist class analysis. You appear to share this with Obama but, believe it or not, that there are any such classes fitting the descriptions Marx or his acolytes invented is, at best, improbable. They certainly have never behaved as predicted. In science, that's usually a sign that the essential taxonomy is wrong.

Second, even if one believes in such nonsense as the Proletariat, calling the Tea Partiers part of it is ridiculous. So believing in the primacy of property rights and limited government is sufficient to place one in the Proletariat? In true Marxist fashion, you've identified people not on the basis of their beliefs, but on the basis of a rigid materialism about their means of production. If you work for a living you're a Proletarian, regardless of what you believe, because one's essence is defined by one's productive behavior. If you're too stupid to see this, so you, Obama, and the other Marxist-friendly crowd go, well that just shows how brainwashed you are.

Thanks to God we idiotic property owning/loving Tea Party sympathizers have you and Obama around (after the indoctrination with Marcuse, Frier, and Gramsci failed to take) to tell us who we are. What would we do without you?

The tea-party is an anti-communist movement. It most certainly isn't marxist.

People got rich under communism. If they had the right connections to the government they made good money; their succesors now own the government spinoffs in Russia and run the government-sanctioned monopolies in China.

Your average tea-party movement member is ineligible for all of this. They might have done well in school, but not fantastically well; they are not a minority, and they are ineligible for affirmative action in school, work, and government contracts.

But they still pay for it. They pay for minority scholarships; they pay for bloated healthcare and salaries; they pay for military contracts that they can never get. They also are too proud to take welfare when they are eligible for it.

So they want to see the welfare state go away.

When the state, local, and federal government is nearly 50% of the economy, a lot of the upper class is going to be very close to the government, and the lower class is going to be seperate from it. In the USSR, the upper class believed in communism; it was the lower class that became entreprenuers and started smuggling in consumer goods to sell.

That's what we are starting to see. The tea party movement isn't Marxist; it's anti-communist.

Since the Tea Party champions the "productive" class that is exploited by the government and not by business, it would be better described as more Objectivist than Marxist.

Ayn Rand also believed in class consciousness.

These aren't proletariats, Comrades. They're National Socialists! We've got to meet them violently in the streets! And when I say violently in the streets, I mean reading articles written about them in newspaper articles authored by our Commissars or talking about how horrible they are with my hipster friends at a retro cool bar in the East Village. Forward! Forward to purchase additional organic, gluten-free products grown in a sustainable way before the battle begins!

If nothing else this is a good example of the malleability of Marxist thought.

I fully expect some Leftists who have been complaining about the low education and income attainments of Tea Partiers to respond to this by speaking up about the actual data (which is true, see TGGP, but which it would not have suited them to mention before) that the Tea Partiers are actually relatively well educated and own property and businesses (compared to the national average).

You can be sure the tea-party isn't composed of wage-earners. I would bet on their being overwhelmingly either (non-unionized) skilled tradesmen, part of the salaried managerial class, or just owners. One feels out of place in such a group if personally subject to the vagaries of nonsalaried wages, and the concomitant discomfiture of vindictive supervisors, the multiplicity of those supervisors (and all their inevitable, if deliberate, contradictions), the humiliation of the uniforms, and the contempt of one's fellow man. And while it's better than "the lash," it leaves much to be hoped for in the way of brotherly love.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/opinion/15taylor.html?_r=2

Academic Bankruptcy
By MARK C. TAYLOR
Published: August 14, 2010

WITH the academic year about to begin, colleges and universities, as well as students and their parents, are facing an unprecedented financial crisis. What we’ve seen with California’s distinguished state university system — huge cutbacks in spending and a 32 percent rise in tuition — is likely to become the norm at public and private colleges. Government support is being slashed, endowments and charitable giving are down, debts are piling up, expenses are rising and some schools are selling their product for two-thirds of what it costs to produce it. You don’t need an M.B.A. to know this situation is unsustainable.

more at link.

OFF TOPIC

Half, I know how much you like art and photography.

These color photos taken Russia 100 years ago are beautiful:

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/russia_in_color_a_century_ago.html

Half Sigma,

I believe that the class someone is a member of is really a function of how they feel, who they identify with.

the question is, whose side are you on, not how much money do you make

People who make a ton of money but still exhibit lower middle class tastes are still members of the lower middle class

Example, lottery winners who still go to nascar races, still go to professional wrestling matches even after winning the lottery. They typically buy expensive seats and throw expensive parties around the events. Winning the money hasn't changed their class


What I generally see is the process of moving to a new city allows people to move to a new class. Simply staying in the new city and changing your income doesn't change your class.


For example. at my law firm in Manhattan, most of the partners want to marry girls who grew up in high class homes. But a few of the partners have married younger women who grew up in lower middle class homes in the midwest, who came to manhattan and sort of shed their family class identity and forged new identities in Manhattan. It is relatively easy for an exceptionally good looking lower middle class girl whose dad owns an auto body shop to take some money from her dad, move to manhattan and assimilate in to the higher class and ultimately marry an upper upper class nerdy dweeby partner level guy.

However if you disagree, let me know.

Similarly, when the partners move from Manhattan to the West Cost, many of them feel they are moving in to a higher class.

In Manhattan, law firm partners are constantly made to feel poor and inferior by the wealthy hedge fund guys. I mean the wives of the law firm partners hang around with the wives of the hedge fund guys and the wives of the hedge fund guys subtly belittle and insult and laugh at the wives of the law partners.

But in West LA this doesn't happen and law firm partners are closer to the top of the heap.

Another thing -

An average normal family sized manhattan four bedroom condo apartment was $4.0 million at the peak of the market (average aprtment, OK views but not great) , then fell 35% down to $2.6 million at the bottom and since then has rebounced back to $3.0 million.

Where we sit today, start of September 2010 that family sized apartment costs $3.0

Now this is average for Manhattan South of 96th street.

Some neighborhoods are considered "boring" and in those neighborhoods this four bedroom can be had for less than $3.0 For example, the 30s are considered sub par (both on the East side and on the West side, the 30s cost much less money than other neighborhoods)

On the other hand in the more popular neighborhoods (Soho, meatpacking district etc), the price of a family sized apartment is much more than $3.0 million.

But the average is $3.0

In my law firm, the partners that move from Manhattan to Santa Monica or from Manhattan to Brentwood typically sell their primary residence in Manhattan for $3.0 million and then buy a primary residence in Santa Monica or Brentwood for the same $3.0 million

But they come out way ahead because they also sell their house in the hamptons at the same time.

In manhattan they feel it is mandatory to have the $3.0 million house in the hamptons as well as the primary residence in Manhttan for $3.0 million

But in Santa Monica and Brentwood, no one at all, in any professional circle, insists that you own a second home. Second homes are almost unheard of among professionals in Santa Monica and Brentwood vs almost required in many professional circles in Manhattan

So all in all, moving from Manhattan to Santa Monica or Brentwood is a huge bargain not because of any savings in cost of primary residence, but because moving allows people the freedom to not be required to own a second home

Bottom line, a law firm partner that feels like he is not part of the upper class in Manhttan, feels, can move to Santa Monica and Brentwood and start feeling like a member of the true upper class

Class is a state of mind.

"The proletariat has many fears ranging from a (literal) Satan to so-called "death panels"."

Right, because fears of socialized medicine leading to rationing are so irrational.

I think that Marxism's biggest lie is that a lot of history and politics can be explained through class struggle. In the real world people are much more likely to be moved by blood (i.e. by ethnicity) than by class. This is a weakness of Fussell's thinking as well.

Most Tea Party people would deny that they're moved by racial consciousness, but that's probably exactly what's moving them subconsciously. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

There's no way to define class without making reference to ethnicity. Rich WASPs have different tastes in clothing, interior decorating, etc. from rich Jews, both groups are really different from rich Arabs, and so on. Poor whites have very different tastes from poor blacks. Same goes for political allegiances. There is no class consciousness, only the racial and ethnic kind.

As for the swipple/redneck dichotomy, some of it seems to be a replay of the American Civil War, with the descendants of fussy, conformist, disciplined English puritans today being the most fanatical swipples and the descendants of individualistic, rebellious Scots-Irish guys really disliking them for that.

I think it's generally easier to make sense of the world through ethnicity than through class.

"Its a fascist movement, a populist nationalist uprising against cosmopolitan elites"

Josh and Fred, between your Critical Theory and Queer Studies classes, take some time to look up "Fascism", which is actually a real political philosophy, not just an epithet. Even going by the Wikipedia description, the Tea Party movement has serious conflicts with the philosophy. I'll take the Venti Iced Tea.

Or maybe they're just a bunch of idiots. The flip side of liberal idealism. These guys couldn't govern their way out a paper bag.

j,

Do tell what "serious conflicts" the Tea Party movement has with fascism. And ask your mom to make you your iced tea. But don't yell from the basement, go upstairs first and ask her politely.

Tea Party members don't seem to be the least bit anti-capitalist, so I don't see how your associating them with Marxism is justified. I think your goal as related to HBD was to provide a nice metaphorical label for the lower-class base of the Democratic party as lumpenproteriat, which does work nicely.

I'm curious to see which direction the tea party will go after today's Glenn Beck revival. The founders of this movement I thought of as libertarian, anti-fed, anti-big government, pro-isolationist. Are they really interested in spreading this spiritual gospel? Also, will this be the beginning of a bridge between Mormons and evangelical Christians and how will it play out in the national political primaries?

This might be off-topic, but you should definitely check the reactions in Germany to the HBD statements of one of the board members of the German Bundesbank, Thilo Sarrazin.
Here are some links in English: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5953098,00.html
or
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1285815/Bundesbanks-Thilo-Sarrazin-Immigrants-making-Germany-dumber.html

j,

I did not intend it to be a slight.

"I think that Marxism's biggest lie is that a lot of history and politics can be explained through class struggle. In the real world people are much more likely to be moved by blood (i.e. by ethnicity) than by class. This is a weakness of Fussell's thinking as well."

Don't forget religion. Crusades anyone? And a lot of the Tea Party is a religious revolt against secularism--look at Glenn Beck's Lincoln Memorial speech.

While I'm cynical and believe most elites are basically after money and power, who they're able to mobilize in their grabs for it depends on religion and ethnicity. Real class struggle isn't all that common, and mostly seems to have been present in Europe.

"Right, because fears of socialized medicine leading to rationing are so irrational."

It's already rationed by price.

Tea partiers are obviously petit-bourgeoise... not all 'producers' are proletarian in Marx. Marx recognized that even the bourgeoise produced some value, they just took far more than they produced...

A primary indicator that the tea-party is prole is that it is overwhelmingly homophobic and bigoted, and supports bigots. Many oppose gay marriage, and gays pay taxes just like everyone else, and should have the same privileges (married people pay less in taxes). Another prole indicator is its obvious influences from evangelical Christianity. Many are against government spending, yet without government spending they wouldn't be able to send their children to school (they think that school is just a daycare, which is unfortunate), and they wouldn't have police officers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUPMjC9mq5Y&feature=channel

In the above video one can note an apostrophe on other gods. It is tres déclassé to compare abortion to a "holocaust" too. Another individual mentioned how welfare recipients shouldn't have health care. Such people deserve compensation for being shunned and outcasted from society. Such people were tracked into certain classes by the educational system, and were denied opportunities to attend good colleges.

I wonder if their teachers tell them that aint isn't a word, and that double negatives are improper? People are told to avoid such errors to not be mistaken for an underclass, but if one is underclass, then why teach them to speak properly?

Additionally, how could the bible "foresee" Obama if he wasn't even born yet? In the video there are examples of bigotry, ignorance, and superstitious thinking.

Another person said, "We don't need no [sic] stinkin' [sic] czars". I also would not want Christ as a king, since he was around (or invented?) long before the enlightenment philosophers refined moral science. He would also be a poor ruler because the world today is vastly different than in those days, and a Galilean peasant (yet he was allegedly descended from King David...) in the first century CE would be a poor leader even in his own day. His opinion of the King's court was that of people who wear fine clothes. Such an opinion would be expected from a peasant who was unfamiliar with aristocratic society. Many people also believe that Jesus was insane or even fictional. Also, infinite punishment for a finite transgression is immoral and irrational, and being omnipresent and omnipotent is impossible and contradictory.

"Example, lottery winners who still go to nascar races, still go to professional wrestling matches even after winning the lottery. They typically buy expensive seats and throw expensive parties around the events. Winning the money hasn't changed their class."

No one is arguing against that point. Such parvenu unfortunately spends their money away, completely ignoring what their parents have taught them about money.

"For example, at my law firm in Manhattan, most of the partners want to marry girls who grew up in high class households."

A woman doesn't need to have attended Chapin, Farmington, and Harvard to be marriage material. Although the desire is understandable, since such women are typically intelligent, well disciplined, well mannered, have strong moral values, and consider premarital sex déclassé, so there would not be any pressures to fire her up. Most have been prepped for debutante season, which has improved their character. Although a woman doesn't need to be upper class to have the traits I have mentioned. Besides, many have met their husbands when they were debs, and the very reason such balls exist is to ensure that upper class woman marry upper class men.


"It is relatively easy for an exceptionally good looking lower middle class girl whose dad owns an auto body shop to take some money from her dad, move to Manhattan and assimilate in to the higher class and ultimately marry an upper upper class nerdy dweeby partner level guy. "

As men, we wouldn't know the struggles that women go through in the dating game. It may look easy from a man's point of view, but the girl herself puts in a lot of preparation, such as by exercising, learning, and possibly plastic surgery to achieve a look closer to the Grecian ideal (which involves the golden ratio). In many circles, however, plastic surgery is déclassé, most especially implants.

"In Manhattan, law firm partners are constantly made to feel poor and inferior by the wealthy hedge fund guys. I mean the wives of the law firm partners hang around with the wives of the hedge fund guys and the wives of the hedge fund guys subtly belittle and insult and laugh at the wives of the law partners."

Also, keep in mind that Manhattan is an elite battleground. There was a book in the 1800's called "The Four Hundred", which cataloged people who were descended from New York's Dutch elite when it was New Amsterdam, so New York's elite have deep roots. There is also a Dutch windmill in East Hampton, which is a reference to New York and Long Island's Dutch early heritage.

Back to Manhattan being an elite battleground, it wouldn't be worth it for most people, since social competition is intense.

"Bottom line, a law firm partner that feels like he is not part of the upper class in Manhattan, feels, can move to Santa Monica and Brentwood and start feeling like a member of the true upper class."

People typically run away to California when challenges become increasingly tougher.

"It's already rationed by price"

Yes, but rationing decisions aren't currently made by people with sovereign immunity. That the present system isn't perfect doesn't mean it isn't better than what's proposed.

"Do tell what "serious conflicts" the Tea Party movement has with fascism"

-Opposition to the regulatory state or to government control of commerce or the economy in general.

-Opposition to the use of violence to promote ideology.

-Opposition to dictatorship.

-Opposition to single party rule.


There really isn't any significant political movement in the US that could be called fascist, as all of them have conflicts with that philosophy. I think this country's left comes much closer to being fascist than the right, but the left's lack of nationalism disqualifies them as such.

If we're going to give this a Marxist treatment, then I'd take a Gramscian stance on the Tea Party. Its funding and sources are all from upper class elites, the movement is aligning itself with a party that has proven time and again to be against the proletariat, and the sheer amount of propaganda being passed through their ranks, matched with---despite educative status attained by 'honest' tea partiers---their apparent level of ignorance, doesn't speak to rising class conscious.

It is indicative of Gramscian damage control. The financial crisis caused people to, for the first time in ages, question capitalism. It was legitimate; Rasmussen even polled that just 53% felt that socialism was inferior to capitalism. What happens next? A small grassroots movement gets picked up by powerful, wealthy elites, all rallied against 'the bailout.' As time wore on, however, many familiar anti-prole policy ideas began to emerge, and the GOP alignment began. The 'heart and mind' war had, by that point, been won again.

Whatever class consciousness had arisen at outset has been destroyed now, as it always has been.

J,

The 'conflicts' you mentioned aren't conflicts with fascism, they are more conflicts with 'socialism' and 'totalitarianism' than anything else.

Opposing government intervention in an economy doesn't necessarily equal a rejection of fascism. If anything, their social darwinist tendencies--eg, let the weak fail---predispose them for a belief in corporatism. They simply think that the means for achieving proper 'roles' and 'functions' is arrived at by way of the 'market,' which of course, is a regulated framework set up by the government---yes, I just indirectly asserted that property does not exist without government. The large MNC's that pervade our planet are so intwined with governmental bodies that I consider them mere extensions of government, but perhaps you'd disagree over that fact.

The tea partiers don't oppose violence for spreading ideology. Their stance on the propagandist, state-driven War on 'Terror,' says a lot about their inclinations regarding this.

Opposition to dictatorship doesn't have much to do with fascism.

Opposition to single party rule may be the only 'difference,' but in all truth, given the way this movement has veered toward near-exclusive GOP support and their general detestation of any economically conservative policies, the evidence for this contention is weak.

The left doesn't strike me as fascist at all, it strikes me as---in addition to being naive--- sympathetic to socialism. The right favors moralistic policies to 'forge' a national, unified identity and it also favors a system of diversified but distinct functions among its members.

"That's what we are starting to see. The tea party movement isn't Marxist; it's anti-communist."

Not all Marxists are communists.

Just because the lower class is protesting doesn't mean it's being crushed by the same forces as it was in Marx's time. Obviously what they are protesting benefits others--probably the upper class. But what benefits the upper class in a semi-socialist society (close ties to the government) is different than what benefits the upper class in a lazzez-faire capitalist society (access to capital.)

As what is the upper class is starting to change (from people who control capital--which can diminish due to inflation and taxes in a socialist state--to people who control the government)--what the lower class protests changes as well.

They aren't Marxist; they're anti-communist.

This wouldn't be the first time the lower-class protested communism; if I remember correctly it was the young and the poor that tore down the Berlin Wall.

Finally, class warfare is valid, but it's hardly the only valid lens to see society through. Seeing things ONLY according to class or race leads one to jump to some pretty wild conculsions--like whatever the lower class supports must be Marxist.

"Opposing government intervention in an economy doesn't necessarily equal a rejection of fascism."

Statism is an essential component of fascism. Your argument is an epic fail.

"t is indicative of Gramscian damage control. The financial crisis caused people to, for the first time in ages, question capitalism. It was legitimate; Rasmussen even polled that just 53% felt that socialism was inferior to capitalism."

You're joking, right? Any inchoate criticism of "capitalism" was a symptom of the Gramscian-programmed delusion that elite-managed interference in the markets had nothing to do with the financial crisis. Thankfully, none but leftists believe that now, and not because of any top-down propaganda efforts, but through basic observation of results of "progressive" economic policies since Obama became president.

"Opposing government intervention in an economy doesn't necessarily equal a rejection of fascism"

I'm curious what definition of fascism you're using. Rigid government control of economic activity is one of it's defining characteristics.

"Their stance on the propagandist, state-driven War on 'Terror,' says a lot about their inclinations regarding this"

I've never heard Tea Partiers advocate violence against political opponents, or even censorship. Wanting the military to kill people who have made it clear in word and deed that they want to kill you is not the same thing.

"Opposition to dictatorship doesn't have much to do with fascism"

Again, where are you getting your definition of fascism? Even Wikipedia identifies this as one of fascism's defining characteristics, as does Benito Mussolini, who pretty much invented the concept.

"and their general detestation of any economically conservative policies"

?

"The 'conflicts' you mentioned aren't conflicts with fascism, they are more conflicts with 'socialism' and 'totalitarianism' than anything else"

Yes. Those are conflicts with fascism.

J,

In addition to what Insider wrote, there are some other affinities between Tea Partiers and fascism. A couple of examples:

Fascism is pro-business - it doesn't seek to hamper business with onerous regulations. At the same time, it expects business to act in the national interest. To that end, fascism is a form of economic nationalism, which has historically included the development of domestic heavy industry, in part by pursuing policies of autarky when feasible. Fascism's economic nationalism is the antithesis of the bipartisan status quo of economic globalism that has abetted the hollowing out of American industry.

Fascism's economic nationalism is of course one aspect of its general nationalism. This includes, as obvious as it sounds, pursuing policies that benefit the nation. A fascist America wouldn't tolerate immigration that didn't benefit the country, which is another example of an affinity between the Tea Party and fascism.

The BiPolarity Of Social Class, And The Status Competition Between Them.

I"ve posted a diagram that is in progress. It's at: http://www.capitalismv3.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/BiPolarityOfClass-2010-08-29.png

What I want to illustrate is the difference between people who exist in the market economy and people who exist in the bureaucratic economy, and their gender, class and cultural origins. Tea partiers are, in general, status seekers who participate in the non-clerical, market economy. They are white people who are remnants of the anglo saxon social order. Very "Burkeian."

Tea partiers are a status and power movement - a cultural issue that crosses classes. Most tea partiers appear to be middle class, or upper prole. Uppers and upper middle (like me) are not as status-challenged as middle's are by cultural dissolution. In other words 'in any cultural or racial group, the penalty for loss of political dominance by your elites is paid by it's middle and proletariat classes, who benefit from cultural preferences'. The prole risk status loss if they do not rescue their elites.

In our case, it so happens, that the tea partier social preference is for freedom, individualism, and capitalism, which also happens to be a material benefit to society. Even if they wrap it in religious doctrine. But they wrap it in religious doctrine because as a group they tend to create solid families, and solid families tend to be more religious. While religiosity increases as IQ decreases, the statement is open to erroneous interpretation. WIthin a people of similar values, the religious moral codes are equally justified among all the member classes. It's just that the upper classes are more rational, the middle are more allegorical, and the lower are more sentimental. It's just a matter of articulation - methodology - not one of differences in execution.

The tea party movement relies upon sentimental arguments rather than rational arguments because conservatism lacks a rational social science to compete with marxism. While conservatives and libertarians have tried for over a hundred years, they have so far failed to articulate a social science that can compete with the combination of marxist sentiments, democratic secular humanism, and mathematical positivism. This is partly due to inter-temporal complexity, and our over-reliance on the analysis of money and redistribution rather than the status economy - an economy that humans are far m ore sensitive to than the monetary economy. (Intertemporal complexity is too complicated for here. But in general, conservatism is a longer time preference, that puts greatest emphasis on group persistence - it is a capitalization strategy for the future.)

I think, Half-Sigma's goal was to try to pull marxian class analysis into the tea party movement. And there is some truth to it. But it's not a class movement. It's a culture or race movement. Traditional whites are now a minority and they are losing their status symbols both domestically and internationally and this goes against their core reason for existence - self sacrifice, family, forgone opportunity, in exchange for group persistence, and they see that persistence under attack.

"Not all Marxists are communists."

And not all that is not communist is Marxist.

And marxism, communism, and anything related to it sucks, and noone in tea party would go for any of it.

At the risk of having the gem get lost in the length of my post, here is the distillation:

"Tea partiers are a status and power movement – a cultural movement that crosses classes. Most tea partiers appear to be middle class, or upper prole. …. But, in any cultural or racial group, the penalty for loss of political dominance by your elites is paid for by its middle and proletariat classes, who benefit from network of opportunities created by the dominant preferences, habits, and identities, expressed in society. So it’s materially important: ***The prole risk status and opportunity loss if they do not rescue their elites.***"

This explains the composition of the Tea Partiers and the content of their language.

What must be understood is that in Marx' time there was child labor, and there weren't any protections for workers. Workers oftentimes died from the lack of health care, and also lacked an education. Being a worker was (and oftentimes is today) hereditary. Within the context of Marx' day it is understandable why Marx formulated his ideology the way he did.

Workers also fought for eight hours of sleep, leisure, and labor, since their entire day consisted of working, eating, and sleeping. Labor protests were oftentimes squashed, such as during the Ludlow massacre.

"Its a fascist movement, a populist nationalist uprising against cosmopolitan elites."

Utter nonsense. The Tea Party does not advocate authoritarianism; if anything it is libertarian - they advocate traditional American limited government (which I suppose a lot of liberal idiots think is "fascist" but that doesn't make it so).

"Maybe many think that it is because the poor tastes and upbringing of the proles would invade their neighborhoods?"

The horse is out of the barn on that one. Prole behavior (if not necessarily proles themselves) has long since invaded the highest echelons.

"People got rich under communism. If they had the right connections to the government they made good money;"

In fact that is a good working definition of communism as actually practiced -- the transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.

I like Insider's Gramscian analysis.

For me, the Tea Party's anti-elite bona fides can only be proven when they begin expressing opposition to Republican elitism, as well as the liberal vein.

Tax breaks for the wealthy, overturning the death tax, uncritical support for Israel's right to instigate war with Iran, gold bugism, blind support for trade.... there are lots of issues in which should unnerve the Tea Party, yet they don't seem capable of speaking out on any matter that legitimately contests GOP orthodoxy. They can oppose primary candidates for "not being conservative enough" on certain approved conservative talking-point issues, but I've never seen the Tea Party stand up and simply say "hey, Republicans, this key thing you believe is just wrong, and we don't support it."

Until that day comes, the Tea Party will be trapped in this bizarre, symbiotic relationship with the Republicans, to the Republicans' advantage.

'I'm curious what definition of fascism you're using. Rigid government control of economic activity is one of it's defining characteristics.'

But 'rigid' in this case isn't what you're making it out to be. In fascism, capitalism is encouraged, but owners are given strong incentive to deploy their means for the end of a strong 'nation.'

Fascists were in favor of so-called 'heroic' capitalism, but against 'decadent' capitalism.

Now, let's examine the key practices within capitalism that fascists abhorred: interest charging, financial speculation, and irresponsible monetary gain. Examine the tea party and you will find a strong, virulent opposition to these things. I've even heard a self-proclaimed tea-partier voice his opposition to fractional reserve banking itself.

'I've never heard Tea Partiers advocate violence against political opponents, or even censorship. Wanting the military to kill people who have made it clear in word and deed that they want to kill you is not the same thing.'

Violence in the name of an agenda applies to regime-installing wars for 'democracy.'

'?'

Economically conservative would mean heavy-handed government intrusion.

'Again, where are you getting your definition of fascism'

Fascism isn't necessarily a dictatorship, nor does it have to be. Authoritarian, yes.

If you want to reject all comparison to fascism, that is your prerogative, but I'd say it's almost as silly as liberals laughing off the 'socialist' charge when it comes to the modern day left.

---------------

'Statism is an essential component of fascism. Your argument is an epic fail.'

Statism is use of the state to achieve particular goals. Opposing certain interventions in an economy does not separate a movement from fascism or fascist elements. Fascism does not equal socialism.

Fascism seems to make the most use of social statism.

'You're joking, right? Any inchoate criticism of "capitalism" was a symptom of the Gramscian-programmed delusion that elite-managed interference in the markets had nothing to do with the financial crisis'

This doesn't affect my argument in any way. No matter the motivations behind their questioning of the current 'capitalist' systems, the fact is that they did question it, and questioning the status quo would present a definite problem with the elites.

(I don't agree much with Marx or Gramsci, but I was trying to stay within the bounds set up by the top post)

'Thankfully, none but leftists believe that now, and not because of any top-down propaganda efforts, but through basic observation of results of "progressive" economic policies since Obama became president'

Most of the hysteria over these 'results,' has come from certain talking points making their rounds ad nauseum: crisis of debt, government takeover, government waste, and horse-trade deal making. The average voter didn't care about these same problems five years ago---perhaps the debt/deficit is worse, but all other issue areas are no worse than before. Now, if you want to think their passion has sparked absent any propaganda, I'd say that it's a possibility, but it's an unlikely one.

------------

'if anything it is libertarian - they advocate traditional American limited government'

Yes, I suppose all of those signs against gay marriage, abortion, Obama-as-a-monkey, etc. represent traditional libertarian positions?

I suppose the alignment with the GOP, which is decidedly not libertarian, also speaks to this impulse?

To read it as anti-government strikes me as naive. It's an anti-'this'-government movement at this point. The level of corporate apologism, uber-patriotism, and anti-immigrantion stance brings its members into direct conflict with libertarians.

Perhaps it started out of some sort of libertarian grassroots moment, but it was co-opted with haste.

"But 'rigid' in this case isn't what you're making it out to be"

Actually it is. Owners are required to subordinate their interest to the state, not encouraged.

"Now, let's examine the key practices within capitalism that fascists abhorred:"

Well, you got me th...oh wait. That's a list of things everybody abhors. You left out mosquitos and the common cold. I'm also pretty sure Mussolini liked Italian food, and I saw some Tea Partiers going into Olive Garden, so I guess that settles it.

"Violence in the name of an agenda applies to regime-installing wars for 'democracy.'"

From false analogy to straw man in one sentence. I can't believe you aren't able to find some example of someone claiming to be a Tea Partier calling for censorship or violence after a few minutes with Google. It wouldn't be representative, but at least it would be an argument.

"Statism is use of the state to achieve particular goals"

No it's "a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs". That's from OED. Merriam Webster says pretty much the same thing. What's the deal with arbitrarily redefining words to support your argument? Or adding adjectives that make them too subjective to have any definition (see:irresponsible financial gain).

"Until that day comes, the Tea Party will be trapped in this bizarre, symbiotic relationship with the Republicans, to the Republicans' advantage."

Not so sure about that. Splitting the Republican vote is to the Democrats advantage. If I were the Dems I'd fund Tea Party candidates, sit back, and watch the vicious internecine struggle. The GOP primary would be win-win for the Democrats; either the establishment Republican wins, but spends a bunch of money and alienates some Republican voters, or the TP Republican wins, in which case the Democrat faces an inexperienced "extremist" in the general election.

"Not all Marxists are communists."
I thought it was the other way around.

"Yes, I suppose all of those signs against gay marriage, abortion, Obama-as-a-monkey, etc. represent traditional libertarian positions?"

Yup. None of those positions is inconsistent with traditional American limited government. Nor are those positions inconsistent with *traditional* libertarianism -- only modern libertarianism in its most crazed and hypertrophied form.

"I suppose the alignment with the GOP, which is decidedly not libertarian, also speaks to this impulse?"

As a libertarian, one must vote "least worst". The GOP, for all its faults, is less not-libertarian than the Democrats.

ok, this is the same sort of deductive reasoning that has led this country to the complete shithole that is is...you cant pick and choose from idealogies and asuume. this is ALMOST as absurd as the accusations of Obama being a socialist. though i wish he was!

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