Middle-class progressives have no qualms about exercising their natural right to determine the moral values of our world. Yet a fairer approach would surely entail sacrificing one’s own comfort for a cause. The trickier and scarier consequences of enlightened policies should fall on those who champion them, yet they rarely do.
The habits of progressive social and political discourse almost seem calculated to alienate and aggravate lower class whites. I confess that if a well-dressed, university-educated middle-class person of any gender or ethnicity so much as hinted at my ‘white privilege’ while I was a lumpen child, or my ‘male privilege’ while I was an unskilled labourer who couldn’t afford basic necessities, or my ‘hetero-privilege’ while I was a homeless solitary, I’d have taken special pleasure in voting for their nightmare. And I would have been right to do so.
At university, I discovered that this ethos didn’t apply. A season of despair would not send middle-class teens spiralling into a life of drug-addled indigence; they could simply brush themselves off and enrol again next year. Strong, class-enforced safety nets meant that self-pity could be accommodated, and victimhood could even form part of a functional identity.
Indeed, the willingness to expose your wounds is another sign of privilege. Those for whom injury has a use-value will display their injuries; those for whom woundedness is a survival risk, won’t. As a consequence, middle-class grievances now drown out lower class pain. This is why the wounded lower classes come to embrace conservative discourses that ridicule middle-class anguish. Those who cannot afford to see themselves as disadvantaged are instinctively repulsed by those who harp on about disadvantage.
Somehow the social progressives never give up their lifestyle, their safety and their attitude of moral superiority when they consign the lower classes to being the experimental animals in their real-life experiments in human depravity.
Labels: Culture, ruling class