Monday, October 10, 2011

Old ideas of "class warfare" appear to make a comeback

GOP candidate Herman Cain on Sunday told Candy Crowley that “Race doesn’t hold anyone back in any big way”.  Many African Americans, he says, have already achieved a “level playing field” and others look for excuses to claim victimization, he said.

Here’s the story, as per Arianna.

The “Occupy DC” and associated protests reached a kind of crest Saturday afternoon with arrests and the use of pepper spray at the Air and Space Museum, when some protesters wanted to “invade” because the Museum had some models of drones.  

On Monday (today), media were reporting that Park Police would soon end some of the demonstration permits.  Will that matter?

Then, also today, The Washington Post offered an op-ed by Robert J. Samuelson, “The backlash against the rich”, here. The print title is “It’s not easy being rich; As inequality grows, so do attacks on the wealthy”. 

Then you get into differentiation. It’s OK to be rich if you really invented or created something (Facebook, or Apple (especially)). It’s not good if you just manipulated the wealth of others and sifted it.  (That’s one reason I’ve never wanted to make a second career out of taking care of other families’ pocketbooks – who am I to do that?)

But the extreme indignation against the “parasitic bourgeoisie” was apparent to me during my coming of age. It could get out of control.

In Army barracks, stateside, back in 1969, when others were becoming cannon fodder in Vietnam, guys would make fun of the idea of class struggle.  “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”  They made more fun of Communism than of homosexuality, even as they knew Stonewall had just happened.  Nobody in those days could imagine a concept like “don’t ask don’t tell”.  People told, and others got used to it.

It strikes me that people have a grand confusion. Talk about group remedies is meaningless until you deal with whatever level of sacrifice is demanded of the individual.

There's good news today.  The markets (open Columbus Day, because it's not a holiday in NYC) are up because of reports that the US is producing more of its own oil again, as well as more obvious reports that European governments are negotiating taking care of a couple of big banks -- but the latter development may not stand up all month.

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