American workers rally against capitalism. Photo by eyewash design – A. Golden.
We always hear from politicians, especially during elections in America and in Canada, about the disappearing middle class and the need to restore, rejuvenate, and reinforce it. But the American concept of middle class is really an anomaly, if not a distortion of social reality. To make it more expansive because this is obviously where the votes are, politicians even include the working class in their definition of what the middle class is. Yet this is untrue, for the middle class is not the new proletariat.
This anomalous or perhaps opportunistic description of society’s majority as somewhat middle class in economic terms is self-betraying, especially when the political and business elite attempt to promote their social agenda. It is not exactly the greater masses or the so-called middle class that members of this highly privileged upper class mobilize or appeal for sympathy to their causes. It just happens that they are the greatest in number and they count most during elections, a time which the upper class could exploit to get them elected or to obtain the necessary stamp of public approval for their agenda.
The real issue is whether the opinions of the average folks count. Or do they really count in the so-called bourgeois democratic forum, and that it is not only the elite’s voice that truly matters?
This seems to be at the heart of the lament of the chair of the Toronto Star, John Honderich, on the lack of outrage among Toronto’s elites over the scandalous and disgraceful behaviour of its mayor, Rob Ford, which was well-publicized in both the news and social media late last year.