Yes, I explained below.
No, I explained below.
Yes, I didn't explain below.
No, I didn't explain below.
Meritocracy is evil. It leads people to believe they're no more valuable than tools, so unless you're trying to manipulate people, I don't see why you support that.
However, it is important for society to appreciate due process no matter who we are. Call it aristocratic populism if you want.
I figure your sense of history begins with your birth backed up by some talk radio version of what has built the Middle Class.
You have ignored everyone's postings on what per-union factories, coal mines, mills and foundries were like prior to the advent of unions. Farmers formed granges and more urban workers formed Unions.
I suggest you look into pre-Union America, it's workforce with who and how many formed the Middle Class. Then look into the early 20th century expansion of the Middle Class through the post WWII boom.
MILLIONS of Americans rose into the Middle Class simply because now industry had to do more than hire the healthy and fire the crippled. There wouldn't be the enormous Middle Class of today without strong Union action across large sectors of our industrial complex.
Union numbers today barely make it to the double digit area, so while Talk Radio vilifies Unions, they are a minor part of the equation these days and oddly enough comes during a period where worker pay and benefits are eroding.
Rather than dwell on a very self centered workplace incident, you might take a wider world view.
And study history past 1980.
The industrial revolution catalyzed during the Gilded Age brought tremendous innovation, but the struggle which took place as primarily in cities. When you look beyond Chicago, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, life really wasn't that bad. The worst of it was during the dust bowl, but that only happened once and was in response to increased food demand from urban living.
If you have stats to back up your claim, I'd be willing to read them, but my familiarity with unions is they were an excuse for the social gospel. Progressive Protestants wanted to mold the Protestant Work Ethic onto Catholic immigrants, and unions were encouraged to accommodate Catholic solidarity rather than really assimilate Catholic immigrants into Americana.
The implication was a tossed salad rather than an authentic melting pot where immigrants were taught to take pride in struggling ethnic enclaves.
As far as talk radio's concerned, I don't think you've ever heard the narrative spouted above by Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. If anything, they reinforce immigrant pride in absorbing rugged individualism by perpetuating the melting pot myth.
Last edited by Daktoria; 05-19-12 at 06:42 AM.
Again is sounds like your American History rose to the grade school level and stopped. It isn't sophisticated. It is a rewrite of how the west was settled. The first very individualistic pioneers were mountain men who lived a life of poverty. The next more substantial wave came in wagon train settlement GROUPS that established colonies out in the west. Yes a VERY few, extremely limited number of men, some wealthy and some just driven carved out early fiefdoms on the Prairie, but again they don't build a middle class and that is the topic at hand. It can be debated that timing is everything in the northern plains. Arrive when the Sioux were active and you die, arrive too late and the early ranches have claimed the good water and water is the limiter on the prairie. But still that doesn't build a Middle Class.
(FYI if you wish to have a discussion with footnotes perhaps you could lead by footnoting YOUR claims.) Now seriously you can't swing a dead cat online and not hit numerous references to work conditions pre and post Unions. I find it difficult to believe you can't find reading on this on your own.
Your quick dismissal of Urban life is odd. America is an Urban nation. Been that way for a long time. Without Urbanization there wouldn't be the huge and stabilizing Middle Class. The Gilded Age was gilded for so few and a true misery for so many. Wasn't gilded for minorities or immigrants, wasn't gilded for miners, factory workers or anyone injured on the job.
Out on the prairie the distinct lack of people can have a truncated middle class formed from a few merchants and land owners, but strike out for the big city and it is a whole new ball game.
But it seems your world view is being very influenced by one Korean/Jew... you can of course return to the land where you think life is far more idyllic. After my stint around city folk I now live at the end of a dirt road. I find it easier to be an individual when all by myself...
Course when a neighbor needs help I am there for him even though he is no kin of mine. When I need hay baled a custom man comes and does that for me.
Hmmm even living at the end of a dirt road still has successful middle class folk depending on each other...
Ain't that the sh*ts!!!!!
This was an interesting thread to read. . . I have no particular points to directly quote and respond to . . . I'll just toss in my two-bits.
Individualism = a sense of self in which you as an individual functions seperately most of the time from your immediate cluster of people. (family, friends, etc). Individualism is not isolationism in which you're removed completely and cut off fully. You do not aid others - others do not aid you. (On a personal (family friend) or communal (town, city) level).
Middle Class = the ability or means to support yourself and your family (mainly children - sometimes parents) without being heavily reliant on support from the government.
This is how I view these two things - as you can see - in my view they can both connect together. You can be financially set to support yourself and all your expenses and the needs of your care (children, parents if needed). This does not mean you are so cut off from them that you are isolated. You might engage in general reciprocity = a form of 'gift giving' - and if the community is suffering you lend help . . . if you are suffering the community might lend help. This is intermitent - not a basis of support on a routine basis. Ergo = does not violate individualism.
A screaming comes across the sky.
It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow