“Winning the Class War” by Bob Herbert (TIMES, 11/27/10)

          Yes, Bob Herbert, U.S. workers are losing the class war. This is so in great part because they have been made to disappear. They aren’t recognized very much by the media. Most of the news is about the middleclass and how they are suffering.

          There are many decent people in this country who think of workers as those people who didn’t do their homework in high school. Had they applied themselves to their studies, they would be rocket scientists, doctors or lawyers today. Such people only acknowledge workers when they are scolding them. “It’s your own fault,” they pontificate (not that they are unemployed, but that they are workers!).

          The reactionaries in our midst despise workers as a criminal subclass susceptible to radical propaganda. They are either outlaws or communists who have to be kept in tow. If they are allowed a voice in U.S. society, it will be raised to wreak vengeance on “legitimate authority.”

          Another problem for workers are those in their ranks who deny their actual status, insisting that they are middleclass. If they bathe and change their underwear every day and speak in a courteous manner, they expect to be recognized as such. They are delusional.

          Those people in U.S. society who cannot pay the bills for the necessities of life, are not middleclass, no matter how dignified their demeanor. In the USA, it is possible to own a “nice” house in a “good” neighborhood where the furniture has been repossessed  or the place cannot be heated in the winter.

          For workers to improve their conditions, they must first acknowledge that that is their state of existence. The poor middleclass (nowadays not an oxymoron) will remain so as long as they believe that eventually some kind of trickling down of wealth will accrue to them. If they continue to identify as middleclass, they think they will get the furniture back.

         The truth is, if they get a good-paying job, they will get it back, and securing gainful employment is something for which they can fight. First, know who you are; then state what it is that is wanted.

         Dare to struggle; dare to win!


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