Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
This Is Your Last Chance to Dump Netflix Stock - 19th July 19
Gold and US Stock Mid Term Election and Decade Cycles - 19th July 19
Precious Metals Big Picture, as Silver Gets on its Horse - 19th July 19
This Technology Everyone Laughed Off Is Quietly Changing the World - 19th July 19
Green Tech Stocks To Watch - 19th July 19
Double Top In Transportation and Metals Breakout Are Key Stock Market Topping Signals - 18th July 19
AI Machine Learning PC Custom Build Specs for £2,500 - Scan Computers 3SX - 18th July 19
The Best “Pick-and-Shovel” Play for the Online Grocery Boom - 18th July 19
Is the Stock Market Rally Floating on Thin Air? - 18th July 19
Biotech Stocks With Near Term Catalysts - 18th July 19
SPX Consolidating, GBP and CAD Could be in Focus - 18th July 19
UK House Building and Population Growth Analysis - 17th July 19
Financial Crisis Stocks Bear Market Is Scary Close - 17th July 19
Want to See What's Next for the US Economy? Try This. - 17th July 19
What to do if You Blow the Trading Account - 17th July 19
Bitcoin Is Far Too Risky for Most Investors - 17th July 19
Core Inflation Rises but Fed Is Going to Cut Rates. Will Gold Gain? - 17th July 19
Boost your Trading Results - FREE eBook - 17th July 19
This Needs To Happen Before Silver Really Takes Off - 17th July 19
NASDAQ Should Reach 8031 Before Topping - 17th July 19
US Housing Market Real Terms BUY / SELL Indicator - 16th July 19
Could Trump Really Win the 2020 US Presidential Election? - 16th July 19
Gold Stocks Forming Bullish Consolidation - 16th July 19
Will Fed Easing Turn Out Like 1995 or 2007? - 16th July 19
Red Rock Entertainment Investments: Around the world in a day with Supreme Jets - 16th July 19
Silver Has Already Gone from Weak to Strong Hands - 15th July 19
Top Equity Mutual Funds That Offer Best Returns - 15th July 19
Gold’s Breakout And The US Dollar - 15th July 19
Financial Markets, Iran, U.S. Global Hegemony - 15th July 19
U.S Bond Yields Point to a 40% Rise in SPX - 15th July 19
Corporate Earnings may Surprise the Stock Market – Watch Out! - 15th July 19
Stock Market Interest Rate Cut Prevails - 15th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State July 2019 Video - 15th July 19
Why Summer is the Best Time to be in the Entertainment Industry - 15th July 19
Mid-August Is A Critical Turning Point For US Stocks - 14th July 19
Fed’s Recessionary Indicators and Gold - 14th July 19
The Problem with Keynesian Economics - 14th July 19
Stocks Market Investors Worried About the Fed? Don't Be -- Here's Why - 13th July 19
Could Gold Launch Into A Parabolic Upside Rally? - 13th July 19
Stock Market SPX and Dow in BREAKOUT but this is the worrying part - 13th July 19
Key Stage 2 SATS Tests Results Grades and Scores GDS, EXS, WTS Explained - 13th July 19
INTEL Stock Investing in Qubits and AI Neural Network Processors - Video - 12th July 19
Gold Price Selloff Risk High - 12th July 19
State of the US Economy as Laffer Gets Laughable - 12th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State - 12th July 19
Stock Market Major Index Top In 3 to 5 Weeks? - 11th July 19
Platinum Price vs Gold Price - 11th July 19
What This Centi-Billionaire Fashion Magnate Can Teach You About Investing - 11th July 19
Stock Market Fundamentals are Weakening: 3000 on SPX Means Nothing - 11th July 19
This Tobacco Stock Is a Big Winner from E-Cigarette Bans - 11th July 19
Investing in Life Extending Pharma Stocks - 11th July 19
How to Pay for It All: An Option the Presidential Candidates Missed - 11th July 19
Mining Stocks Flash Powerful Signal for Gold and Silver Markets - 11th July 19
5 Surefire Ways to Get More Viewers for Your Video Series - 11th July 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

The Myth of a Middle Class

Politics / Social Issues Jan 25, 2011 - 10:19 AM GMT

By: Global_Research

Politics

Cristian Gherasim writes: Almost a year ago, during the State of the Union address, President Obama came up with another plan to ease the economic burden on middle-class families. No news here. In fact, he gave that same do-or-die case for big government we have heard over and over: "The middle class has been under assault for a long time. … We've just come through what was one of the most difficult decades the middle class has ever faced."


What always intrigues me is that we seem to take for granted, without too much scrutiny, the things government officials tell us, especially those in highest office. This speech is no exception. How many of us have really questioned the validity of expressions like "middle class"? Is there really a middle class? What's behind this terminology so beloved by our leaders? I shall try to answer the last question first.

There are two known and tested theoretical designs that can shape a political community: contractualism and market liberalism. They vary greatly in how they envisage political power and the way it should be organized. But they both agree that the individual stands as the cornerstone of every political arrangement, and he alone is the repository of the rights and obligations that define a societal existence.

This was the dominant belief until the rise of theoretical socialism and the beginning of modern statist rhetoric. Marx and his followers can only reason in terms of groups of people. They believe that history is commanded by the interests and ambitions of social classes and not by individual wills.

On the other hand, classical liberals reckon social order to be the outcome of individual action, and society to be the result of individual acts coming together. Society evolves because individual purposes, interests, and passions change every so often. To think of this evolution as something taking place only among socials classes destroys the balance and gives way to silly ideas like the ones backing the current US administration.

The people who propagate the "class" myth are those who will profit by it.

It is with utmost confidence that President Barack Obama believes that with the stroke of a pen he can change for the better the economic wellbeing of tens of millions of Americans: "We're fighting to build an economy in which middle-class families can afford to send their kids to college, buy a home, save for retirement, and achieve some measure of economic security when their working days are done."

Social class is a contradiction in terms. Socialists must explain why individuals, before merging into social classes, as is alleged to happen, have different interests than the future collective ones. But socialists never managed to overcome this theoretical hurdle. All they did was to further stress that individual interests exist and that they are corruptive.

In contrast, classical liberals believe that society evolves when individual interests change. They don't need to know what particular interests exist at any given time. It is the result that counts, and things always work out when society remains free and human action unplanned. You can't have social classes because people are just plain unpredictable and evolution remains an individual affair. Any reference to social classes, including the much-hailed middle class, is just a political scam.

When socialists realized that their theoretical concepts go nowhere, they switched to a more hands-on approach — moving from a revolutionary and anarchic perspective to a theory of acquiring power and establishing absolute control in their effort to curb individual freedom. The successors of 19th-century socialism, totalitarianism, and welfare-state interventionism continued to pose as defenders of the oppressed social groups whose interest they vowed to protect. But classical liberals saw that when socialists and communists took power they set in motion a mechanism of dictatorial rule based solely on one man's decision and not on collective agreements.

The concept of "middle class" implies that there are collective interests resting in the middle ground of a social hierarchy that never change and have to be preserved by a political authority. We know all too well that people change, but not all, nor a great bunch of them, at the same time.

For most people, I believe, there are dramatic shifts in lifestyle as they age, become more experienced, and learn how to succeed. There is not a finite amount of wealth that we each get a share of, forever to have only that share. Rather, lifestyle and material wealth are quite elastic and dynamic.

To ask for the economic strengthening of a fictive middle class means to clamp down on innovation, opening the door to arbitrariness. It is precisely this kind of made-up objective that justifies needless state intervention and limits on personal freedom. The people who propagate the "class" myth are those who will profit by it. Making people believe they are in a static class, a caste from which there is no escape, simply allows politicians to more easily sell the idea of redistribution in its many forms.

Cristian Gherasim is currently working on a master’s degree in Romanian and European politics at the University of Bucharest. Send him mail. See Cristian Gherasim's article archives.

© 2011 Copyright Cristian Gherasim - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules