Understanding America’s class system

Published on Online Journal, by Joe Bageant, August 18, 2010.

How about them political elites, huh? Five million bucks for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding; 15K just to rent the air-conditioned shitters — huge chrome and glass babies with hot water and everything. No gas masks and waxy little squares of toilet paper for those guys.

Yes, it looks big time from the cheap seats. But the truth is that when we are looking at the political elite, we are looking at the dancing monkey, not the organ grinder who calls the tune. Washington’s political class is about as upwardly removed from ordinary citizens as the ruling class is from the political class. For instance, they do not work for a living in the normal sense of a job, but rather obtain their income from abstractions such as investment and law, neither of which ever gave anybody a hernia or carpal tunnel. By comparison, the ruling class does not work at all … // 

… Therefore, you are left with a rigged game called legislative action. This is an invisible power process, masked by another process called public relations strategy, which feeds it into yet another process called media, that makes “news decisions,” as to what you need to hear or see. And there’s plenty you don’t need to hear. For instance, NPR, the New York Times and thousands of other outlets refuse to use the word torture to describe waterboarding, preferring instead “aggressive interrogation methods,” unencumbered interrogation, free interrogation, or similar euphemisms. NPR’s justification for sugarcoating US torture is, ““the word torture is loaded with political and social implications.”

Ya think?

Truth is a hard road to travel:

After decades of hyper-militant consumerism and its attending alienation, and a national consciousness spun from pure capitalist bullshit and mirrors, it is testimony to the American people that they can still see to piss straight, much less recognize any sort of truth whatsoever. Yet, a portion of Americans are beginning to grasp the truth about what has happened to their country — that it has been bought and paid for by an elite class in a nation that is supposed to be classless. They are beginning to realize that, when it comes to actually governing our country, we are powerless as individuals — even members of the political class — and serve the overall will of its true owners. It’s been that way so long we’ve become conditioned to accept it as a natural state, something we cannot change, and do not even know how to question, because, like the atmosphere, it’s just there.

The higher truth is something we recognize when we encounter it. We may not have the right words, or all the facts, but we can feel it in our bones. Intuition is the first glimmer in the distance. It goes unsaid that we always have the choice of not looking in truth’s direction, or not looking for it at all. Seldom is it a pleasant sight, which is the chief sign that it is truth. Even the best of it arrives to the sound of ominous bells.

I think about that young reader, Brent B., who takes time to email me now and then. Today he wrote, summarizing the only thing of which I am certain: “

It’s a hard thing to know the truth in this world, it’s like something inside of you dies, but sometimes you still have to know it. (full very long text).

(Joe Bageant is the author of Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War. His newest book, Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir, deals with America’s permanent white underclass, and how it was intentionally created. To be released in September in Australia and October in the United Kingdom.Rainbow Pie is available for preorder from Amazon-UK and Amazon-Canada. In Australia, the book can be preordered at Scribe Publications
… where you can find also an interview video, 7.30 min
).

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