Author Topic: Inferences Drawn From Class  (Read 3584 times)

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_JS

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Inferences Drawn From Class
« on: November 14, 2006, 12:40:31 PM »
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I've seen arguments in 3DHS that anyone middle class voting Republican is voting against his best interests. The argument implies that Republicans deceive all manner of folks into voting for them which implies that Republican voters are some how not intelligent enough to see this deception or to think for themselves, and that Democrats were somehow smarter and better. I'm not saying this justifies the comments you're talking about, because it certainly does not. But sometimes it is hard to be motivated to condemn someone for doing something that someone else is doing to you.

And I'll say that sort of "voting against their best interests" reasoning is wrong all around. And you're right that it is subtly racist to use it about African-Americans in particular.

I wanted to address this post by Prince from a while back. It was made in a thread started by knute that was inherently racist and I thought that perhaps pulling it out and giving a new perspective would help in addressing this separately from the other issues.

First of all I agree that condemning a group of people for not condemning another person is a bit odd. It implies that by not condemning someone there is passive approval, which on a forum like this is not necessarily true.

On the other hand, I disagree with the notion that one cannot make inferences based on class. One can even make some inferences based on race, for example we know that certain diseases strike a particular ethnic group more than another (as an example, those of Scandinavian ancestry are more susceptible to develop schizophrenia than the average population from other ethnic backgrounds). Yet, making inferences based on the intelligence of a broad group of a race or religion, for example, is purely racist in sentiment.

The problem with the above example is that the middle class is ill-defined and purposely so. "Middle class" as used by politicians is basically a code phrase for "Americans" or "Average Americans" or "you and I." It can range from someone who scrapes by to pay the monthly bills and feed the family to someone who has a five car garage and a brand new Porsche SUV for junior. In other words, it is too ill-defined to be of any practical use. You'll note that "middle class" is not a Marxian term at all. It is a rather catch-all political construct.

Having said that, all mainstream sides of the political spectrum will aim towards the "middle class" at least in rhetoric. So saying "my side is best for the middle class" is just another way of cheering for the home team.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Plane

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2006, 01:40:31 PM »
Are Bill Gates , George Sorous and Ted Turner on another team?

_JS

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2006, 02:39:09 PM »
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Are Bill Gates , George Sorous and Ted Turner on another team?

I'm not sure what you are asking or what it has to do with anything.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

domer

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2006, 06:27:44 PM »
The American electorate is made up of numerous interest groups composed of autonomous individuals with multivariate motivations in a potentially dynamic (that is, shifting) set of alliances. This is good. Attempts to define issues in terms of hoary (labor) or novel (middle class) constructs, and all others, are not only the by-product of our system but its genius. The test is success, and I defy anyone to claim that any group or most individuals can be duped for long by the latest pitches for their allegiance. Adjusting for the "sweep of trends" (a not-so-intelligent way of proceeding, but as fundamental to a democracy as a constitution), I credit the vast majority of our citizens as capable of seeking and deciding their own personal interests. I'll say a final thing about precision and scale: all this muddle must be expressed, in our two-party system, by registering 1's or 0's to questions fashioned as simple alternatives in an extremely complex field of action, which necessarily approximates one's concerns and by its very nature requires "compromise."

Plane

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2006, 03:02:38 AM »
That is thought provoking.



How much is class consciousness and class membership voluntary in the US?

Plane

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2006, 03:03:58 AM »
Are Bill Gates , George Sorous and Ted Turner on another team?


At their Income level should their attitude be predicted by the class they belong to?

_JS

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2006, 09:25:00 AM »
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At their Income level should their attitude be predicted by the class they belong to?

If you base class on income, then possibly. Though "attitude" is rather difficult to predict and remember these inferences are drawn on class - not individuals.

Basing class on income is likely a faulty presumption, don't you think?
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2006, 04:21:23 PM »
Income is one element that determines social class in the US.

You cannot be homeless and be a member of the upper class. Neither can you live in a home on Palm Beach, Jupiter, or Indian Creek Islands and be a member of the lowest class. Or even the middle class. Zoning would keep you from being able to afford a house on any of these fancy islands.

Education is an element, as is the milieu in which the individual grew up.

Bill Gates grew up in a comfortable upper-middle-class home, as did Ted Turner and Donald Trump. All are bazillionaires, but each of them seems to lack a certain 'je ne sais quois' that would separate them from the traditional wealthy classes, the 'legacy' Ivy League families, especially of the Northeast.

George Soros is an immigrant and is simply a rich and influential guy.
 
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Amianthus

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2006, 04:51:19 PM »
Bill Gates grew up in a comfortable upper-middle-class home

Define "upper-middle-class" as used here.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2006, 01:53:58 AM »
What is it about "upper middle class" that you fail to understand?
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Amianthus

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2006, 07:29:22 AM »
What is it about "upper middle class" that you fail to understand?

Well, Gates' father was one of the wealthiest men in the nation when Bill Gates was born. Seems to me that he came from "upper class" rather than "upper middle class."

Just wondering where you drew the line between "upper middle class" and "upper class," in terms of income.

And why do you get so testy when someone asks you a question? I thought you were a teacher?
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

Universe Prince

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2006, 06:47:53 AM »
I pretty much agree with what you said, JS.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 06:52:37 AM by Universe Prince »
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Plane

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2006, 12:03:47 PM »
Are Barbra Striesand , Hillary Clinton and Opra Winfry members of the same or diffrent class?

Universe Prince

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2006, 01:42:46 PM »

Are Barbra Striesand , Hillary Clinton and Opra Winfry members of the same or diffrent class?


Define 'class'.
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
--Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" [1988])--

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Inferences Drawn From Class
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2006, 03:29:27 PM »
Bill Gates father is a prominent lawyer. Lawyers are typically middle class. They work for others, after all.
The upper class typically works for themselves or their own businesses.

Hillary Clinton is a second-generation politician. Opra Winfrey is a nouveau riche Mississippi Black woman who has become wealthy by her own talents and efforts. Barbra Streisand is a nouveau riche New York Jewish woman who has become wealthy by her own talents.

They are all by income alone, members of the upper class, but none of them is a member of the traditional American ruling class.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."