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The Middle Class of Whatever

September 22, 2008

Originally posted 9-4-08. Updated, & bumped to the top of the page 9-22-08. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what political candidates will say to the middle class as they prepare to mess them over to the tune of $700 billion. Seven. Hundred. Billion. Dollars.

TO THE EXTENT that we are stuck with The State, as it is, and to which Your Montag feels obligated to contribute something to The Conversation, despite an ever increasing sense of alienation from this farce we call The Political Process, here is something to consider this election season.

Candidates like to talk about the middle class, whatever the fuck that is. And when the candidates “speak to” the middle class, I expect they are “speaking to” folks like me, who aren’t exactly being ground under the tires of this wondrous machine, but nor are we at the wheel. And contrary to how things may seem when you patriotically cast your ballot this November, nor are we allowed to navigate. We’re on this careening ride now because we didn’t have the sense, strength, or spine to have taken the keys away from the drunkards driving this bad boy. (Blackwater and the Prison State are riding shotgun and they will fuck shit up anyone tries to grab the wheel.) Sure we could get out, but it means bailing out at highway speed and joining the poor schmucks already down under the tires in a bloody smear.

I feel I should clarify — because the middle class is vast: including the ‘nearly-but-not-quite-destitute,’ all the way up to the ‘considerably-affluent-but-unable-to-parlay-financial-security-into-political-power’ — Your Montag is doing okay, but if it weren’t for Ms. Montag’s salary, or the income from my second job, our family would find itself among the nearly destitute in the ranks of the lower-middle class, possibly homeless, and headed for debtor’s prison, the workhouse, part time Wal-Mart associatehood, whatever they’re calling it these days. Let’s call the tenuous position us Montags hold by it’s political buzzphrase: working middle class.

Well shit, turns out Montag’s in the catbird seat! The politicians loooooove them some working middle class stiffs. We’re what it’s all about, huh? Of course, by “all” I mean the extravagant marketing campaign to get out the vote in numbers enough to make this nominal “democracy” appear legitimate.

When we participate in, and validate this political process, we also endorse global capitalist democratic empire and violent, exploitive foreign policy. So, talking about middle class tax cuts, or the income gap, or lowering gasoline prices, is essentially demanding a bigger share of imperial plunder.

YOU: Montag, you insufferable prick. When you said you were going to “contribute something to The Conversation,” I thought you meant you were going to quit bitching for five minutes, and I don’t know… contribute something to The Conversation?

ME: Here’s it comes now:

Perhaps the question shouldn’t be: How can we get “our fair share” out of the system? But rather: How might we get out of having to work 80 fucking hours a week with blood on our hands in inescapable system-perpetuating indentured servitude? And does it necessarily involve “voting for” one or another party-sanctioned, insanely militaristic imperial manager?

UPDATE: Laughing uneasily now about the feds buying up mortgages like crazy. They buy my house with my tax money, I still make payments to them for the privilege, and continue to pay interest? Maybe I was off base with the “indentured servitude” reference. Perhaps a reference to outright serfdom would be more appropriate.

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