'Have Less' Whites

Following is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal concerning the causes of discontent among middle class whites (as well as a few dissidents in the information elite who are tired of being beat up and losing all the political battles).

Once again, the excerpt makes an important point about the growing alienation of the liberal elite from the middle class when it says:

"the same upper-middle-class elites 'who control the international flow of money and information . . . and thus set the terms of public debate' have paradoxically 'lost faith in the values, or what remains of them, of the West.'"

You see, Yggdrasil is not the only one who is concerned with the character of our liberal elites. Living and working among our information elites every day is a scarier experience than merely reading about them. In truth, the problem is worse than you may think.

And, of course, it is White Nationalists who gather and browse here who, by spreading the word, will do the most to reinvigorate Western Civilization.



[Dec. 14, 1994 Wall Street Journal p A1]

Elite Theory

Have Liberals Ignored 'Have-Less' Whites At Their Own Peril?

Anger in a Tennessee Town Unmasks Deep Divisions, Trouble for Democrats

Mud on the Glass-Tower Set



Scenes From the Politics of American Culture


MUNFORD, Tenn. - Listen to the angry, anxious voices of white voters here and you can hear the splintering sound of something even bigger than last month's Republican landslide. It is the sound of the American middle class-rending apart and lashing out. The middle class, long the balance wheel of American society, is beginning to fissure along fault lines of income, values and lifestyle. It is cleaving into the havemores--"the glass-tower people," Labor Secretary Robert Reich calls them - and the have- lesses. The glass-tower people are generally college-educated, economically ascendant and comfortable with cultural diversity and change; indeed, they prosper precisely because of their ability to manage and adapt to these forces. But the have-lesses are generally undereducated, trapped in unrewarding and sometimes dead-end jobs, economically and socially vulnerable. They constitute a beleaguered subculture: un-chic, un-minority and, in their opinion, unheard. Liberals, they believe, seem able to muster sympathy for every group - feminists, gays, welfare mothers-except theirs. In fact, they have a great deal to say - and their message signals class warfare with the glass-tower people and the whole complex of values the glass-tower people hold. Listen: "The working man, he ain't got a chance," bursts out a bitter Sidney Tracy, walking his dog on the main street of this little town north of Memphis. After 25 years in the food-processing business, the 49-year-old Mr. Tracy has just lost his job as a lab technician. He lays much of the blame on President Clinton. "Clinton said he was for the working man. But he went up there and did everything for blacks and gays.

Carl Biggs, 33, a telephone-service technician, recently lost his job, too. That forced him to plunge into the brave new world of entrepreneurship: He is now the proprietor of a doughnut and snack shop here. Go out on Highway 51 during morning rush hour, he says with a pained smile. Half the vehicles have a woman driver, headed for work in Memphis. "You just know that has got to emasculate a diehard, big-ego, male chauvinist. Men have got to have a scapegoat . . . and Clinton is just perfect for everybody's ailment." That's pretty much how he sees things himself; he voted Republican for every office but one this time, and doubts he will be voting much for Democrats from now on.

"Everything [Democratic liberals] do, everything they want to do, is against us," maintains David Elston, a 49-year-old maintenance man for an electric cooperative. "Work and pay taxes - that's all they want from us."

Blue-Collar Rage

White males like these, each of whom voted Republican last month, were the single most decisive factor in the national Democratic rout. Here in Tennessee, they blew away three-term Democratic incumbent Jim Sasser as well as Jim Cooper, the Democratic candidate for an unexpired Senate term. For good measure, they elected a Republican governor and provided swing votes that helped Republicans capture two Democratic House seats. "The big story of the election is the hostility among blue-collar men who haven't gone to college," concludes Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin.

White men weren't the only factor. Almost as striking, says Mr. Garin, was a 10-percentage-point drop nationally in support for Democrats among white women, who have customarily been more sympathetic to Democratic causes. Like men, "they feel the world is changing on them and that nobody in high places seems to care," he says.

Similarly, Republican pollster Neil Newhouse couched his post- election analysis in terms of "angry" white men and "ambivalent" white women. White women as a group remain more sympathetic than white men toward the president and what he is trying to do; indeed, they split 47% to 47% in a Newhouse post-election poll when asked whether Washington should change direction or continue the president's policies. (White men wanted change by a decisive 66%-to-32% margin.)

Gulf of Mistrust

White homemakers, however, differed sharply from career women. They also emphatically wanted change, by a 54%-to-34% margin. Many women, like men, feel "forgotten," says Mr. Newhouse. As they see it, "affirmative action is helping minorities and the rich are getting richer," but nobody is looking out for them. But something beyond politics happened last month - and something beyond economics, too, although economic anxiety was its catalyst. What happened was cultural backlash against a professional and managerial "knowledge class," cosmopolitan in outlook, that claims to speak for places like Munford but, as Munford sees it, speaks mostly to itself and for itself. Politicians are only the most visible symbol of this class - and one of the few members of it that ordinary people can reach out and topple. But the same gulf estranges Middle America from lobbyists and bankers, from consultants and artists, from journalists and academicians - from a whole class that has come to dominate the nation's internal dialogue.

It is unlikely the backlash is over - a point of great glee to Republican conservatives now brimming with ideas on how to dismantle much of what they consider to be the failed notions of American liberalism. There is a sense, shared by some of the most acute social observers of our time that an era-political, cultural and historical-may be coming to an end.

Author Gore Vidal, for example, was asked at a National Press Club appearance days before the election who would be a leading character if he wrote a book about this period in American history. He replied, only halfjokingly: "Rush Limbaugh, I suppose." Then, taking a broader historical view, he added: "This is a twilight time, you know.... There's a smell of the Weimar Republic in the air now; something is going to happen."

Something did. Reading the election results, Labor Secretary Reich concluded that the nation had just witnessed "the revolt of the anxious class." He explained in a post-election address: "We are on the way to becoming a two-tiered [middle classl composed of a few winners and a larger group left behind, whose anger and disillusionment is easily manipulated. Today the targets of rage are immigrants welfare mothers, government officials gays and an ill-defined 'counter-culture. As the middle class continues to erode, who will be the targets tomorrow?"

Liberal Myopia?

Christopher Lasch, author and social critic, ventures a suggestion in a book to be published posthumously next month. The target, he writes, will be "upper-middle-class liberals" and the whole complex of values they hold. The great liberal blind spot, he suggests, is "their inability to grasp the importance of class differences in shaping attitudes toward life."

In "The Revolt of the Elites," Mr. Lasch sets forth a provocative thesis. He argues that the same upper-middle-class elites "who control the international flow of money and information . . . and thus set the terms of public debate" have paradoxically "lost faith in the values, or what remains of them, of the West." In a reversal of historical roles, Middle Americans now perform the social function once assumed by elites: They are society's conservative force, clinging to tradition and serving as a brake on potentially destabilizing social experiments.

To the upper-middle class, Mr. Lasch continues, Middle Americans "are at once absurd and vaguely menacing - not because they wish to overthrow the old order but precisely because their defense of it appears so deeply irrational that it expresses itself, at the higher reaches of its intensity, in fanatical religiosity, in a repressive sexuality that occasionally erupts into violence against women and gays, and in a patriotism that supports imperialist wars and a national ethic of aggressive masculinity."

But the upper-middle class ignores Middle America at its peril. Whatever its faults, "middle-class nationalism [provides] a common ground, common standards, a common frame of reference without which society dissolves into nothing more than contending factions . . . a war of all against all."

* * *

[The above quote is from a much longer article which you may retrieve from Dow Jones News Retrieval]

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