The People's Poet!

The People's Poet!
Right on, kids!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Why does class matter?

I posted this in a response to Pablo's post:

Why Does Class Matter? Contemplating Left praxis in a po-mo age.

  I think to understand why the politics of gender, race and sexuality are necessarily promoted as defining the impetus on which the Left should found its program we need to consider the effort corporate propagandists devote to defining what society should think about and how they see those subjects. From the corporate perspective 'gay money', 'Maori money' or 'woman money' is indistinguishable from 'straight-white-male money'; profit extracted from sexually, racially or gender-specific marginalised groups is no different than profit extracted from anyone else. As a consequence the politics of racial, sexual and gender equality is acceptable from a corporate point of view.

This is, of course, perfectly excellent. Discriminating against someone based on their sexual preferences, gender or race is wrong. The problem of accepting the corporate paradigm without question is its inherent bias against the marginalised majority – the working class. There has necessarily been a conscious and concerted effort to expunge class identity from public awareness, 'working-class' has become an un-word in the corporate vocabulary. The only time the elite allow use of the term 'working class' is when describing the history of some corporate functionary who is promoting the interests of big business – there is no shortage of stories gushing over the working class roots of the likes of John Key, Paula Bennett or , the latest to draw attention to her under-privileged past, Hekia Parata. What is not acceptable is using the term 'working class' in conjunction with words like Maori, women or homosexuals, these are all regarded as monolithic entities whom tend to be represented in the media by spokespeople who conform to corporate sensibilities.

The modern class structure being promoted through the mainstream begins with the beneficiary then jumps to the middle-class, which is pretty much anyone who isn't on a benefit. This achieves the goals of marginalising those on benefits while attempting to portray the working class as a group that has a shared identity with the coordinator class – cleaners are lower-middle class, John Key is upper-middle class. Anyone on a benefit is 'one of them' and not 'one of us'.

I haven't analysed any media to see if the term 'working class' has been disappeared in the manner I have suggested, but I imagine if anyone were to scrutinise most aspects of the media over the last thirty years or so they would find the use of the term has diminished dramatically.   

No comments:

Post a Comment