The structure of class in the U.S. is segregated by top, middle, and bottom. To be at the top is a life of luxury and authority. The middle supports the top in exchange for watered-down privileges. In the bottom people’s bodies are batter by work and always at risk of joining the poor. That’s a familiar belief I have heard often.
But the bottom really just means the poor people who are better dressed than ever, but endure despair because their sense of freedom is dim. People in the middle endure inflated illusions of entitlement and self-worth. I say illusion because the identity of a prevailing class of people is hemorrhaging. A member of the middle class believes in their rewards of working services for the upper class makes them similar due to aspiration for riches. The middle class is more closely aligned with the rich, even though they are in servants like the poor.
This worries me because that alliance middle and upper is a huge segment which bolsters the rich minority. And the alliance leaves the middle class of American society is morally frozen. Middle class must conform to the wealth generation of corporate industry. Even if there they hear stories of pollution, violence, ignorance, and imbalance – those evils will not be attributed to corporations. Even if they the old echoes of Darwinian ethics will just ring out, “That’s the way its”. That the nature of human society is unjust because it’s so uncontrollable. So live well and do better personally is all that matters to the middle class. The poor workers are rough physically and weak mentally and should be hated. A middle class that will not protest the rich and disregards the poor. There is some grave destiny for the middle class in these ideas, so what is it exactly?
When I reflect on this narrative I feel uncertain because I do not know where I fall. My finances reflect a working class income. I am dressed in middle class appearance but live in a modest house. Strangers on the street assume I am doing better and the beggars see me as having cash stuffed in my pockets. Everyone who is in the middle is living a lie based on material camouflage. I think the world would be totally different if it was thought about like this…
To survive is to endure pain. To live is understanding what that pain means. Life has to be understood otherwise is doesn’t exist. The level of required survival that I know about is summed up by the middle class concept of, “that no matter what’s happening everything is going to be alright”. Such optimism generally means that hardship can be turned around. But another meaning can be that things just can’t get too difficult because there are so many things and processes in place that maintain safety. This idea of well endowed safety is best believed by the middle rungs of American society.
The aspects of our societal safety are the shelters, tools, groceries, and medicines that are well established in our lives. Scarcity of these items has been eliminated. Even if someone does not have much money, the excessive ways of people liters the earth with abandoned valuables, and the poor to collect it all. So what is our struggle in a land of plenty? Is the struggle just a conflict of over consumption: eating too much food, weighed down by holding on to too much, or just avenues of drugs and thrills?
In an older world our ancestors once feared for wanting property and guaranteed livelihood. I wander a world that only demands land for too much money and acquiring tossed fruits only slightly spoiled. In fact the large amounts of wealth accumulated by the living only spills out to other people once there is death. Similar people by and large have identical possessions. So much duplicity can just feed the material wants of people to the point that the need to purchase new things outright is unnecessary. Even if the population soars it can’t match the clones of cloned items, innovated and marketed again repeatedly. Appetites are numbed and our society is bloated. People aren’t happy when bloated; their irritable, sluggish, moan a lot. That description sounds like the majority of Americans I meet, these people are afflicted with mild depression and practice nasty antagonism towards each other in order to bury the greater reality, of staggering depression.
What is the cure for bloated depression then? Well, lets loose some weight. Go on a diet and cut the fat out. Make a true work of art and get rid of the useless parts that are ugly. Maybe if everything has been given to us and there is only plenty, we just should do nothing. No work, maybe play, definitely make room for some stupidity, and just starve. Starve the fat because the bodies we inhabit do not cry from hunger pains. In just a generation or two we can shrink the behemoth inheritances of property, bank accounts, insurance policies, and retirement funds to zero. At the end of our lives, we’ll budget our century long existence to just enough days of heat and food to last until our expiration date.
When we in the middle are gone only the hives will be left. All the tools and luxuries turned into artifacts and then dust. A skeletal world will stand where too many of us stood. And everyone else who was too poor and too rich to achieve a lulling departure, are fated to live out an even more cruel life.