We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Charles Murray on Belmont Vs. Fishtown, about social class in America and the Founding Virtues: marriage, industriousness, honesty, religiousness.
It's a major essay. One quote:
...if you live in an affluent suburb, an upscale neighborhood of a large city, or in a college town, you do not need to read (David) Brooks to know what I’m talking about. You live in that culture. But it is also possible (depending on the circumstances in which you grew up) that you are no longer familiar with what everywhere else in America is like. The problem is not the lifestyle of the members of America’s new upper class, which in many ways is attractive, but the degree to which the new upper class has become sealed off from the rest of America.
Sometimes the isolation is geographic as well as cultural. In major cities and their surrounding areas, those top-ranked zip codes in which the members of the new upper class live are surrounded by other top-ranked zip codes that form elite clusters consisting of tens or hundreds of thousands of people, creating large bubbles within which life can go on without reference to anywhere outside the bubble. Even when the geographic isolation is not extreme, the differences in culture often are...
Study the whole thing. It rings true to me. Even in a small town where we know all sorts of people, we tend to hang out with people who play tennis and golf, own guns, read lots of books, discuss Plato, Marx, Freud, Adam Smith and Hayek, go to church, have gardens, and love opera. Otherwise, what is there to talk about except the weather? It's not defined by financial status, but rather by common interests and, sometimes but certainly not always, similar backgrounds and similar world-views (but excluding political views, generally, untiil one is clear about where one's companions are coming from).
In a culture that increasingly devalues and demeans faith and family, what do you expect? This is especially true with the present party in power. What is going to happen is not a separation of classes, but the vastly increasing underclass is going to suck the upper classes into it, as more and more freeloaders demand that the ever-decreasing productive people in the country take care of them.
"we tend to hang out with people who play tennis and golf, own guns, read lots of books, discuss Plato, Marx, Freud, Adam Smith and Hayek, go to church, have gardens, and love opera"
Wow -- that doesn't describe anyone who lives within 20 miles of me that I know of. I have to hang out with a lot of different people just to find ones that share one or two interests with me off of a long list, and many of them have to be virtual contacts rather than physical neighbors. I can hardly imagine finding people who share as many as a dozen common passions all at once.
I guess we do tend to hang out with people who have roughly the same amount of disposable income, so that it's easier to choose things to do together -- except for those things you can do together without spending anything to speak of, like pickin' and singin'.
A while back I read 'The Big Change: America Transforms Itself 1900-1950'. Now we have a decent survey of the marinating of that transformation with this article. I've the feeling we are in the midst of another big change, unavoidable as the welfare state bleeds out. The move toward progressivism in the early part of the century brought on many good changes but was perverted toward disaster in the last half. Now another change is upon America. If we don't go back to the America of 1900, how will we separate the good from the corruption brought on by Progressive values?
"we tend to hang out with people who........love opera"
I "love" mariachi. I "love" ambient. I "love" bluegrass, folk, jazz, rhythm and blues, acapella, electronic, hillbilly, country, western, swing, big band, rock n' roll, do-wop, classical, baroque, chamber, Gregorian/Psalmodic/Antiphonal/Responsorial chants, plain music, twelve tone eastern, asian and african played on any and all instruments in all modes and scales.