– By Tim Dunkin for Canada Free Press

(Author’s Note: This article was originally written nearly four years ago, after Obama’s election to his first term. However, I think that despite a bit of datedness with respect to some of the specifics mentioned below, the general point still applies quite well for today, especially as we see the middle classes in this country coming under increasing assault from President Obama and his gang of thieves and scoundrels.)

I am not a great fan of Arnold Toynbee’s cyclical interpretation of history. Nevertheless, I do think that history often seems to repeat itself because history records the actions of a common denominator – humanity – whose members will have the same basic responses under the same general social circumstances, regardless of time and place. So it is with the pattern we’re seeing in America today, with regards to the position and viability of the Middle Class.

Lately, I’ve been reading G.M. Young’s Victorian England: Portrait of an Age, and have been struck by the similarities between the evolution of Victorian society and our own. In both societies, you had an early and fleeting embrace of individualism under the auspices of classically liberal political philosophy that sooner or later gave way to a radically secular and libertarian caricature of self-government (here, it began with Ayn Rand, there, with Herbert Spencer).

In both cases, creeping socialism under the auspices of “Poor Laws” and “social relief” spread through most strata of society, while most people were asleep at the wheel. Further, both saw the encrustation of social and moral traditions – but only for tradition’s sake – which were then suddenly and decisively swept away with the advent of a decadent new generation that was not taught WHY these traditions were important or necessary. In England, this occurred in the Edwardian age that followed the Victorian – the era of bohemianism and Bright Young Things; here it was the rise of the Rock and Roll culture and the Sexual Revolution, from the late 1950s and continuing to this day.

One aspect of these social changes, however, upon which hinged the whole destabilization of society was the steady denigration and decline of the Middle Class. In both Victorian England and middle 20th century America, there was the progressive ostracization of the Middle Class and its attendant values and purposes. Both societies degraded as a result.

What we need to understand is that “Middle Class” is not so much an economic description as it is a psychological one. A person can be “Middle Class” and not fit into the typically associated income brackets. Likewise, you can fit right into the middle economically, and not be “Middle Class.” It’s a mindset, a worldview, a way of looking at things through a certain lens. To be “Middle Class” is to hold to the conventional values that made America great – personal self-government, capitalistic self-improvement, fiscal responsibility (both personal and governmental), and moral steadfastness. You might say that Middle Class is bourgeois– in which case, I’m proud to be a class enemy.

The Middle Class mindset is one that believes that it is better to regulate one’s own behavior than it is to have someone else regulate it for you. It rejects the “anything goes” attitude of post-modern America. It also resents the profusion of laws, regulations, and stipulations that society enacts when certain members of the body politic cannot govern their own behavior. It upholds the rule of law, but knows that the free and sovereign individual shouldn’t need very many laws to successfully live out his life in peace with other members of society.

The Middle Class individual strives to improve him or herself through hard work and industriousness. He or she neither wallows in self-perpetuating poverty and enslavement to the welfare state, nor do they seek to get rich quick. He knows that the path to financial betterment comes neither from a welfare check nor a lottery ticket. Instead, the Middle Class individual works hard, does a quality job, rises through the ranks, expects to be judged on his merits, and makes plans to better himself and society through producing real wealth with real value and real benefit to all involved, by investing his own ingenuity and abilities. Riches are the result of the patient investment of blood, sweat, and tears, not finding the right stock or having an uncle who doesn’t have a problem with nepotism.

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