Postmodern Conservative

Class-Based Questions

This article, opening with a revealing map of residential patterns in our most sophisticated and “livable” city, provoked the following questions: Are we dividing, maybe more than ever, into a “creative class” and a “service class?” (There’s actually a third class composed of those who neither create nor serve — the unemployed, or superfluous class.) Another way of expressing this difference: The knowledge-or brains class versus the work-from-someone-else’s-script class. One class does the grunt part of the work required to provide amenities (and more essential services) for the other but doesn’t live anywhere near or typically enjoy said amenities. Does this mean, properly updated for the division of labor as it exists today, that Marx was not completely wrong? Does this mean, as the libertarian futurist writes, that “average is over?” Or is all this kind of prattling exaggerated whining designed to provoke class-based envy by not thinking of people as free individuals? Or things have always been kind of this way, but people just haven’t noticed as much? If I really knew the answers, I wouldn’t torture you by putting all this in the form of questions.

Peter Augustine LawlerPeter Augustine Lawler is Dana Professor of Government at Berry College. He is executive editor of the acclaimed scholarly quarterly Perspectives on Political Science and served on President George ...


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