Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

On American Greatness, Victor Davis Hanson asks this question. It’s a good one, I think. Because almost all of us of the middling sort are pretty angry about things. So let’s have a look.

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and the stunning recent Australian re-election of conservatives?

Put simply, the middle classes are revolting against Western managerial elites. The latter group includes professional politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, condescending academics, corporate phonies and propagandistic journalists.

What are the popular gripes against them?

One, illegal immigration and open borders have led to chaos. Lax immigration policies have taxed social services and fueled multicultural identity politics, often to the benefit of boutique leftist political agendas.

Two, globalization enriched the cosmopolitan elites who found worldwide markets for their various services. […]

He gives us six, in all. All are, as one would expect, cogent and accurate. So go and read them.

One common gripe framed all these diverse issues: The wealthy had the means and influence not to be bothered by higher taxes and fees or to avoid them altogether. Not so much the middle classes, who lacked the clout of the virtue-signaling rich and the romance of the distant poor.

In other words, elites never suffered the firsthand consequences of their own ideological fiats.

That’s a huge part of it in my estimation. It’s one thing if all these things are good for us, or necessary for the world to survive, or something. It’s an entirely different kettle of fish if you’re telling me how important this trash is, but it doesn’t apply to you and your friends. “Do as I say not as I do” doesn’t work any better leading a company, group, country, civilization, or anything else than it does trying to raise a kid. Never has, never will.

What it does is bring rebels. It did when my high school said we couldn’t wear blue jeans. Suddenly my entire class showed up in them. What are you going to do now, Mr. Principal? Give a quarter of the school detention? Makes you look sort of bad, doesn’t it, that your leadership is so bad?

The same principle applies when you and a few hundred of your closest friends fly their private jets into Davos for a party disguised (badly) as a conference.

Elites masked their hypocrisy by virtue-signaling their disdain for the supposedly xenophobic, racist or nativist middle classes. Yet the non-elite have experienced firsthand the impact on social programs, schools and safety from sudden, massive and often illegal immigration from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia into their communities.

As for trade, few still believe in “free” trade when it remains so unfair. Why didn’t elites extend to China their same tough-love lectures about global warming, or about breaking the rules of trade, copyrights and patents?

Do you know anybody who believes any of this tosh, unless, perhaps, their livelihood depends on it, or the indoctrination they received in school hasn’t been rubbed off yet? I can’t think of one that I do. I know a few trolls who say they do, but I’d bet they’re paid to say that. I do know one person who believes in Global Warming, but he also believes it is beyond the tipping point, so we may as well ‘Rock on’.

If Western nations were really so bad, and so flawed at their founding, why were millions of non-Westerners risking their lives to reach Western soil?

How was it that elites themselves had made so much money, had gained so much influence, and had enjoyed such material bounty and leisure from such a supposedly toxic system—benefits that they were unwilling to give up despite their tired moralizing about selfishness and privilege?

So where does it end?

Because elites have no answers to popular furor, the anger directed at them will only increase until they give up—or finally succeed in their grand agenda of a non-democratic, all-powerful Orwellian state.

Or in an armed revolt, which I discount less each month. The people are not going to go quietly into the night.


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

11 Responses to Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

  1. Nicholas says:

    I must admit I feel pretty angry and upset a lot of the time. I desperately need to rediscover the peace of Christ that survives the onslaught of our decaying culture. I’m sure some – maybe most – of my anger is legitimate, but I’m also sure that there is some that is not: personal failures casting blame on scapegoats. The fact is, a lot of us feel bretrayed: we were offered a vision of the future – “work hard and everything will come to you” – and it just hasn’t come to fruition. Voting Labour or Democrat is not the answer to this problem, however. So, while I am in sympathy with those voters who blame the rich and powerful for our woes, I implore them not to give more power to the state, which is what these parties covet.

    As for the list, I’m largely in agreement with it: people who are not afraid to express their anger, be they liberal, conservative, centrist, or left-leaning, but who have something in common with us, seem to agree on some or all of the following:

    -The collapse of the social contract
    -Mistreatment of public space
    -Lack of respect for national boundaries
    -Lack of respect for European history and achievements (in Europe and the USA, the white colonists being ethnically European)
    -Lack of respect for private property
    -Lack of respect for fiscal prudence (way too much debt out there – bad for gearing/leverage)
    -Lack of respect for principles of Truth: objectivity, intellectual virtue, logic, etc
    -Lack of respect for the principle of consequences following the event; penalties being entailed upon our free choices


    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep. Absolutely nothing to disagree with. In a sense it all comes down to a lack of respect for those that came before us, and in many cases because they have not been taught what we accomplished. The only way to fix about two generations, is to get to rubbing the indoctrination off them. That will probably take governments that tell them that if you do not work, neither shall you eat. That will be an interesting cure, I suspect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. Fission is easier. Fusion comes later for the saved. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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