August 8, 2017

SO FOR A PROJECT I’M WORKING FOR ON THE AMERICAN JUDICIARY AND CLASS WARFARE, I’m reading Paul Fussell’s Class: A Guide Though The American Status System.

It’s interesting, though parts of it (it dates back to 1983) are thoroughly obsolete. In particular, he makes a great deal of the middle class’s insecurity — compared to the confident upper-middle and upper classes — about status, and ideology. But it seems to me that today — see, e.g., the latest Google affair, and the endless round of campus auto-da-fes, — that these days it’s the upper-middle and upper classes that are nervous about ideology and eager to practice a defensive conformity. I suspect (and this is where I’m going with this project) that this is because of the increased influence of a largely conformist higher educational system.

“Proles and animals are free.” says O’Brien in 1984, while members of the Party — especially the Outer Party — are highly circumscribed. That seems to be where we are now.

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