I didn't want to be in the teeming mass of the working class.... I didn't want to live and die in the same place with only a week at the seaside in between. I dreamed of escape -- but what is terrible about industrialisation is that it makes escape necessary. In a system that generates masses, individualism is the only way out. But then what happens to community -- to society?
This business of petty inconvenience and indignity, of being kept waiting about, of having to do everything at other people’s convenience, is inherent in working-class life. A thousand influences constantly press a working man down into a passive role. He does not act, he is acted upon. He feels himself the slave of mysterious authority and has a firm conviction that ‘they’ will never allow him to do this, that, and the other. Once when I was hop-picking I asked the sweated pickers (they earn something under sixpence an hour) why they did not form a union. I was told immediately that ‘they’ would never allow it. Who were ‘they’? I asked. Nobody seemed to know, but evidently ‘they’ were omnipotent.
--You're rather well read for a working-class girl, she said with her back to me. --Really? I've found that all my well-read friends are from the working class. --Oh my. Why do you think that is? The purity of poverty? --No. It's just that reading is the cheapest form of entertainment. --Sex is the cheapest form of entertainment. --Not in this house.
As to the 'Left' I'll say briefly why this was the finish for me. Here is American society, attacked under open skies in broad daylight by the most reactionary and vicious force in the contemporary world, a force which treats Afghans and Algerians and Egyptians far worse than it has yet been able to treat us. The vaunted CIA and FBI are asleep, at best. The working-class heroes move, without orders and at risk to their lives, to fill the moral and political vacuum. The moral idiots, meanwhile, like Falwell and Robertson and Rabbi Lapin, announce that this clerical aggression is a punishment for our secularism. And the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, hitherto considered allies on our 'national security' calculus, prove to be the most friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Here was a time for the Left to demand a top-to-bottom house-cleaning of the state and of our covert alliances, a full inquiry into the origins of the defeat, and a resolute declaration in favor of a fight to the end for secular and humanist values: a fight which would make friends of the democratic and secular forces in the Muslim world. And instead, the near-majority of 'Left' intellectuals started sounding like Falwell, and bleating that the main problem was Bush's legitimacy. So I don't even muster a hollow laugh when this pathetic faction says that I, and not they, are in bed with the forces of reaction.
olhe, hoje é possível reviver o fascismo, quer saber. é possível na perfeição. basta ser-se trabalhador dependente. é o suficiente para perceber o que é comer e calar, e por vezes nem comer, só calar. vá espirar esses patrões por aí fora. conte pelos dedos os que têm no peito um coração a florescer de amor pelo proletariado. que porra de conversa comunista. mas não é possível deixar de ter conversas comunistas enquanto não se largar a merda das ideias do capitalismo de circo que está montado. um capitalismo de especulação no qual o trabalho não corresponde a riqueza e já nem a mérito, apenas a um fardo do qual há quem não se consiga livrar.
Even now when I'm furious, what I would like to do is to punch the infuriating person flat on the ground. That solves nothing I know, and I spent a lot of time understanding my own violence, which is not of the pussycat kind. There are people who could never commit murder; I am not one of those people. It's better to know it, better to know who you are, and what lies in you, and what you could do, might do, under extreme provocation.
One guy yelled at me, 'You stupid bitch, how do you live like that with nothing in your brain?' Well, that did it. I wasn't going to put up with that. Ok, I'm not so smart. I'm working class. But it's the working class that keeps the world running, and it's the working classes that get exploited. What kind of revolution is it that just throws out big words that working-class people can't understand? What kind of crap social revolution is that? I mean, I'd like to make the world a better place, too. If somebody's really being exploited, we've got to put a stop to it. That's what I believe, and that's why I ask questions. Am I right, or what?
But the workingpeople, the common people, they won't allow it.' 'It's the common people who get most fun out of the torture and execution of great men.... If it's not going too far back I'd like to know who it was demanded the execution of our friend Jesus H. Christ.
Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets.
Die Unzulänglichkeiten ihres Herkunftsmilieus [der Arbeiterschaft], sich in Sprache und Kultur der mittleren und höheren Schichten ausdrücken zu können, erschwerten ihren Aufstieg – und trugen dazu bei, dass sich die sozialen Parvenüs oft geradezu demonstrativ nach unten abgrenzten, um in der Lebenswelt oben willkommen geheißen zu werden. Wohl auch deshalb nahm der spätere Bundeskanzler Schröder den Brioni so wichtig. Störend dabei war, dass der Übereifer in der Adaption der neuen Lebensmaximen die frühere soziale Inferiorität erst recht offenlegte und so auf die Unsicherheit im Stil hinwies; hier machte sich eine von den traditionellen Eliten robust errichtete Sperre bemerkbar, welche die social climbers trotz – besser: gerade wegen – ihres angestrengten Tuns nicht überwinden konnten.
So blieb [den individuellen Aufsteigern aus dem Arbeitermilieu] allein die Imitation der Verhaltensweisen und Ideologien von der mindestens heimlich bewunderten privilegierten Schicht, in die einzutreten schließlich Ziel des langen Weges war. Doch das Original mag den Nachahmer nicht, verhält sich bestenfalls gönnerhaft-spöttisch, von oben herab. Der Kopierende gibt sich alle erdenkliche Mühe, wird oft gar zum aggressiven Apologeten des Vorbildes, was – so Norbert Elias – »zu ganz spezifischen Verkrümmungen des Bewußtseins und der Haltung« führt. Der sozialdemokratische Kotau vor den Imperativen der Privatisierung, der finanzkapitalistischen Entgrenzungen, der Steuerbefreiung für Kapitalinvestoren in den Jahren 1999-2005 – er mag damit zu tun haben.