One of the most interesting periods in history to watch, with reference to now, is the period between the end of laissez fair economics and the birth of the post war settlement. A post war settlement coming to its conclusion as I write.
‘The death of the liberal class’ refers to the disappearance of a class, whose healthy existence was made on the back of ‘concern for the poor’, their existence entirely dependent on the disenfranchisement of said ‘poor’. The enfranchisement of the working class, meant that the reality of people’s experience and their ability to express democratic power, blew this class of people out of the water. They were deconstructed and dumped. That enfranchisement came on the back of the organisation of a Labour movement, with their own flaws, their own blindness coming to fruit now.
In the years where democracy has been subsumed by media message, that enfranchisement has, to a large extent, been undone. We still have the vote, but with a media culture entirely from a few universities and a select elite group of people, the class of people whose healthy existence comes from ineffective concern for a poor they disenfranchise, despise and fear, have sprung up again.
When I joined twitter, the left wing journalists so entranced by the novelty of an educated working class women, did not for a second think the digital revolution would have any effect outside giving us a window into a world we wanted to participate in. Confident that they were gatekeepers, a sorting hat to decide who fitted their view of a deserving working class emblem to decorate their cause. A culture used to being useless and fuelled only be entitlement and self image, had no idea that the walls to their world had broken and their role of gatekeeper would come into question.
The young elite radicals who fed off the poor from Oxford kitchen tables did not know that come the glorious revolution they were planning, the poor would probably bite them first. When they tired of a working class emblem who did not massage their ego and fit their self image they relied on old class structures, the social network and the institutions they represented to do what they had always done and eject that person. Completely unaware they were demonstrating to a wide audience how the walls of their world had been kept sealed.
Our political press are two sides of the same coin, selling the same product with a different tone, and I don’t think it occurred to them a world had opened up where not only did those they exploit not need them as intermediary, but those people would be able to wander freely between walls they definedwith tribalism and the narcissism of small difference. That narcissism of small difference only really afflicting the homogenous culture in which they operated.
There was no understanding that power dynamics have changed and those outside their world could now choose how to influence it with little impact coming back to theirs. That the working class had been given a window with which to effect the same change we saw at the end of the last period of laissez fair economics, in preparation for a new settlement to be negotiated. While the left were planning their imaginary revolution, they missed the one happening around them. While they were planning for the class war they deemed themselves to be leaders in, they missed the one they were in.