What’s My Class? Part II

The previous contemplated attributes of class and of working class posers are relatively minor, the big one is Doublethink ethics. Orwell’s Doublethink “means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them” as true. As contemplated previously, the ruling class in any social construct consists of those that can define what ought to be and force their normative reality on the remainder. However, they are not obvious in this use of force, it is hidden behind what they call ethics and its own Doublethink by which they hold two contradictory moral beliefs simultaneously, accept both of them as true, and force both normative realities upon others by violence if need be as true and moral. By belief here I am using Pragmatism’s definition of belief: beliefs are rules of action. The ruling classes in any given social construct come by Doublethink naturally and hide it naturally, so much so that usually they do not even know they are speaking Doublethink and would view anyone accusing them of speaking it as either insane or as immoral and unethical. The ruling class and posers pretending not to be in the ruling class of any given social construct use Doublethink ethics that can best be described by example.

 
I recently had the misfortune of being in a class at NYU in which Visiting Scholar Dawn Chan had the class read Dennis Cooper’s book review in Bookforum of Larry Clark’s book The Perfect Childhood as an example of good, ethical, aesthetically pleasing humanist writing. In this review, Mr. Cooper tells how this book reminded him of a young, “white-trash street-hustler”, homeless, derelict, young drug addict he used to pay for homosexual sex and how he can still taste him now in more recent casual sex he has. According to the book review, the white trash hustler died of an overdose at age 24. Not only did the class not see a problem with any of this, but they went on to examine how this “relationship” between the older Cooper and the young drug addict was probably important to both their lives and that it is more important to “have loved and lost” than never to have loved at all.

 
Now, imagine what would have happened if I had some old-school Asiatic fleet sailor write and read to the class a book review gloating about a young, Filipino, derelict, drug addicted, female, street hooker he used for sex who died of an overdose and how a book reminds him and gives him the taste of that sex? Would this be accepted as a relationship involving “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” or simply for what it was: an act of oppression and power but at least it was one occurring between two social equals in the misery of life. In Mr. Clark’s case it was an upper class older patrician using a young man he considered “white trash” purely for sexual purposes. Why is the former immoral and unethical oppression but the latter not? Not only was the latter acceptable, it was treated as a moral and ethical good.

 
Do not waste time trying to understand it; it cannot be understood. Contradictions held simultaneously allow for everything to be true and false simultaneously. There are an uncountable number of contradictions in this example and in ruling class morality and ethics that ultimately are simply ruling class ideology enforced by violence but that are all accepted and held as true. This Doublethink in ethics is not a sign of being insane but of being ruling class. One of the omnipresent contradictions in present ruling class ideology and ethics that they will enforce by violence whenever they can is that white males are by definition oppressors in all possible worlds unless they are gay in which case they are beautiful oppressed persons regardless of their acts and regardless of either the individual or social consequences of those acts.

 
Unfortunately, for the working class, most of our morals and ethics are inherited. It has to be. We are too busy trying to survive when we are young to start questioning the morality and ethics of the only persons who are trying to help us survive in life consisting of the small social group around us. As contemplated before, we cannot survive and battle the universe alone. Furthermore, we need to think rationally in order to survive; holding contradictions to be true so as to make everything true or false is great for aesthetic truth and its power but is worthless if you actually have work and a job to do that needs to solve problems and be done and accomplished at some point so that one can get paid. As the lyrics to the song “Working Class Hero” state, by the time you are old enough to do anything about your ethical inheritance, it is too late:

As soon as you’re born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool
Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules

When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear

 

The ruling class and its posers do not have this problem. For them, almost from their first acts of reason and language, they understand the world ought to be what they want it to be, and can have this understanding without it in anyway risking their chances of survival. So, for example, to our present ruling class the couple Barack and Michelle Obama represent an oppressed minority even though for eight years they were the most powerful couple in the world. Anyone that can Doublethink in this way and do it so naturally that they do not hesitate nor give any indication of doubt are truly either upper class posing as oppressed, completely class clueless, or one of their house servants kissing up to the Powers.

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