There are various definitions out there describing the so called middle-class of the population, and about as many models out there are describing the development of the very class throughout the years, leaning towards a more and more shrinking, almost vanishing, class while the one of the poor, mostly underemployed (or at least undervalued), low-income and/or serving, is growing.
But there’s some problem to it as a shrink of one class and the growth of another should shift powers also. And exactly that is not happening. Therefore I’d like to redefine the middle-class as a have-nots dominated class that is socialised to be a consumptious buffer between the haves and the have-nots, defending their scarcities against those that have even less.
And yes, this group is absolutely socialised to believe that the economy is redistributive (not distributive), that they deserve their wealth because they are well educated and hardworking, and that the little pleasures they possess – usually realised as consumptional spending – combined with doing some good by gifting for e.g. Greenpeace and/or voluntary tasks are sufficient for a life of fulfillment. It is at least enough for the majority of them to stay inside a small box they realise as ‘world’, making them unable but also unwilling to break the borders. They will defend their view on this world against anyone who encourages to break the very borders, and those who actually gets through it against all odds will face sanctions to either get him/her conformous again or to become expelled from the box-world of redistribution and consumption for good. But isn’t it like living in chains, being some sort of slave to the system? Doesn’t the acceptance of those borders actually restricts the worldview in an impermissible manner, paving the way for further restrictions and an ever smaller box of thoughts with an even bigger count of people left in the cold, ultimately ending at the point where noone of the have-nots can seriously deny the slavery and chains binding them? At this very point resistance will be almost futile and feasible alternatives will be even more scarce than food and reasonably paid jobs. And yet it’s on them, the so-called middle-class, to stand up for the rights of everyone and to fight for the poor, immanently breaking the borders of their shaped and synthetically limited world-view. It’s not even too difficult to get there as most of of this middle-class is christian in some way or another, some who do believe in the existance of a god and some don’t, but the credo of sharing and intrinsic dignity is widespread. They must learn that they don’t need a similar or even better and newer car than their neighbours, that their summer-holiday shouldn’t be necessarily in far-far-away and more luxury than the last one, that status isn’t something you can buy for paper-money, hence they need to learn that this money they earn doesn’t exist to give them a living but to let them spend it on things they usually don’t even need.
Hence, it’s Christmas-time and people feel comfortably now to give some money again for so-called good causes. I just hope they spend it wisely, ruling out all these organisations that usually receive, and also are influenced by the very big buck . But how do these people look against the poor in their own neighbourhood? Are they still repeating the mantra that it’s the own responsibility of the poor because in our society poverty is a choice, or something that is a result from making bad and stupid choices? To have someone feel rich or wealthy you have to have someone in range who has (a lot) less. Those that feel wealthy aren’t considered to be rich in most cases. Once they would lose their jobs and therefore their income they’ll notice how quick they’d become one of the poor. Own choice? Mostly not. Own responsibility? Maybe they still believe that one to be true the first few month they apply for any new job even if most jobs they get aren’t promising and just offer barely enough in income to allow a decent living. They cut down on expenses, unnecessary ones as well as some they previously wouldn’t have thought to be unnecessary (vacations or a reasonable car for example). They hop from job to job, and expenses for commuting goes up while income doesn’t cope with the additional expenses. Eventually they become sick and they need healthcare with additional costs and probably they’ll lose the recent job because there’s no longer any protection that would prevent them from being fired. Now think again about someones own choice and someones own responsibilty. There are a lot of Ebenizer Scrooges out there and the ghosts of the past are approaching fast; not especially those from the times in which Charles Dickens lived, but those of late Tudor, Stuart times as well – maybe even worse. The people shouldn’t forget that they are usually peasants, not nobles, and countless people throughout Europe – and of course not only those in Greece or Spain – do already feel the shifts seen within the last decades.
But who are the royals of today? Who’s a member of the club? Some do call them cronies, the capitalists and institutions in whose accounts the quid ultimately ends. The power they have is the money they command, they rule over anything that depends on the flow of money; from the lowest peasant up to governments. Some do call them owners, those who effectively own most of a country or continent. Some do call them money-changers. Christians should know them well wether they believe in a maybe imaginary god or not. And they should know how to handle the situation since day one they’ve learned about it. They should know that it’s not devotism towards the rulers, owners, money-changers, royals, cronies that defines christianity, but instead respect and support toward the lowest of the low. And that is exactly what is needed to break the power of the royals today; don’t fall for cheap consumerism and easy to get joys the markets promises to you, don’t give any value to money and gains but value peace and thankful faces of those that have less. And the most important message christians did get is that they should not have fear. But instead, we all are fed with fears day in and day out. Fears of an uncertain future, fears of losing the job, fears of being left in the cold and of being alone in the dark, fears for evil terrorists coming for our freedom… Countless fears which steers our behaviour day by day, fears used by the powers and the government wanting to control any single piece of our lives – but the government is not to rule you, you should rule the government, for it is an institution that should serve the people, not the royals and monetary powers. If we all fail to rethink our actions we could face the other ghosts, as they predict a gloomy future.