We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Making of the American 99% and the Collapse of the Middle Class

Click here to access article by Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich from TomDispatch. (Note: You may want to skip the introduction by scrolling down to the article.)

Unlike many writers, these astute observers demonstrate that they really understand class structure. They explain how US society so suddenly became divided between the (less than) one percent and the 99 percent.
...until a few months ago, the 99% was hardly a group capable of...articulating “the identity of their interests.” It contained, and still contains, most “ordinary” rich people, along with middle-class professionals, factory workers, truck drivers, and miners, as well as the much poorer people who clean the houses, manicure the fingernails, and maintain the lawns of the affluent.