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The Difficult Class
August 3, 2009
The middle class is not an income bracket.
It is a group of people who share values that strengthen the individual. Their
strength makes the middle
class the most difficult class to rule.
Displacing the middle class has been the trend of recent history. Globalism concentrates wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people, which starves out the mid-tier of society. Particularly since the end of WWII , Western elites have focused on breaking the mid-tier's ability to resist their own disenfranchisement.
In his Republic Plato recognized the power of middle class principles. Family loyalty, community participation, self reliance and prizing education are all things that help the individual resist the will of the State. Plato knew that a class of virtuous citizens needed these qualities in order to prevent the state from slipping into tyranny.
Plato also noted that would-be tyrants
attack virtuous citizens in specific ways: they bring in foreign helpers to
undermine the cultural homogeneity of the state; they set up slave militias to
use against their citizenry; and they start propaganda campaigns specifically
designed to wipe out middle-class values. When these attacks
are successful the tyrant sets up a government which Plato called “The Tyranny
“The Tyranny of Slaves” can only come
about if enough people adopt slavish values — thereby allowing themselves to be
manipulated by the despot. Slaves don't take personal responsibility, they wait
to be handed what they “deserve.” They don't respect elders, are insolent,
intemperate and extravagant. What's worse, they don't value reason and logic;
they are only moved by emotion-based sophistical arguments. Slaves need a tyrant to rule them. They are
people who seek instant gratification, do not consider consequences and are
prone to senseless violence. They are mankind
When he wrote the Republic, Plato was describing recent
history and what he had seen happen in Athens during his lifetime.
But the pattern has been repeated many
times since. Rome's power was built on its army, which was made up of many
landholding farmers. Wealth came after military success; land ownership was
concentrated; and the new landlords replaced Roman farmers with a polyglot of
slaves. Since that event the empire had to rely on Northern European conquests
for soldiers and the City became the international cesspool that Juvenal
describes in The
A similar thing happened with England's
yeomanry. Brooks Adams describes their displacement during the sixteenth century
in his book The
Law of Civilization and Decay.
But the bad guys don't always win. An
inspiring example of the middle class resisting tyranny is the struggle of the
Germanic farmers with Arminius against Publius Quinctilius Varus in the Teutoberg Forrest. When
Arminius tried to impose his own dictatorship, the farmers broke him
Since Plato's writing, other philosophers
have built on his observations. Plato naively thought that he could get rid of
internecine conflict by extending the family relationship across an entire class
— in other words, communal property and no nuclear family. Aristotle realized
that only ownership made people care for things: traditional families were
crucial to the well being of the middle class. In Politics, Aristotle suggested that abolishing
private property would be ideal for the slave class, because the resultant
discord would make them easier to control.
Plato's and Aristotle's work became especially relevant during
The Enlightenment. Philosophers turned their thoughts towards how to reconstruct
The Marquis de Sade, a vicious French
revolutionary, noticed that when people are bombarded with sex and stripped of
family relations, they are distracted and isolated; this makes them totally at
the mercy of the State. He recommended plenty of smut in the theater in order to
convert the French into “revolutionary citizens.” See his
Gustave le Bon, a French philosopher
writing in the 1890s, saw that when groups of people are very diverse they have
few feelings of responsibility towards each other and are more easy to
manipulate. (See The
Crowd.) The American
Conservative's Steve Sailer noticed this too in his
January 2007 article Fragmented
1940s intellectuals inherited a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of society — and how to manipulate them. They started out as Marxists but became disillusioned with Marxism because the lower middle class in Germany in the end opted for National Socialism instead of communism. The response of these intellectuals was to develop theories based on psychoanalysis in which the middle class and any sense of social cohesion were pathologized. From their point of view, the problem was the family itself.
At the center of this onslaught on the middle class was a group of refugee Jewish intellectuals from a communist think-tank in Frankfurt called the “Institute for Social Research.” They are now commonly known as “The Frankfurt School.” The most prominent members of the institute were Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse.
A perfect example of Frankfurt School thinking was Herbert
Marcuse's use of Plato's idea of “The Tyranny of Slaves.” Plato saw
the “Tyranny of Slaves” as the ultimate treachery and akin to patricide: a
tyrant uses slaves to oppress his own people — the people who gave the tyrant
Marcuse turns the idea of “The Tyranny of Slaves” on its head.
According to Marcuse (following Freud), Western Culture was founded by a band of
sons who wanted to sleep with their mother and killed their oppressive father
(patricide). In guilt, the sons reestablished the tyranny of the father and the
result was European Man. Marcuse speculated that Western tyranny will be broken
through a cathartic event: minorities and women would rebel, crushing Western
Culture and ushering in a fuzzy utopia that is liberated from logic and reason.
This utopia will be led by Frankfurt intellectuals. Marcuse calls this catharsis
the “return of the repressed.”
The Frankfurters attacked middle class values from every angle. They attacked the foundations of the Western educational system: reason became a symptom of “oppression,” what was “logical” was whatever supported the Frankfurter's politics. Science was only useful if it could be twisted into propaganda. The Classics became unfashionable.
In reality, the Frankfurters were agitating for an education
system that would dumb down the populace and make them less able to identify
their own interests.
The Frankfurters adopted de Sade's social destabilization
techniques. Sexual perversion became “freedom”. Loving your race, family and
culture became “authoritarian”— unless of course you were non-white. Mentally
healthy people were those who rejected their family and looked with eager eyes
toward the “return of the repressed.”
In reality, the Frankfurters were promoting diversity because
it disrupts community — just as Le Bon had observed. Diversity is strength for
oligarchical elites, it is not strength for subjugated people. Cultural and
ethnic diversity undermine community and open societies up for
After the Frankfurt revolution society
would supposedly be freed from private property and the State would provide for
Being “reified” citizens we would be happy rutting
with egalitarian abandon and living our atomistic lives. Ulysses: nil,
The Frankfurters knew full well that distracted and isolated
people are weak and the perfect material for the slave class. Single mothers,
abandoned children, institutionalized men and the neglected elderly are all
dependent on the State and will do as they are told — if they want their
The Frankfurt school was well connected to the government,
particularly the US occupation administration in Germany after World War II. The
resources of the Office of
Strategic Services and its successor, the CIA, were used to
broadcast the Frankfurter's morally weakening message across the
In 1949 John McCloy (the
American High Commissioner for Germany and CIA heavyweight) arranged a special
posting for Max Horkheimer at Frankfurt University. Horkheimer had
written that an outpost in Frankfurt would be necessary to monitor the effects
of American 'anti-prejudice' programs on Germans. In 1950 McCloy funds supported
reestablishment of the Institute for Social Research, directed by
Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno.
intellectuals found a home away from home in the American university
system. After serving with the OSS/CIA they returned to the "Ivory Tower"
and were given plush jobs. Herbert Marcuse went to Columbia University, Harvard,
Brandeis and the University of California at San Diego; Leo Lowenthal
(Office of War Information section chief) went to the University of California,
Berkeley — from where their protégés continue to assert, repeat and spread the
Frankfurt School contagion.
Frankfurters were given jobs analyzing
television and radio content to make sure it had the right messages. Their
suggestions in art and music were promoted at Allied-funded cultural events in
Europe like the “Congress for Cultural
Freedom” — the main organization of the
anti-Stalinist left. The Congress was organized in 1950 by Michael
Josselson with help from Melvin Lasky
Hook and other New York Intellectuals were central figures.
The Rockefeller-funded Museum of
Modern Art in New York (MoMA) was closely linked to the Congress. MoMA was a
private conduit for promoting socialist-inspired art that the 1950s US Congress
would not support.
The Frankfurt School and the New York
Intellectuals developed a common front with non-Jewish elites in the Cold War
struggle to attain the intellectual high ground against Stalinism. But it was an
alliance made with the devil, because, as Kevin
MacDonald has shown, the ideology promoted by
the non-communist left came to be institutionalized as the ideology of Western
suicide. The New York Intellectuals and the Frankfurt School—both movements
dominated by strongly identified Jews — developed a widely disseminated theory,
based on psychoanalysis (itself a Jewish intellectual movement), in which
concern for ethnic displacement and the rise of minority power were indications
of psychopathology. White people with no allegiance to their family, their
country or their race were seen as the epitome of psychological
The Frankfurters and the New York
Intellectuals had a great respect for Western Classical Literature. (This was
typical of other Jewish-dominated anti-nationalist intellectual movements
by Yuri Slezkine.) Shakespeare and the other Western classics would
survive the revolution of the non-communist left, but the rest of Western
culture would have to go, as would the predominant racial group — White
Europeans. They had read Plato and Aristotle very carefully, and for the most
part accepted these writers' conclusions. The Frankfurters were also familiar
with De Sade and Le Bon — and recognized their relevance to Plato. From a
synthesis of these ideas sprung a system for attacking the middle class.
It will not be lost on the reader that the time period in question was also the beginning of the “Civil Rights” movement; the “Sexual Revolution”; and massive third-world immigration to the West. What has been the effect of these things on our society? Are we as a people more or less able to defend our own interests and hold our government accountable? Plato would answer “less.”
Elizabeth Whitcombe (email her) is a graduate of MIT in Economics with a concentration in
International Economics. She is a financial analyst and free-lance writer living
in New York City.