There are people who run from the bourgeoisie and it’s culture. They feel they must. PTAs. (Or is it PTOs now?) Boy Scouts. Property rights. Religion. Sexual modesty. And so on. I saw these people all the time in Washington. (Back in another era. Things are a bit more mixed up now.) About half were upper middle class kids trying to fit in in. The other half were mostly trutifarians subsidized by their parent’s money and power. All of these dolts read Washingtonian (or did). All of them held anything beyond the Beltway in contempt. (Unless it was in New York.) Indeed they held America in many respects in contempt. This is one of the reasons even the Republicans hated the TEA Party they way they did.
“Middle class values of honesty, charity, just plain decency? Those things are for chumps. Do you think Bill Clinton got to where he is by adhering to bourgeois values? Ha! Oooh, I think West Wing is on.”
I don’t agree with everything in the attached piece. The author would probably see drug legalization as a terrible idea. (Or at least I think he would.) He might not like homosexuality with which I don’t have a problem. I am a libertarian and so the property rights, treating people with respect, minding one’s own business bit of bourgeois culture is the most import part to me. But to dismiss the author’s other concerns, things that concern me less, would be folly.
Still, legal cannabis is a good thing. The Victorians had it and they did fine.
(From The Tax Prof Blog)
Would the re-embrace of bourgeois norms by the ordinary Americans who have abandoned them significantly reduce society’s pathologies? There is every reason to believe so. Among those who currently follow the old precepts, regardless of their level of education or affluence, the homicide rate is tiny, opioid addiction is rare, and poverty rates are low. Those who live by the simple rules that most people used to accept may not end up rich or hold elite jobs, but their lives will go far better than they do now. All schools and neighborhoods would be much safer and more pleasant. More students from all walks of life would be educated for constructive employment and democratic participation.
But restoring the hegemony of the bourgeois culture will require the arbiters of culture — the academics, media, and Hollywood — to relinquish multicultural grievance polemics and the preening pretense of defending the downtrodden. Instead of bashing the bourgeois culture, they should return to the 1950s posture of celebrating it.
These basic cultural precepts reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. They could be followed by people of all backgrounds and abilities, especially when backed up by almost universal endorsement. Adherence was a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period.