Blogs > Cliopatria > Class Warfare?

May 4, 2005 4:33 pm

Class Warfare?

Everywhere you turn you hear it: class warfare. One expects the peasants to storm the barricades at the White House. Republicans charge that Democrats are engaging in class warfare in denoucning tax breaks for the wealthy. Democrats charge that it's the Republicans who are engaging in class warfare by designing policies that expressly benefit the wealthy.

The NYT reports that the fear of class warfare extends abroad as well. According to the morning paper Mexico's new rising star, Mexico City Mayor Lopez Obrador, is identified with the class warfare approach of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

Everybody should relax. Class warefare is so 19th century.

What is everybody worried about? Marx was wrong. It is not class warfare that motivates people, it is national;ism. You want to get people riled up? Tell them something that gets their patriotic blood boiling. It's nationalism that is changing the world--in China, America, Iraq and elsewhere--not class warfare.

It is not that socieites have become classless. It is just that classes have becme less hostile to each other.

This is one of the themes in John Lukacs's new book, POPULISM AND DEMOCRACY. I recommend it highly even though I deplore his attitudes toward gays.

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