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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

Us middle classes are always the worst!

First off, I am begrudgingly an apt illustration of what it is to be part of these awful chattering classes.

With the self-deprecation that we Brits so love cast aside, it has to be acknowledged that we are just as much a society unfairly divided as ever. Winners and losers. We middling sort then often bob around in the nondescript most non-descroipt, tut-tutting over how awful and unjust so many things in the world are in our offering insightful comments on how to best rectify the state of things. This is all the time from the sidelines of course. What I think would be a significant improvement here, would be if the middling sort could use a bit more productive self-recognition.

Central to this I believe, is to recognise just how fortunate our kind are. In this, I feel that a sign of maturity should be to acknowledge ourselves as just as much part of the problem as being a victim to the supposed brutality of the system. To me, this is all a simple part of recognising your own privilege. Taking the onus away from external factors that we do not have the direct ability to control and placing it upon ourselves is always a challenge; blaming, rather than appreciating is always easier.

Less effort being a victim ourselves, rather than actively aiming to help others. Which is a shame, as the latter option is always far more rewarding and must have a much more attainable sense of value than the fruitless anger at having to deal with the fact that you’re forced to feel so let down by a system that you’ve been active in fuelling its propagation. I’ve been a definite extoller of the elitist values in our system, albeit subconsciously as our societal structure always ensures that we are so entrenched in feeding capitalism.

Middle classes are always the worst hypocrites in this. Examples can always be found of people having reaped just about every channel of privilege taking it as nothing other than for granted. A large proportion of this predictably comes from your social capital. So often people seem unappreciative of benefits that we are so unused to being framed as – what is their rightful place – the advantage that they so often unfairly witness. If we are to accept wealth, for example, as bringing the obvious advantage of privilege that is does, should we then also not see such factors as being from a stable nuclear family, having a high IQ, being white etc. etc. as carrying equal unjust advantage? Then to judge anybody on any of these factors surely carries with it the same quantity of primitiveness.

What I feel as though I’m trying to get out is that middle class issues are often astute examples of people in glass houses throwing stones, in that they are so quick to criticise a system that has served them in no other way beyond well. I’m certainly not opposed to feeling that much in our system needs an entire reworking. At least I’m trying to show an awareness of the pragmatist within me in the hope being more genuine than the quinoa munching do-gooders who seem too often like to appear revolutionary i.e. fake.

All class distinctions are such abstract terms that can be so misinterpreted, open to many controversies and even ridden with shamefulness. As accepting of being middle class (hipster or whatever you may wish to call it) disposition, I’ll have to confess that I still do such petty things such as relishing the fact that I am the first generation of my immediate family to go to university and feel that it does equip me with an appreciation for just how entitled, stuffy and underappreciate many people that fall outside of this spectrum automatically could come across. Not that any of this can ever be anybody’s fault or responsibility.

In this, I feel that the middle classes could so great. This is if they, instead of attempting to exploit the fragility of their position through clinging on to its exclusivity through offering differing qualities of education based on either money paid to receive it through direct payments for private education, or taking examinations for selective schooling. We just need to abate this vicious channeling of privilege.

Perhaps then we could just enjoy the luxuries enjoyed in our record players, Clarks shoes as children, time spent holidaying abroad, the Woodcraft Folk, having a university experience and the list goes on. Joining in mocking ourselves through the plethora of our traits that so allow and actually focusing on all that’s positive about our ridiculousness has to be the best way for us to go forward!

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