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Preventing Hillary’s Syndrome Spreading To Europe – OpEd

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Working Class Vs Middle Class, another way of reading Trump vs. Hillary.

Some reflections, with the support of John Lennon, to prevent Hillary’s syndrome spreading in Europe.

“Working Class Hero”

As soon as you’re born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Months ago, when Trump was not yet a factor, writing to the director of the Center where I have the honor to be Senior Fellow, I told him that Bernie would beat Trump, but Trump would beat Hillary. May be it looked strange to make that forecast at that time, but I repeated it to him over and over, because my assurance was based on the different relations the three potential contenders had with working class and middle class.

Along John Lennon, working class people can be so depicted

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool
Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Howard Zinn, a great American history scholar author of the authentic masterpiece, “A People’s history of United States” in addition to be a great scholar was also an extraordinary gentle man and whenever he was talking of his life he was pointing out that he belonged to the “working class” and he usually added that American sociologists try to forget that there is a working class, and they ignore it, but it does exist (as Hillary discovered).

When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

The reason to cancel in USA that sociological entity is strictly related to the Marxist origin of the concept. Society, viewed as a fight between classes, is something American sociologists refuse and the model of development of USA has largely justified their assumption that a sort of unified, though very much income articulated society, is possible in terms of internal economic development. That was true and lasted for decades. Then came the big crisis of 2008.
When economy grows, sociological entities remain nice chapters of books, but when the economy is not growing they come back to reality, that is to say, they become reference for contrasting interests of group of people and conflicting different ways to pursuing wealth.

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Last American crisis was largely viewed as a Middle Class crisis and politicians were divided in those who wanted to save the Middle class (Obama) and those who kept working against it (Republicans). However the working class was not forgot by Obama. He promised policies in both directions, and he won. In a question and answer session with journalist Obama’s press secretary said.. “we saw block of people voting for Obama 8 years ago and do it again four years ago.. they voted for Trum nos.. we don’t know why..”. A possible explanation is that eight years later Hillary Clinton referred herself only to the Middle class, and forgetting that there is a real dramatic crisis felt by the Working class, she was not talking to them. She even in an unfortunate statement despised them “ a basket of deplorable… ”. Trump instead purposely forgot the middle class and decided to take care only of the working class. That is why he won the game.

Sociologists, at least those working for Hillary, had not understood that middle class and working class are totally different entities. When Middle class people are short of work they read newspapers, attend conferences, select proper tv programs, when working class people are short of work they look around to see if somebody is stealing their work. Working class people don’t read the New York Times editorials, they read color of skin and read ethnic origin of working competitors.

There’s room at the top they’re telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

What Hillary’s people didn’t understand were basically two points:

1. Crisis of working class people in 2016 was more important that crisis of middle class people, because nobody was offering them a solution. They felt abandoned.

2. In addition what Hillary’s political communication strategists didn’t understand was that focusing all the time to the bullish attitude of Trump was strengthening his position instead of weakening it. When work is not available, and you can’t pay the rent, focusing on machismo of a contender was viewed as snobbish attitude by those who can pay the rent.

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When I wrote to the director of the center, it was sure in my mind that Hillary for culture, education and past state roles, would refer to middle class, and not to the working class, while for culture, education and personal political history, Bernie would be speaking to working class and to middle class, and therefore had he been competing with Trump, he would be now the well deserved 45th President.

Hillary was too much involved with middle class icons and symbols, and unfortunately many media courted her to stay that way. Which was exactly what Trump wanted so that to the working class people he could say

If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

In Europe politician are making the same terrible Hillary’s mistake, over and over. Since working class is not anymore channeled into unions and leftist parties (which by the way have become a conglomerate of minorities complains, a sort of charity reference encyclopedia, not a proper economic policy specific guide), European politicians fail to understand that they have to provide home for them. Home which reflects their concrete needs, work, not philosophical socio gathering together principles . If they don’t do it, as at the present they don’t do it, the working class people have no other chance to be heard that referring themselves to rightist political structures. When that happens, and it will increasingly happen, liberal politicians confuse the result of their deficiencies to deal with working class, with the DNA cultural shortcomings of working class people … “a basket of deplorable..”.. I call this terrible political mistake, Hillary’s syndrome. Brexit comes out of the Hillary’s syndrome. The concentration on working class under Le Pen is another manifestation of that syndrome. And that syndrome will spread everywhere.

The healing from that syndrome is easy: working class people want to get back their work, and since they are different from the middle class, until they don’t get back their work they read less and will vote for those people that will promise to give back their work, no matter which way. A liberal party should take care of that legitimate request – offer less readings and more work – which by the way is what makes rich a country as a preliminary step for making up a cultivated middle class.

To heal Hillary’s syndrome and prevent in Europe a total shift to the right, someone has to bring back work to the working class, otherwise they will move in mass to the right. Work is work. Somebody has to bring it back to the western world. I am curious to see if in America, Trump is able to do that. My guess is that he will do it. Too smart to betray his true political basis. In any case let’s give him a fair chance to do that without demonizing him.


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Umberto Sulpasso

Umberto Sulpasso

Umberto Sulpasso, senior Fellow of Center for Digital Future Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California has a Degree in Economics in Italy and MBA from Columbia University. Has been teaching in different countries Economy of Knowledge, and publishing books and directing ecnclopedias. His most recent publication has been Darwinomics where for the first time the model of GDKP was announced.

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