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A few years ago I did a lazy quote diary of Galbraith's the new industrial state:
In recent times education has become the difference that divides. All who have educational advantage, as with the moneyed of an earlier day, are reminded of their noblesse oblige and also of the advantages of reticence. They should help those who are less fortunate; they must avoid reflectig aloud on their advantage in knowledge. But this doesn't serve to paper over the conflict. It is visible in almost any community.

Thus a part of the country with a high rate of accommodation to the requirements of the planning system, i.e., a good educational system and a well-qualified working force, will attract industry and have a strong aspect of well-being. It will be the natural Canaan of the more energetic among those who were brn in less favoured communities. This for long explained the migration from the South, Southwest and border states to California, the upper Middle  West and the eastern seaboard. Many of these migrants were unqualified for employment in the planning system. They thus contributed heavily to welfare and unemployment rolls in the communities to which they moved. The nature of the opprobium to which they were subject is indicated by the appellations that sometimes still are applied to them--hillbillies, Okies, junglebunnies. It is not that they were and are poorer but that they were and are culturally deprived. It is such groups, not the working proletariat, that now react in resentment and violence to their subordination.

Politics also reflects the new division. In the United States suspicion or resentment is no longer directed at the capitalists or the merely rich. It is the intellectuals--the effete snobs--who are eyed with misgiving and alarm. This should surprise no one. Nor should it be a matter of surprise when semiliterate millionnaires turn up leading or financing the ignorant in struggle against the intellectually privileged and content. This further reflects the relevant class distinction in our time.

Are things so different 50 years later? Galbraith was talking about unqualified workers becoming a permanent underclass. Now it is the manufacturing workers, qualified or not. But the cultural divide and the role of education are as important now as then.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:55:42 AM EST
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