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08 September 2011


Allen Young

This is about semantics and how successful the ruling class has been in the vocabulary war, especially Republicans, aided by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and others. However, the 30s and the 60s are gone, and I think instead of looking at the way people like us expressed ourselves in the past, we have to work on something new. That is, if we aren't too tired and worn out by politics (as I am, probably more so than you.)I used to end messages with "In the struggle," but I no longer do. I have a friend who ends messages with "Keep on keeping on." Nice, but it's not catching on, is it? I'm optimistic only about the young people who are enthusiastic about small farms, green energy and so on -- as they seem to be the only ones making some progress. Are they middle class or working class? I don't know, but they don't think in those terms.

Sue Katz

There's a lot of truth in what you write, Allen, but being working class (ie that's how I grew up) has always been so very fundamental to my personal identity that I refuse to let it go. And yes, I'm tired and despondent indeed.

ita Connolly

Allen's point about the sematic success of the ruling class well taken. Would add that it was not just to use fluffier words but to change conciousness. That worked. Unions as big institutions have not only bought into the semantic change but helped create the change in conciousness. That has not helped to foster a strong Union movement or Union consciousness amoung workers. Language matters. I believe it is importaant to use words with meaning even if it requires stopping to explain that meaning. It is a damned steep hill and we are all tired.

"Working families"--give me a break.

Sue Katz

I'm so relieved to find out that others agree with me because I simply cringe every time I hear "working families" or see a union leader talking about "attacks on the middle class." Thanks Rita - I agree that language really does matter.

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