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I think this is your best Substack yet.

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thanks!

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by Ed West

Jack would really be into Rogan and Jordan Peterson, and he'd buy bitcoin from some startup that Cal Hockley's company financed.

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definitely

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Mar 2, 2022Liked by Ed West

I'm writing from the United States. While the US didn't have the multilayered and entrenched class systems of Britain, it still had classes and it still manifested itself in just about everything. I'm reminded of a family lunch with an aged great-aunt in her mid 90s (now long departed), the last of her generation. In the course of the lunch the topic, as always, veered to family stories and recollections of various long-gone forebears. A cousin genially asked what her mother (our great-grandmother) had done before she married in the early 1900s. The great aunt drew herself up, gave the poor cousin "the look" and firmly said, "Mother didn't work. She was a lady."

The mother in question was a respectable, well brought up woman from a respectable family and who married a respectable man and went on to have a respectable life. The notion of respectability as a key component of social history is something that seems to have disappeared and is even outright ignored, despite the enormous cultural weight it played in western societies, both in America and Britain and Europe. And it wasn't strictly tied to wealth or socio-economic class either, although it did overlay it. The beau ideal American lady and gentleman was comfortably off and mannered and respectable, but the concept still affected the outlooks and expectations of less affluent Americans who sought to behave, act, and define themselves by principles of respectability. I suppose one reason why respectability and even class in general is rarely a popular topic in modern critical theory era is because women were equally complicit in rather than a victim of the class system and arbitrators of respectability. They were likely even more powerful as an enforcer of "respectable mores," which, at its worst, probably did help establish dividing lines between haves and have nots.

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by Ed West

Thank you. I like the way you cover such diverse topics.

My own small observation on just one point. Both of my grandfathers were working class and adults by the 1930s. I’m really not sure either had any social prestige, huge or otherwise and definitely weren’t feared by social superiors. Looked down upon I believe was more likely. I’m not entirely sure that was a thing. 🤷‍♂️

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maybe as individuals less so that a group...

this decline of working-class male power is far more pronounced in the US, of course

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

Yes i agree with that. Due to globalisation/deindustrialisation. I would further add it’s white working class male power that has declined. But it’s not a zero sum game is it? It’s a relative decline perhaps? Life wasn’t wine and roses for the working class in most of history. Material conditions are better today. I think when we talk about white working class “power” perhaps you mean a golden post WWII period in the US that didn’t last long and is an historical anomaly?

Before WWII working class males were either cannon fodder or the ones who had to do the very dangerous manual work no one else could or would. Such as coal mining. Again, without wanting to be totally contrary, a life of manual hard labour wasn’t exactly fun. The “dignity” of industrial work is a trope. Something the Church and other elites propagated to make the masses feel better about themselves?

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