In the current issue of Dissent magazine, Lillian Rubin asks, "Why Don't They Listen to Us?"-- referring to America's working class.
The title of her article says it all. "They"; "Us"; "Listen." The wise experts have spoken, but have lost their audience.
For 40 years the established, bourgeois Left has ignored the working class, have put class issues at the bottom of their priorities, and wonder now where everyone has gone.
THE PROBLEM is that a coterie of well-credentialed authorities embedded within academies and foundations have appointed themselves as spokespersons for Americans-- instead of letting us speak for ourselves.
THE PROBLEM is a refusal to move away from outmoded thought patterns of old-fashioned polarizing categories of "Right" and "Left" which keep well-paid ideologues in both camps in the money but do little for the populace.
THE PROBLEM is that potential working class spokespersons have sold out to the other side. Average guy Right-wing pied piper Sean Hannitty reaches people because he sounds not like a wonk, but like one of them. He worked his way up, as he never fails to remind people. The question Dissent should ask is, how did they lose him?
(Hannity spoke recently about America's need for energy independence. He was cynically shilling for drilling in ANWAR-- but one could tell how effective he would be IF he believed what he was saying and broadened his horizons.)
As Mike Jackman has said in the past, "Do-It-Yourself" should also be "Do-It-Ourselves." Average working people don't need refined tweedy experts who see us as "the Other" speaking FOR us. Better that we speak for ourselves. We have to push our own strong voices to the forefront. That's what the Underground Literary Alliance is about.