In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to vent my spleen about the people who cause the most problems in my community, especially because I hear so much poisonous rhetoric on the other side, targeting the poor. I’m not a fan of class warfare, but when served, I will answer. It’s always shameful and small to pick on someone weaker than you, and it’s always heroic to stand up to a bully. The way I see it, in this current class war, unless you are squarely allied with the poor, you work for the rich.
If you take sides with the rich, in this war, you deserve a punishment a thousand times worse than my stinging words. In this war between the rich and the poor, the middle-class becomes the battlefield, and no one deserves to be pounded into a smoking heap of rubble and ash more than the American middle-class, because the middle-class acts as the mercenary army of the super-rich.
The poor have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by standing up to their oppressors, while the middle-class face trauma and disillusionment, as they slowly wake up to the fact that, in this war, they were the bad guys all along, who wasted their lives, and the planet, on a fantasy lifestyle, that became an economic and environmental monstrosity beyond their darkest nightmares.
When you’ve sold your life for trinkets and find yourself on the wrong side of history, denial becomes a coping mechanism For the rich, losing the class war compares to losing the civil war. Resentments and prejudice will linger, as today’s middle-class conservatives becomes the bitter poor white crackers of the future.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for us here in SoHum. Here in SoHum we have no class, and that’s a kind of poverty that unites us all, from the richest dope yuppie, to the most wretched street urchin, so why should we let class war divide us? We shouldn’t! We should recognize that we’re all poor. Really, I pity us all.
Why do we work so goddamn hard? Why do we break laws and sell our weed to out of state drug dealers? We do it because we don’t have enough money, right. If we don’t have enough money, it means that some of our wants and needs will go unmet. Am I wrong? Unmet needs equals poverty, and poverty means you’re poor. So face it! We’re all poor. It’s really true. I don’t care how entranced you are with your trinkets, or how jealous you are of anyone else’, we all live in poverty, and our lives are being stolen from us right before our eyes.
That said, everything we do to make life easier for poor people, makes life easier for us. Think about it. What are the chances that you, or any of your progeny will find yourselves counted among the nations wealthiest one-tenth of one percent? It could happen. You could hit the lottery. Your new cannabis start-up could blow-up big, or your daughter could marry a rich old guy with a heart condition, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
On the other hand, what are the chances that you, or any of your kids or grandchildren might find yourself short on cash with no place to crash, or be blessed with a personality ill-suited for gainful employment, or fall victim to alcoholism, or become addicted to drugs, or for some other reason, fail to thrive, economically? I don’t know the exact odds, but I’d bet on it, if I were you.
That’s why it always makes sense to make life easier for poor people. When you make life easier for poor people, you make life easier for yourself. I’m not saying we have to spend a lot of money to help the poor, but if we at least stop paying people to punish, harass, and humiliate them, we’d all be ahead. If we could recognize that a lot of people who live here will never earn enough to money to afford a place to live under our current system of building codes and zoning ordinances, we could begin to solve a lot of problems by changing the system, instead of trying to change people. People don’t need more money; people need a place to be. Life is hard enough, let’s not make it any harder.
When you make life easier for poor people, you make life easier for your self, and you make the world richer for everyone, because making it easier to be poor, lowers everyone’s stress level, which benefits everyone, and makes it easier to be an artist, craftsman, musician, poet or writer; you make it possible for the people who don’t care so much about making money, to put their energy into the things that really matter to them. When you make life easier for poor people, you make life better for everyone, and you encourage a flourishing culture. That’s why they call New Orleans “The Big Easy.” and that’s why people love it.
People who appreciate an easy life and a flourishing culture, have class. Punishing the poor for their poverty only fuels their resentment, and perpetuates class war. So, we have a choice: We can have some class, or we can have class war. We’re all poor, and we all need somewhere to get out of the weather this winter. We can solve this problem together, or we can make more problems for each other. It’s up to us.