Astute quote of the month: The elites don't think of you and me as citizens | Wis.Community

Astute quote of the month: The elites don't think of you and me as citizens

Lewis H. Lapham, editor of Lapham's Quarterly and former editor of Harper’s Magazine,

Americans with jobs imagine they now work longer and harder hours than did their forebears on Mark Twain’s Missouri frontier; if so, their labor serves a purpose other than the one in hand. Finance accounted for 47% of total U.S. corporate profits in 2007; 58% of Harvard University’s male graduates in that same year (the heirs and assigns of Woodrow Wilson’s small class of persons deserving of a liberal education) took up careers as high-end traffickers in the drug of debt. It’s a lucrative trade, up to the standard of the cotton export from the dear old antebellum South. That it doesn’t add to the sum of human happiness or meaning is probably why the gentry on the lawns of Connecticut, together with their upper servants in Washington and the news media, talk about the lost battalion of America’s unemployed as a set of conveniently invisible numbers rather than as a body of fellow citizens.

Lapham's fuller commentary, with great historical background:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175375/tomgram%3A_lewis_lapham%2C_consum...

Published

April 12, 2011 - 12:02pm

Author

randomness