(with apologies to The Weakerthans) Dennis Perrin has a pretty good critique of why left/progressive ideas have trouble gaining traction among those who might benefit the most from them. My favourite bit:
“American consumer culture has many working people believing that maybe, someday, they too will be rich, and besides, there are more important things to worry about, like keeping queers from recruiting their kids, or making sure that the Mexicans stay on their side of town, and don’t you know that you can save money by shopping at Wal-Mart?”
I wonder to what extent any of us can counter the consumer culture narrative of life consisting of a serious of stages of purchasing power with the prospect held out to all that the highest level is within reach. And if it isn’t, don’t you know how easy it is to get a subprime mortage… oh wait… Sigh.