The Nobility of the Working Class(es)

Mythopoeika

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#31
EnolaGaia,

There seems to be a movement back toward the 'tiny house' concept. I think it is a very good idea.

Anyone who is any good at all with his hand can make a very practical small house.

If I were to take it upon myself, and had the spare cash, I would do just this in my garden to make a purpose built workshop/lab/study where I could 'do my own thing'.

I could build in about a foot of insulation all around and heat the place for next to nothing.

I do have a large traditional workshop, but it is cold and damp and not much fun at all.

INT21
I would like to do this myself and save a lot of money on housing. However, here in the UK it is really difficult to do this because of legislation, planning regs and a property industry and investors who want things to stay as they are.
Cheap housing? Can't have that! Prices would be undercut and the market would deflate like a balloon.
 

INT21

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#32
Coal,

..The trick is to spot the behaviours, work them out, realise you don't have to behave 'this way' or 'that way', and figure out what you want. Easy after that. Well 'easier'..

Except.. that when you are brought up in the situation, as virtually everyone is, in a society where most are in the same boat, then the problem isn't obvious. They are 'what is normal' for you. Only years later will it dawn upon you where it all started to go wrong. And the answer is 'right back when I was born'.

By then it is too late and your life has been shaped on what you believed was the right way at the time.

And yes, education and it should be free for all.

INT21.

Back soon.
 

Mungoman

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#33
I reckon that the 'class system' as just another form of taxonomy...and being a conservationist, I have no problem with my place in it.

It's a concept that can be used to explain situations, I find - note that I do not confuse explain with accept, or condone. Those that DO have a problem with it could see that it is an artifact in the truest sense of the word - a mere construct, which can allow us a familiarity in a community.

A class system is a problem only when you believe it and start thinking that people should know their places.
 

INT21

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#34
...A class system is a problem only when you believe it and start thinking that people should know their places...

Or does 'know your place' really mean accept your role in your society. A role that you operate effectively in.

No bosses, no work. No workers, no income. No income, no incentive for people willing to go the extra mile and set up businesses that will employ the people.

(Is that Marxist ?)

I have no problem with my place in society.

No wish to be very wealthy.

INT21
 

Coal

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#35
Except.. that when you are brought up in the situation, as virtually everyone is, in a society where most are in the same boat, then the problem isn't obvious. They are 'what is normal' for you. Only years later will it dawn upon you where it all started to go wrong. And the answer is 'right back when I was born'.

By then it is too late and your life has been shaped on what you believed was the right way at the time
It's never too late in this respect, at least I think so! Turn and face the strange and all that.
 

INT21

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#36
..It's never too late in this respect, at least I think so! Turn and face the strange and all that...

There is an age limit to that. Also it may mean destroying the life of others to whom you are an integral part.

There comes a time when you have to switch to 'acceptance' mode.

I do know where I would have needed to make the change of direction. Right down to the year and month. And the simple decision I would have had to make.

And, knowing what I know now, I would have been part of MGTOW.

INT21
 

Coal

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#37
..It's never too late in this respect, at least I think so! Turn and face the strange and all that...

There is an age limit to that. Also it may mean destroying the life of others to whom you are an integral part.

There comes a time when you have to switch to 'acceptance' mode.

I do know where I would have needed to make the change of direction. Right down to the year and month. And the simple decision I would have had to make.

And, knowing what I know now, I would have been part of MGTOW.

INT21
I had to look that up. I suspect I've been lucky.
 

INT21

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#39
Ramonmercado,

..They all had it easy...

Indeed they did. Now, when I was a lad....

Coal,

Wasn't it Fleetwood Mac who sang 'You can go your own way' ?

Sadly, I was not one of the lucky ones.
But I blame myself for not seeing the signs at the time. A product of my own (unfortunate) decisions.

And, to quote yet another song (by McCartney) 'It's much too late for goodbyes'.

INT21.
 

stu neville

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#40
Class is in itself a summative assessment of dozens of elements. It's not just money, or birth, nor is it education, intelligence, aptitude, manners, culture - it's all of those things and more, on a kind of grid with upper at the top and lower at the bottom. There are plenty of articles, documentaries etc about skint aristocrats living in crumbling stately homes, for example. Their breeding and accents are as cut as the glass they've had to sell, to be bought by idiotic reality stars with a squillion quid but all the decorum of the bottom of a budgie's cage. Conversely, the most natively intelligent person I've ever met - and I've met some frighteningly bright people - grew up on a bleak council estate, his dad a bricklayer, his mum a school dinner lady. But, visit their house, and the shelves were well stocked with good literature and diverse albums. His folks came from the post war generation that just missed the burgeoning equality of opportunity that burned brightly for thirty years or so before the ranks closed back in, and austerity closed the door on many a clever and hardworking individual. It's tempting to speculate that if they had been born just a decade later his parents could have entered Higher Ed and their lives would be different, but that in itself is patronising in the extreme as it suggests that his dad never wanted to be a bricklayer - which actually he did. He loved it and was brilliant at it. His mother wanted to stay at home whilst the kids were growing up, so a term-time job in the local school was perfect.

To take it back in the other direction, I briefly moved in the same circle as the Hon XXXXXXXXXX . Nice chap. Very well dressed, very well mannered, lovely car, lovely flat. Probably the thickest person I've ever met. Made Tim Nice-but-dim sound like Stephen Fry. He had a job as a management consultant (god help his clients). His fiancee, the Hon XXXXXXX was an aloof, abrupt debutante snob, with clear disdain for anyone from the lower orders however worthy. You knew she'd make his life a misery. I have no idea what happened to them after that.

I do know, however, which people I had more fun with, more engaging conversations with, saw more perspectives and viewpoints with. And they were the ones who couldn't care less about "class". As a result I like and respect people for who they are, and how they are with others, and what they've achieved for themselves. I can see class, and quantify it to a degree as I think most British people innately can - but equally I think fewer and fewer Britons in particular attach much if any importance to it. Equality of opportunity and standard of living are our new metrics, and that divide is becoming starker than ever.
 

Mythopoeika

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#41
Yep.
I know the daughter of a baronet. She's a little bit dim and speaks a little bit posh, or a bit East End - depending on the situation. She's been homeless twice; once she ended up on the streets around King's Cross and the other time in a caravan in a field (after going bankrupt and losing her house).
Having 'class' and 'breeding' does not automatically mean that a person is wealthy or has influence.
 

Coal

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#42
Equality of opportunity and standard of living are our new metrics, and that divide is becoming starker than ever.
Yep, this.
Having 'class' and 'breeding' does not automatically mean that a person is wealthy or has influence.
...or in fact anything out of the ordinary at all.
 
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INT21

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#43
It can give access to an 'old boys' network that can be very useful.
The problem with this is that it sometimes means that the wrong people are selected for positions simply because they know the right people.

INT21.
 

Yithian

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#44
Equality of opportunity and standard of living are our new metrics, and that divide is becoming starker than ever.
And we're going backwards by both measures.

I went through my undergraduate degree as a member of the last year not to pay fees (indeed, LEA grants still existed). When originally introduced, fees began at a modest level, but the current £9,250 for a minimum of three years is going to either a) price out all but the economically comfortable or b) (via loans) more likely prove a millstone around the necks of new graduates and still further delay the point at which they begin to contribute financially to the exchequer via indirect taxation (by spending!).

Already, at the same time, the places at the best universities are being disproportionately filled by non-state (or at least non-comprehensive state) school leavers. I don't believe that that's a direct result of social discrimination ('classism'), but more simply the fact that (in general) privately educated children receive a better education, one that is geared specifically towards preparing them for university. They walk into an academic interview with a great advantage that comes from familiarity and mindset far more than from accent or geographic origin. Of the British students attending my own alma mater, 61% are state-school educated, but once you include the grammar-school mob from the South and Northern Ireland you aren't too far away from 50/50. That is in a country where 90% or so are state educated--this is bad.

Why? Well, that 'good degree' that is moving out of reach might not make you a better person, but it does bring a whole new tier of employment into the realms of the possible while, at the same time, increasing the chance that you know people, the kind of people who will, ultimately, make your life easier: doctors, dentists, lawyers, academics etc. It's not a case of 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'--or even an old boys' network, but rather that your friends are in a position to help and--being your friends--will try to do so. I don't want to go into personal details, but examples that spring to my mind are:
  • A friend in law helping another friend of ours to overcome immigration issues for their then partner (now husband)
  • A private doctor treating a friend's mother at no cost after she suffered a serious fall.
  • A friend in banking securing another friend's brother a bank loan on more favourable terms than he could have otherwise secured.
When you've run a double filter to reduce first the chance of academic success for those that cannot afford to pay for schooling and second the chance of academic success for those who cannot afford university fees, you're not merely letting society petrify, you're hiring teams of Gorgons to wander around staring at people all day.

I'm an ardent believer in meritocracy, one who has been very fortunate in life, but what I see today is a system that (if not actually designed to do so) promotes selection by wealth, not ability. In many respects I hold conservative views, but I hate unfairness and see nothing valuable to conserve in a setup that makes it more likely that the less able rise to the top and shape future society.
 
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INT21

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#45
I can relate, without any twinge of conscious, an episode that can be looked on in more than one light,

Years ago I applied for a job with a company. Later I found out that around 300 people had applied. I got through to the second round alongside six others. Up until this point the applications had been by written means only.

Come the 'face to face' interviews both the interviewer and I realised we knew each other.

I got the job.

Now, before people start shouting 'shame', unfair etc. let me explain.

The job was for a mechanics post. And the interviewer was a glider pilot.

I had met him when I worked on his glider tug at an aviation company.

So he had some real world idea of my competence. Something he didn't have with any of the other applicants.

I see nothing unfair about it. He picked someone who he knew could do the work.

I also am a believer in merit.

Sadly as the march of progress moves relentlessly forward, it will be much harder for people to gain practice experience in their chosen field.

INT21.
 

Coal

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#46
'm an ardent believer in meritocracy, one who has been very fortunate in life, but what I see today is a system that (if not actually designed to do so) promotes selection by wealth, not ability. In many respects I hold conservative views, but I hate unfairness and see nothing valuable to conserve in a setup that makes it more likely that the less able rise to the top and shape future society.
Very nicely put.

I worry also that the quality of the university education many are receiving today isn't comparable to that 'in my day'. If you make a comparison between my workload in a Physics/Electronics degree and a latter day engineering degree (with the exception of Chemical Engineering), then I had 8 modules to complete. Seven of these were examined, and one was a lab/practical module. Two of the modules were maths. Neither were 'remedial'. I had about 24 hours of lectures a week.

I had 7 two-hour exams at the end of my first year. All subjects had 4 during term worksheets that had to be attempted and handed in. Or you failed the module. Five of those modules had experiments as part of the practical module, which had to be completed and turned in, or you failed the module. The marks of the work-sheets counted towards the model end-mark as did the practical for that module.

The first year was worth 1/6th of your final mark. You had to pass (at a 3rd level) 5/8 half modules to progress to year two, and that had to include the two maths modules...and so on, with 1/3rd of your mark on the second year and 1/2 you marks on the final year.

Currently the work-also in engineering appears to be (based on discussion with 'younger' students) 2 two-hour exams twice a year and the first year mark are often disregarded in the final mark. I've also interviewed a score of graduates for engineering roles in electronics, most of whom had MSc's and they all appeared to know less electronics than I learnt in day-release before I went to uni. Many of them can write some code, but that's only part of the role. Most of them could barely express themselves in writing.

I also rather worry about the disparity in degree strengths. Compare the 22 hours hours a week lectures for chemical engineering to the 3 of a first year psychology under-graduate (those are real figures from this year at a 'good' university). How can that possibly be appropriate? It's worse it that some people think those degrees are equivalent, they most clearly are not so.

In the UK at least, we've got two-tier education, reinforced by an off-putting debt burden on those who can least afford it and we are churning out quantities of sub-parr degrees in subjects that are of dubious value to the individual and the country as a whole. It's looking more and more like long-term indentured slavery.
 

Coal

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#47
I see nothing unfair about it. He picked someone who he knew could do the work.

I also am a believer in merit.

Sadly as the march of progress moves relentlessly forward, it will be much harder for people to gain practice experience in their chosen field.
I predict that structured and recorded interviews will become mandatory under corporate law in the next decade.
 
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