Which culture war then Owen?

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Spare a moment for Liz Truss, minister for women and equalities, whose literacy and numeracy skills were apparently damaged by being educated about discrimination. “While we were taught about racism and sexism,” she claimed, reflecting on her childhood schooling, “there was too little time spent making sure everyone could read and write”.

It was a sentence that encapsulated the spirit of her flagship speech this week: misguided efforts to tackle entrenched bigotries against minorities hinder efforts to address the basic needs of the majority. It’s clear that the Conservatives intend to encourage resentment of those who advocate equality to further stoke a culture war. But there was another key takeaway from the speech: the chutzpah of a British right that has spent a decade stripping away social provision now claiming that the left is fixated on “identity politics” at the expense of class-based inequalities.

The thing being that there are rather a lot of us out here who think that class based inequalities aren’t of paramount importance. Even, that they don;t exist very much. And that a concentration upon them is indeed a culture war. Which, given that it is actually a culture war seems a sensible enough thing to believe.

Don’t forget, of the two miasmic horrors of the 20th century only one is unfashionable currently. A recommendation to invade Poland and turn people into soap will get you jailed these days. A recommendation to invade Poland and eliminate the bourgeoisie as a class gets you a book contract.

Quite seriously, I have a new book on my desk, from a major publisher, where a bloke recommends “environmental Leninism” and thinks “war communism for the climate” is a sensible idea. You know, invading Poland in 1920?

There is already a culture war going on and it’s not the conservatives – nor Conservatives – leading the charge.

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Spike
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Spike

“Conservatives intend to encourage resentment…to further stoke a culture war” – The outrage isn’t my opinions but your opposition to them!

No, I don’t think class warfare is a paramount concern. But screw me, I don’t even think a new entrant to the couple hundred cold/flu pathogens is a paramount concern, nor the notion we are killing the planet via cheap gasoline.

Mohave Greenie
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Mohave Greenie

One of the best things we can do for all classes is to give them a good basic education. My grandmother was a teacher in a one room log cabin schoolhouse at the turn of the last century. She had a polyglot group of kids to teach, with many of the parents not speaking English at home or able to read or write. She managed to impart a good basic education to all of those students. My father was born in the US, but only spoke German at home. He got into some trouble when he refused to speak English… Read more »

Snarkus
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Snarkus

indeed. Once the peasants have relearned “learned helplessness” then chiving them around is easy. Docility toward experts and authorities and all that. A literate and numerate populace can read, learning that some things ain’t necessarily so. Another reason to stash the Great Books and a many others where book burner antidiscriminatory twatter users cant find them

Addolff
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Addolff

Snarkus, it’s easy to get people to do something if you’re an ‘expert’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

TD
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TD

My father and his brothers all left school at 14, which they said was typical of the Irish culture in the ‘20s and ‘30s. No one ever considered that they would remain in school passed the legal leaving age. Yet they were all literate and numerate and generally achieved some success in life. Our house was always filled with books. The priests and nuns of that era knew they didn’t have much time to impart an education into their pupils so they they beat one in (sometimes literally).