The State of the English Middle Class: An Introduction

This is the first in a series on the English middle class from the perspective of a man raised in an upper middle class family. I would like to, in later pieces, go into detail on the social and economic changes which happened in Britain between the 18th and 21st century, and the effects of modernity upon the middle class, but what I will be consecrating on in this piece and the next few to come is the mindset of the modern, alive middle class and their generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials.


Being middle class in England today is an eternal struggle to enter the upper classes to impress your social group. I use the phrase “social group” because these are not healthy friendships, they are usually mutual partnerships that only exist to help each other acquire more wealth. The people in these social groups will have, in most cases, no common interests to share and, more importantly, no history built up over time together. Because of this lack of history and the idea that friendships can be built upon mutual gain of capital, you will find most of the middle class not wanting to take part in the traditions of their forefathers for fear of being seen as “little Englanders” — plebeians — which would lead to them being ostracised from these so-called social groups. The most you will see a middle class Englishman who does not want to commit social suicide identify as is “British,” and, in some groups, that is considered too Right-wing, depending on if the family you are looking at is neoconservative or Leftist.

You can usually tell which side these people belong to, not by asking their politics, but by how they describe their fellow white English working class brethren. The Leftist will describe them as ungrateful racists with no culture or history; as they themselves believe that they do not have such things, they like to project this onto the English as a whole. The neoconservative, on the other hand, sees the working class Englishman as an expensive, inefficient tool that can easily be replaced by more cost efficient foreign imports. The best way to see what both middle class groups have in common is the hysteria that came out of the E.U. referendum result (Brexit). Both sides of the aisle, neoconservatives and Leftist alike, taking it in turns to rail against the “filthy, xenophobic plebeians” of the white working class; their rhetoric essentially boiling down to, “How to dare these people with an identity want to defend it! Identity is for lesser beings, I don’t have an identity, therefore no one should.” Both groups are very much, to use simple terms, globalists, and share a common hatred for anything related to, or what they perceive to be, nationalism.

Unlike the other classes in England, the middle class does not vote according to what it believes to be best for the country, rather, it sees voting as a time to, more importantly, socially signal to other people of like minds in their social groups; further, such people will never discuss actual party policy as they do not want to upset the balance in their said groups. This is especially true in Left-leaning social circles, whilst the average neoconservative might discuss economic policy but won’t touch social conservatism out of fear of being labelled an “extremist.” I can personally remember a time where I said publicly that I liked Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg, and the response from the majority of the room was, “But he is a Catholic!” or, “There is no place for his social views in a modern Conservative Party.” From my encounters with the average Tory Party supporter and member, I think it would be safer to rename it the “Capitalist Party,” as there only seems to be social conservatism on the back benches with small support from party members. The only exception to what I have stated is the rural conservative middle class, which still clings to its English identity somewhat. However, as it is small in numbers and its cultural influence is minimal, it has little effect on the country. The reason why I make the distinction between the rural conservative and the urban neoconservative is because there is still a great deal of social conservatism within these rural communities, some sense of what is spiritually and culturally English. I would encourage young Englishmen who have not had a chance to visit these sorts of communities to do so, as it might be encouraging to find that modernity has not inflicted its cancer everywhere to the fullest extent.

Outside of the rural areas, though, the rest of the middle class feels like it doesn’t need an ethnic, spiritual or cultural identity as it has transcended it, only to have replaced such an identity with modern-day consumerism. This is they do not criticise cultures and traditions of a non-Western origin, as, in the mind of the middle class person, they do not know better. As an Englishman, in their mind, you should be a shining example of what they define as a liberal. The middle class in England is the most likely class to look for partnership from people of different cultures as, because of this lack of cultural heritage, they tend to want to find someone who is, to them, “exotic,” so they can feel like they are living an identity through their significant other. They know they are not of these people and their traditions, but will show more passion and love for it than they ever have for their own ones. In the end, all they care about is that their lives remain comfortable, and as long as problems that happen in the lower classes stay in the lower classes, they aren’t really problems at all.

You will find that the middle class will also reject its spiritual roots; some might still be Christian by baptism but not by belief. Being Christian to them is a form of a group and they want to stay an individual, so they label themselves “cultural” Christians. They will go out of their way to disassociate themselves with the beliefs of their church, or, in some cases, support people who wish to change the core beliefs. You see this with middle class “cultural” Catholics who support the policies of the current pope which go against a vast amount of Church teachings.

You find that the middle class will always be there to jump on and take part in the cultures of other people to fill their cultural void. It does this to show how “great” the multicultural dream is going, as it takes part in the high cultures of other civilisations, but conveniently ignores the ugly sides, even if the ugly sides go against its liberal values. This just shows how quickly the modern middle class is able to disregard its liberalism in favour of sampling “interesting,” foreign material comforts.

The middle class is the most mobile of the labour force in England; mostly driven by material gain, they will move around the country and live with other white English middle class people who do the same, and they do this while they have children. You will find the middle class would rather deny its children an identity than not climb the financial ladder moving around. They fool themselves into believing that this wealth is for providing a better life for their children. When they say “better life,” this boils down to how much they can spoil them to make up for the fact they are never there because of this constant chase for wealth which has, in part, helped with the destruction of the nuclear family.

Children don’t spend much time with their parents. The time they do spend, however, is awkward and is enjoyed little by both parties as they feel like strangers. This isn’t to say chasing your dreams isn’t a good thing, but when you have a family you have the moral duty to look after that family, and that isn’t just financially, you have social obligation to raise your children. A lot of middle class families have come to believe it is the state’s or private and boarding schools’ job to raise their children, instead of taking advantage of the fact that, unlike a working class family, they can afford to have a parent stay and raise their children. I have had people rationalise this by saying, “Well, I’m providing a service to the economy. I can’t do that at home.” One’s response to this should be, “It is your job to make sure the next generation is also able to provide, and they cannot learn from you if you are never there. Schools do not teach your children to be productive, you cannot be educated to be productive; becoming productive takes real world experience and the majority of teachers don’t have real world experience for they only know education. It is the parent’s job to make sure by the time your children reach adulthood they have knowledge on how to be net positives to the economy. Then, in turn, they will pass on that experience to their children. This, more importantly, helps to perpetuate a more stable economy.”

These unstable families have thus led to the highest divorce rates we have ever seen — and they keep rising, which makes life even more unstable for children. These issues mean we now have a generation of parents saying such things as, “I never raised you like this!” The problem with that statement is that you never raised them in the first place, you essentially have been someone who has sponsored the financial well-being of these strangers you call children for their first 16-25 years. A strong middle class is built upon a strong family unit, and with that unit collapsing in turn eventually so will the middle class. So, these children are routinely taken out of a cultural environment and shoved into a new one; because of this it’s easy to understand why a lot of middle class children lean toward hyper individualism, or will search for an identity elsewhere, usually through pop culture — a modern example of this would be “fandoms.”

The parents of the Millennials and Generation X I have been quite harsh on, but to be fair they are only mirroring the actions of what made their parents successful, but with the salaries of middle class stagnating, their socially destructive beliefs can only remain for so long, As their identity is based on climbing the social and financial ladder, once the ability to do that is taken from them you will start seeing the middle class have an identity crisis. You are already starting to see it in the middle class millennial, as mentioned earlier. Eventually, this pressure on the middle class will reach a boiling point, then capital and hyper individualism will no longer be able to sustain their existence; they will have to rediscover their identity and place within England, otherwise they will be outcasts from the society they have universally ignored and spewed hated against for so long.

The question is, though; how do you fix the middle class? The unfortunate truth is, you can’t: there is no saving it. Someone has probably used an analogy similar to this before, so don’t take this as original: I see culture as the fruit which grows on a healthy tree, the roots symbolising the spiritual and the tree itself represents the physical. The roots which have slowly fallen to rot over the years are now withering away, and that once beautiful tree is now dying. It no longer produces much fruit, and what it does produce is tainted. No matter how beautiful that tree was it can never return to its once proud state. The only solution left is to remove the tree by its roots and start anew. Our ancestors planted this great tree and over the generations we have failed to look after it. Now, for the sake of the society, we must plant a new tree, for as the old Greek proverb says:

Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

Advertisements
Ash Davidson

5 thoughts on “The State of the English Middle Class: An Introduction

  1. Poignant writing and devastatingly accurate. English people are ashamed of their identity and none more so than the middle class.

    Are you going to write about the parlous state of English women? I have yet to meet an English girl, apart from one who left school with 5 GCSEs, who wasn’t either a self destructive feminist or utter madam!

  2. ‘The middle class in England is the most likely class to look for partnership from people of different cultures as, because of this lack of cultural heritage, they tend to want to find someone who is, to them, “exotic,”’, I’m not sure about this. The upper-class more so. When the upper-class collapsed in the 1900s from global trade and political insignificance, many married wealthy Americans, Europeans, and Jews to preserve the wealth of the family. Call me Dave is a good example, part aristocrat, part wealthy Jewish family, part bourgeois capitalist upstart. Royal families are a good example of mixing, though they mix racially they never used to mix across class lines.

    As for “exotic”. When you leave the peasantry and the countryside, the families become more mixed. Walk around London, Bristol, Birmingham, and other large cities and you’ll see the poor mix more than the middle-class. BME are normally poorer in these cities and mixing is unsurprising in poorer areas. The middle class bubble themselves, and this idea that Anastasia will bring home a Jamaican gangster because he’s “exotic” is very rare and is more of a rightist masochistic fantasy. You will find European mixing, but then this is the same situation as the lower class. The middle class professionals may be working around German or French people. This is not about class but about density of population. Rural middle-class villages are not the same as cosmopolitan middle-class areas. And the same goes for the rural and urban working class, and the Thatcherite, upwardly mobile working class in Essex against the “me faver voted lahber, and iz faver, and iz faver before im” working class in the urban North. Look at voting preferences in the European Referendum, American Presidential Election, Austrian Election (perhaps the most acute), and others. Across the West there is a build up of poz in the cities regardless of class. The term “behavioral sink” comes to mind. But again I think it is more convincing to view this on an urban-rural axis, unless you have some data on class and interracial relationships. In any event, mixing is totally overblown, people rarely socialise or mix outside of their class and race. I’m sure you know “Bowling Alone”, and this is common sense, but here is a study if you’re interested in this sort of thing http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.220.2773&rep=rep1&type=pdf Jackson is a leader in network theory, and I’m sure there is the potential to compare homophily in rural and urban areas, in fact I may get onto that haha.

    “unlike a working class family, they can afford to have a parent stay and raise their children”, not really. The cost of mortgages has driven both partners into the workforce. Women can eventually afford to work part time but most rely on nursery, or grandparents. But remember if you’re a member of the petite bourgeoisie in an ex-industrial town or city, you will most likely move to the work, as you wrote, and leave your family. Both parents need to work to afford the house in a good catchment area too since there are no grammar schools in the cities, and so their children often end up in the nursery.

    The middle class are bourgeois by definition so I’m not sure what you mean about the conservatives becoming the “capitalist party” in the 21st century. Obviously there was the Thatcher era, but this is a recrudescence of tory-liberalism which goes back to the repeal of the corn laws and the navigation acts. And the middle-class of the 19th century were certainly religious, and yet capitalist. This is where I agree with you. The middle class, rural or urban are bourgeois to varying degrees. And yes, even the conservatives are in a dull liberal-capitalist-patriotic lethargy. But I think you’ll find that the Tory grassroots have much harder views than the people on the front benches, and the deracinated liberal cosmopolitan.

    It’s very simple to resolve this. If the savings of the middle class are wiped out in some economic crises, or more likely the bottom falls out of the housing market, then they will snap out of their lethargy. Their whole livelihood is leaning as far back on their chairs as they can get away with, they’re balanced now and so they ignore *real* or radical politics. Once they get that feeling of falling they don’t care who catches them. It’s this way the bourgeois middle class can cease to be, and become something new. The term “middle class” doesn’t really mean anything anyway. What are your thoughts on the new so called “middle class” that are really working-class post-industrial sweatshop workers? white collar serfdom in call centers and offices which have replaced the mills of Victorian England, those people working in call centers or hairdressers, or working in Thomas Cook don’t see themselves as working class. The whole class system seems to be up in the air in this century which you alluded to but maybe you could develop somewhere in the series. And also free trade and Capitalism destroying the aristocracy and establishing a bourgeois hegemony in the West? It seems that capitalism is the cause of much of our decline, what are you views on Capitalism?

    Good start to the series and I look forward to reading more.

    P.S. I’ve met Mogg and he’s a nice chap, you might think that he said “Enoch was more or less right”, but I could neither confirm or deny that quote. Hitchens and I had quite a heated argument about Powell (PH is a frozen in time liberal really), but Mogg is a decent conservative, he just isn’t willing to stick his neck out and go the whole way or else he’ll be deselected. But “never trust a Tory” still applies 9/10 times.

    1. First thank you for the comment, second sorry for the late reply

      I will try and tackle the questions that you left me if I have missed anything let me know.

      “”And also free trade and Capitalism destroying the aristocracy and establishing a bourgeois hegemony in the West?””
      “It seems that capitalism is the cause of much of our decline, what are you views on Capitalism?”

      If you wish to hear my full thoughts on capitalism and free trade would you mind if I add you on skype so we could have exchange of words on the topic as if I were to give my full thoughts in a comment section it would probably be longer than this article. Also when do you consider the beginning of capitalism, some writers would say it began with industrial Capitalism based on the works of Adam Smith others would say Mercantilism was the beginning?

      ““”The term “middle class” doesn’t really mean anything anyway. What are your thoughts on the new so called “middle class” that are really working-class post-industrial sweatshop workers? white collar serfdom in call centers and offices which have replaced the mills of Victorian England, those people working in call centers or hairdressers, or working in Thomas Cook don’t see themselves as working class.”””

      It would seem that to a lot of people in this day and age that believe not being a labourer is enough to make you middle class. This is notion comes about from the fact that white collar jobs were originally smaller in number and Britain has only transitioned into A financial capitalist nation over the past 30-40 years and people are still taught that any job that is indoors is middle class even if the wage is peanuts.

      “”The whole class system seems to be up in the air in this century which you alluded to but maybe you could develop somewhere in the series””

      I do plan on in later parts series going into the fact the entire class system is as you put it “up in the air”.

      “”“unlike a working class family, they can afford to have a parent stay and raise their children”, not really. The cost of mortgages has driven both partners into the workforce. Women can eventually afford to work part time but most rely on nursery, or grandparents. But remember if you’re a member of the petite bourgeoisie in an ex-industrial town or city, you will most likely move to the work, as you wrote, and leave your family. Both parents need to work to afford the house in a good catchment area too since there are no grammar schools in the cities, and so their children often end up in the nursery.”””

      I was being far too broad looking again at this statement and should have been aimed at the “Upper middle class”(Higher earners). I do plan on in the future going into the situation with the price of housing and mortgages, I will be looking at how housing can be expensive but also the trend in a lot middle class families to buy more than they can afford rather than rent, or buy in less expensive areas and why they do this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s