Peasant mentality at large

November 26, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

In a post from a few months ago, Matt Tabbi described the peasant mentality so common in America today. It’s a mindset that refuses to criticize the ruling class, no matter how oppressive things get:

After all, the reason the winger crowd can’t find a way to be coherently angry right now is because this country has no healthy avenues for genuine populist outrage. It never has. The setup always goes the other way: when the excesses of business interests and their political proteges in Washington leave the regular guy broke and screwed, the response is always for the lower and middle classes to split down the middle and find reasons to get pissed off not at their greedy bosses but at each other. That’s why even people like Beck’s audience, who I’d wager are mostly lower-income people, can’t imagine themselves protesting against the Wall Street barons who in actuality are the ones who fucked them over. . . But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit.


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Category: Corruption, Politics, Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jay Fraz says:

    I think a big part of this is most people want to believe in/follow something.

    We are taught that their are no "classes" when we grow up. Your not working class, your lazy!! type mentality. Some people seriously take this frame of mind.

    Of course someone else explained a possible why better, to quote(approximately) a George Romero zombie flick.

    "It used to be 3 networks, with 3 different spins, now it is a network of millions of people, with a million spins". Who can afford to sort through all the false information. Unless you have a serious preoccupation with politics and media you will not understand that what you are told is lies.

    Warren Buffet said something profound.

    "It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be."

  2. Brynn Jacobs says:


    Reminds me of Noam Chomsky's commentary that the elite are the only group that's truly class-conscious. The rest of us are taught not to be, as in your "you're lazy!!" comment.

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