Power in America: The Politics of the New Class, by David T. Bazelon
It seems reasonably certain that Mr. Bazelon is trying to tell us something. He is obviously moved by strong impulses to communicate, to inform, to set us right, even to save us. And given the arresting title and subtitle of his book and the whopping chapter headings of the contents, it seems altogether likely that he has something to say. Just what it is, however, is more difficult to determine.
Whatever it is, it is of urgent importance, portentous significance, and above all it is new—so new that it has overcome us like a summer’s cloud and caught us unaware. Its meaning appears to lie just over the horizon and we are forced to strain for it. We learn, for example, that since the death of Marx’s working class his amoeba-like proletariat has subdivided itself into the Under Class, the Unionized Worker, and the New Class. Caught in the web of an automating, computerized, inflationary, and affluent economy, imprisoned by outmoded concepts of paper money, the inhibitions of a scarcity ethic, and the frustrations of a power-abjuring tradition of government, these classes require a new education, new purposes, new policies, and new coalitions. To accommodate themselves to this strange new world, in fact, they need a whole new philosophy of life and politics.
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