THE “revenge of the middle class”* has turned into a fiasco. Instead of national cohesion we now have an internicine class war between wealthy property owners and their poorer cousins. The only thing that will save us, is acceptance that nothing stands between them and the street, nothing accept a decent wage and a job, and that means you, the working class, full stop.
The insane notion that a middle class can be created on the seat of a property boom, has merely shifted the struggle for equality to a different platform. Middle class values are nothing but bunk created by real estate agents and wealthy advertising executives who believe that equality can be created out of branding, products and brochures from Constantia.
A short while ago, progressives believed that human rights could bring people together, a mere slip of paper, a document could forge the nation. Not so, since when push comes to shove, it is the middle class that is going to give way. For South Africans to truly feel as though they belong, we need more than empty promises of equity and land. What we need is a guarantee from the state against the liklihood of ever becoming indigent, homeless, a wage slave.
Like so many social democrats, I believe the only thing that can accomplish this is social welfare, a living wage. Whether this wage is paid by the state or a large corporation is none of my concern; what we all require then, is reason not to wage war against those who would starve us into submission, trade our land for foreign investment and make off with the proceeds, while ignoring exploitation and profit-taking on the backs of the oppressed.
The working class will rise up and eat the middle class unless something drastic is done. Now is not the time to trust spin doctors and politicians who recite the cant of the bourgoisie, rather it is time to forge a wider national unity, a greater class of South African, created from the guarantee of a basic income grant for all.
* Cape Times lead story of the day.