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What Does The Working Class Really Want?

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Chapter Summary

Talking about the American working class, an influential group claim to speak for them and proceed to drown them out, is difficult because they tend to be mute, to be acted upon rather than be actors. Certainly the American colonies, and then the early Republic, had no patience for a class of libertines or even of the idle rich to rule over them. The major issue in determining the effectiveness of democracy has always been the existence of the right to vote, and the existence of people to vote for, a system for communities to throw up people to represent them rather than people who are out to represent themselves, turning it into another job. Thomas Jefferson said the working class wants some control over their lives, the kind of dignity which cannot be bought as a commodity though it can be produced through a social contract that produces cooperation.

Keywords: American working class; democracy; Thomas Jefferson



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