Charles posts an excellent and insightful essay on the downward mobility of the middle class as a cause of the “Yellow Vests” uprising. He points out the economic forces.
The middle class, virtually by definition, is not prepared for downward mobility. A systemic, semi-permanent decline in the standard of living isn’t part of the implicit social contract that’s been internalized by the middle class virtually everywhere: living standards are only supposed to rise. …
Downward mobility is the key context in the gilets jaunes “yellow vest” movement in France. Taxes and prices rise inexorably while wages/pensions stagnate. The only possible outcome of this structural asymmetry is a decline in the standard of living.
But I want to emphasize another causes: the psychospiritual developmental stage of the average person in the west.
Two core attitudes are inherent in a high percentage* of the current western society, the equality of all persons, and the right to self-governnance. These attitudes were not present in ages past.
All human beings are inherently equal in value
Any violation of this assumption is perceived as deeply wrong. In contrast, in ages past, the unequalness of persons was considered a given**:
1. specially authorized religious superiors (priests) were needed to communicate with God. Commoners couldn’t do this on their own.
2. Governance was the rightfully prerogative of a special class of people who were designed to rule by virtue of having “royal blood” or being upper caste.
3. superior classes of people could own lesser classes (slavery) and were entitled to extract labor and abuse them at will.
4. some groups of people are “made of better stuff” and are qualitatively better than the other groups. Superiority beliefs offer these designated groups a special role of domination in “God’s” future plans for the world.
These attitudes so not sit well with GREEN, YELLOW and TURQUOIS stage people!
The second attitude is a close corollary of the first:
Each person should have a meaningful role in his or her own governance (democracy or representative republic)
This combined effect of these attitudes makes intolerable:
1) governance by unelected bureaucrats,
2) that political power is proportional to wealth (citizens united), and,
3) that control of the machinery of a citizen’s state (the courts, FBI, IRS, military) can be captured by a small group and used to the detriment of those very citizens.
4) that a group of people can dominate the whole.
As treebeard has said many times: the issue is spiritual. GREEN, YELLOW and TURQUOIS stages absolutely will not tolerate these govenance structures.
*Spiral Dynamics GREEN Meme and higher.
**Spiral Dynamics RED, BLUE and ORANGE Memes.