Saturday, March 9, 2019


Vulgaris a Latin adjective meaning common, or something that is derived from the masses of common people.

The common people, also known as the common man, commoners or the masses, are the ordinary people in a community or nation who lack any significant social status, especially those who are members of neither royalty, nobility, the clergy nor any member of the aristocracy.

Just as there are those who seek to align the masses with "the deplorables" there are those who as readily malign the rich for their association with Wall Street ("the pigs"). Both extremes are equally malicious and shallow. Given the current political climate almost worldwide - the ostensible Right Movement - the persuasion of the masses for paramountcy is not something to be ignored. Interestingly there is an apparent paradox surrounding the meaning of "the Right", a fondness which has successfully collaborated some unlikely candidates.

The political terms "Left" and "Right" were first used during the French Revolution (1789 - 1799) and referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament: those who sat to the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were broadly supportive of the institutions of the monarchist Old Regime.  The original Right in France was formed as a reaction against the "Left" and comprised those politicians supporting hierarchy, tradition and clericalism.  The use of the expression "la droite" ("the right") became prominent in France after the restoration of the monarchy in 1815 when it was applied to the ultra-royalists. The people of English-speaking countries did not apply the terms "right" and "left" to the politics until the 20th century.

A cursory analysis of present-day politics might easily become confounded by the historic contradiction between the interests of the right (conservative) and the interests of the left (liberal) particularly where the reactionary interests of the right are normally associated with self-interest and the egalitarian motives of the left are traditionally identified as social. What it was that rested upon the foundation of either the French Revolution (Ancien RĂ©gime) or the Russian Revolution (Tsarist autocracy) - and whose interests were principally promoted - will never be fully known. What is however transparent is the impact of the populace upon the results.  Remember too that Hitler was at the time considered a populace though he degenerated into far more than hoi polloi.

As competitive as the extremes are hastened to be portrayed there nonetheless persists an affection between the two.  Sometimes the alliance is mockingly labeled obsequious pragmatism; at others it is misguided idolatry; but occasionally it is well-reasoned political strategy - though not necessarily for the mutual advantage of the parties in spite of their supposed community. It is as well dangerous and narrow to dismiss the masses as uneducated.  One need only recall that intelligence is far more native than education; and while one does not necessarily imply the other, the strength of neither should be overlooked.

The value of appeal to the masses is evident.  Look at the success of Facebook and Amazon - just produce an enthraling product at an affordable price and you have the makings of a fortune.  Granted the Big Mac is not for everyone. But whatever you are consuming or however much you paid for it, the ambition is quite likely the same notwithstanding any pretence at posh or lineage. The unavoidable truth is that we're all the same in spite of our present circumstances.  This means that none of us is particularly brighter than another; and even if it were true, it would be a far greater compliment to one's capacity to enable a dialogue than to build a wall between us.

In any case we have to learn to speak one another's language. This is but a preliminary step in the process.  After sufficient time the music of the conversation will only be sustained by the precision and content of the notes. It is for example a deception to imagine that mere rhetoric - no matter how amusingly orchestrated or whether entertainingly vulgar or lascivious - will outlast the message. The other important similarity between each of us is a curious passion for reason and production. The palatability of the speaker is clearly persuasive - just compare Donald Trump to Mitch McConnell - but in the end it isn't how they say it but what they say that will win the day.

This in my opinion means that the popular vote - assuming the thesis of democracy matters - will depend not upon denigrating one segment of society over another but rather upon coming up with some first-class ideas.  This might easily entail the modification of the manner in which people communicate - part of what I think justifiably was called "draining the swamp".  The fact of the matter is that lawyers can be as offensive as the masses - but neither should be marginalized on a superficial basis alone.  It's just plainly uninventive if nothing else; and it certainly does nothing to improve the situation (though admittedly it will sadly aid the assault of the other).

The answer to the vulgar is not NOCD ("Not our class, Darling!"). The answer to the rich is not to let their heads roll.  Those extremes of classification - and everything in between - are exhausting and ill-conceived. It is no accident that Trump - who is privately aware of his intellectual inadequacy - seeks to authentic himself by touting his gold-plated bathroom hardware to those who can least afford it and whose sole currency of compensation is the visceral base of sexual appetite (itself fraught with Pygmalion metaphors of romance) as "the superficial social climbers eke out a living in genteel poverty".

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