I’ll be shocked if there’s another book this year as important as Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart.”And it's important because it explains why the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor has nothing to do with capitalism.
It’s wrong to describe an America in which the salt of the earth common people are preyed upon by this or that nefarious elite. It’s wrong to tell the familiar underdog morality tale in which the problems of the masses are caused by the elites.The "familiar underdog morality tale" that the rich get over on the poor every chance they get is not, as Bobo portrays it, an old wives' tale like "cats steal babies' breath"; it is human reality; it has been for centuries, it's in full effect now, and everyone knows it. That's why guys like Murray have to keep coming up with new loads of bullshit to dump on it.
Brooks of course is in the reality-denying business. But he has to be careful -- while Murray's premise that poor people don't work because they're too busy aping liberal morals is good enough for the doofuses who read the conservative press, the Times crowd wants its bullshit with a little less roughage. Here's how that load comes out of Bobo's fudge factory:
Members of the lower tribe work hard and dream big, but are more removed from traditional bourgeois norms. They live in disorganized, postmodern neighborhoods in which it is much harder to be self-disciplined and productive.
Disorganized postmodern neighborhoods! So they can't make it to the employment office because the layout is confusing and someone deconstructed all the street signs? Or is it that they're so spellbound by all the Kathy Acker novels in the shop windows, they can't commence to a-entrepreneurin'?
All that's left now, besides the inevitable endless seminars by libertarian dorks, is for the first bullshit liberal to take up Murrayism. Say, what's Joe Klein up to these days?