The Great Divide

In  the The Great Divorce, David Brooks , picks up the theme of the two-caste society, the separation of elites from the lower classes with an ambiguous middle caught. This, of course, is the favorite territory for Charles Murray. Brooks writes,

Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart” describes the most important cultural trends today and offers a better understanding of America’s increasingly two-caste society.

Brooks  picked up on the growing trend in Bobos in Paradise, and an interesting article on the education of the elites in The Atlantic (“The Organization Kid”). Interesting to trace this split back to the Vietnam era, and the division between New Left and Labor. As we came out of the 70s (this, the time of the Yippies and the Yuppies), the counterculture became more its true, class-oriented self. Wendy Wasserstein captures some of this shift in The Heidi Chronicles.

Murray however, is a more complicated character, in part for his alliance with the AEI. Their policies did contribute to this split (another story).Both Murray and Brooks still indulge in a kind of privileged perspective, both seeing that somehow it is the moral duty of the elites to remedy this split. That doesn’t strike me as exactly right, not with 50 percent in the middle unaccounted for.

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