Weird behavior (was Re: Ashcroft's prayer circle)

Miles Jackson cqmv at
Thu May 17 13:49:14 PDT 2001

On Thu, 17 May 2001, Doug Henwood wrote:

> I'm not sure what kind of "weird" behavior we're talking about. There
> was the woman I saw in the subway once who had a spacehat with
> antennae and a necktie all fashioned out of aluminum foil. I'm
> guessing that's not what we're talking about. But how about the maids
> that Barbara Ehrenreich writes about in Nickel & Dimed, who express
> absolutely no class resentment over the McMansions they're paid a
> pittance to clean, and even dream of occupying one day? Or the
> bartender I overheard in Toronto saying that Bill Gates deserved
> "every penny" of his fortune? That's a different kind of weird. Why
> do people think that way?
> Doug

Do we really need some kind of convoluted psychodynamic explanation for this? Isn't it reasonable to say that these are predictable results of socialization into a society in which people value individual rights and achievements? A bone to the crass behaviorists around here: who's more likely to receive positive reinforcement in everyday life settings--a person who talks about how hard work leads to success, or a person who "rants" about capitalists exploiting workers?

Okay, we're not social dopes, yeah, yeah--but if you want to understand the social behavior Doug notes above, it's helpful to assume we are.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list