Throughout the Democratic convention; all spoke of their commitment to the Middle Class. The rich sneer at it. The poor aspire to it. Some already in it want to rise out, others to drop out. What’s so special about the Middle Class?
In his fascinating novel, The Disappearance, Philip Wylie imagines a world split into two parallel worlds in each of which the opposite sex disappears. Men without women kill each other. Women without men come together and weep. Extend this concept to a world split three ways, one for the poor, the rich, and the middle class. The poor might revert to savagery, but there are enough of them to build new civilizations. The rich, helpless to operate their mines, factories, corporate farms, mega-stores, and manipulate useless currencies, would be forced to learn basic survival skills or perish in a world taken over by runaway nature. The middle class would hit a speed bump. but soon replace or learn to do without their vanished princes, dictators, CEOs, and hedge fund managers.
Our planet has environments from boiling hot to icy cold. Life edges into all of them but is wildly profuse in its milder middle.
Our solar system has planets close to and far from the Sun. But only a middle planet, Earth, has Life, as another, Mars, may once have.
Our Sun is sized between giant stars that soon burn out, and white dwarfs that live long lonely lives. Astronomers search for extra-terrestrial Life on middle-sized planets circling middle-sized stars.
Our galaxy has a ravenous Black Hole in its densely populated core, and only a smattering of stars at its outer edges. Earth, teeming with Life, revolves with its Sun in a middle swathe.
Life as a phenomenon in the middle is likely true for galaxies, which vary from small to immense. And if there is, as some scientists believe, a Multiverse of universes, those in the middle of some unimaginable spectrum will likely be the hosts of Life.
Middle Class people produce architects, artists, builders, crafts persons, engineers, entrepreneurs, factory hands, doctors, farmers, fire fighters, historians, journalists, managers, painters, philosophers, plumbers, poets, police, preachers, programmers, salespeople, scientists, scholars, secretaries, soldiers, teachers, truck drivers, writers, and much much more. A dazzling spectrum.
People chase money long after they have enough to live lives of ease. But what can money buy worth more than loving companionship, family, the joys of challenging work, learning, art, feeling kinship with all Life, a chance to explore its mysteries, and ponder its Creator? To richly experience one’s humanity, the magnificent middle class is the place to be.