into tenured chairs and the editorialnoffices of newspapers and magazinesndespised the bourgeois class that hadncreated and subsidized it, and the newnsavants knit their brows to devise ways tonhumiliate, subvert, and overthrow thenbourgeois order. All that was reallynnecessary to accomplish that goal wasnfor the new elites in the economy, state,nand culture to meet, marry, and set upnhousekeeping, which they did with thenblessing of progressivist ideology and annample dowry from their new federalngodfather.nBy the end of Wodd War II, thenbourgeois class had been effectively decapitatednas the dominant minority innthe United States, or had been subsumedninto the new managerial elitenthat now prevailed. No fratricidal conflictnmarked the transition from then”Second Republic” to the managerialnimperium because the bourgeois elite,ncontemplating its interior navel, nevernfully grasped what was happening andnwas unable to muster the will or thentemperament to resist it. Having insistednon wrecking the “First Republic” andnreconstructing it to its tastes, the bourgeoisnelite lacked the capacity to preservenits own power or the nationalnculture its power had created. In thenend, its members lost only their dominancenand not their fortunes or theirnheads, and there is no good reason fornmost Americans today to lament itsnpassing.nBut there is good reason to mournnwhat will befall those millions of Americansnwho were never part of the bourgeoisnelite but who formed their livesnaround bourgeois culture. As the managerialnsuccessors to the bourgeoisie pushnthe United States into a new transnationalnorder and ally with the underclass,nthe American middle class is beingncrushed between them and strippednof its cultural identity and heritage.nThe end of the bourgeois order innthe middle of the century transformednthe American middle class from a bourgeoisnMittelstand to a post-bourgeoisnproletariat. As political scientist AndrewnHacker describes this “new middlenclass,” it is considerably larger thannthe old and hence is “unwilling andnunable to adhere to rules tailored for anquite different group of individuals innquite different settings.” It differs fromnthe old middle class also in its highndegree of transiency and mobility, itsn”national” rather than its local character,nand its lack of property. While thennew middle class glories in its affluencenand ability to consume whatever managerialncapitalism sets before it, it conspicuouslynlacks the material independencenof the old middle class and thenauthority, security, and liberty that independencenyields. The members ofnthe new middle class, writes Mr. Hacker,n”are employees, and their livelihoodsnare always contingent on thenapproval and good will of the individualsnand organizations who employnthem. . . . Whatever status and prosperityntoday’s middle-class Americannmay have is due to the decision ofnsomeone to hire him and utilize hisnservices.”nMasticated by the Depression andnWorld War II, and digested by the massnorganizations that swallowed the morencompact bourgeois institutions, thenAmerican middle class has suffered anprofound dispossession, regardless ofnthe number of credit cards it carries.nAlienated from the nation’s past by itsnsize and rootlessness, it retains only anfragmented memory of and identitynwith the historic national experience.nLacking the autonomy of the bourgeoisnmiddle class, it is unable to formulatena new identity that would offernresistance to the emerging transnationalnelite and its allies in the underclass.n”In fact,” writes Mr. Hacker, “the newnmiddle class has many attributes inncommon with the traditional conceptionnof a proletariat.”nIn the emerging global managerialnregime, the middle class may soon benreduced to the other attributes of anproletariat as well. “By any measure,”nThe Wall Street Journal reported inn1987, “the share of households withnmiddle-class incomes has steadily declined”;nthe “once-tightly knit groupnhas broken apart” and its “broad consensusnon how to live and what constitutesnsuccess … has given way to annincreasingly fragmented array of lifenstyles and values.” The need for wivesnand mothers to work to sustain middleclassnincomes and living standardsnweakens family bonds. Middle-classnhome ownership is already obsolescentnin many urban areas, and the violencenof the underclass, domestic or imported,nis abetted by the elite and drives thenmiddle class from the cities their forebearsnbuilt.nnnIn Detroit, where nearly 10 percentnof the population has left since 1980,nonly two building permits for singlenfamily homes were issued in all ofn1987, and the Catholic archdiocesenannounced the closing of 43 churchesnin the city in 1988. During the HundrednYears War in Europe, wolvesnroamed the streets of medieval Paris;ntoday ring-necked pheasants strutnthrough the abandoned lots and buildingsnof Detroit, keeping company withnthe human wolves who have inheritednthe city that put America in the driver’snseat. In Los Angeles, reports The NewnYork Times, “the exodus of whitenmiddle-class residents began at least andecade ago . . . but recent alarm overnsmog, gang violence, traffic and housingncosts appears to have acceleratednthe trend.” More than 282,000 Californiansnmoved out of the state entirelynin 1988-89. “My 9-year-old daughterncomes home from school and says anclassmate is dealing drugs,” 29-yearoldnCarol Woolverton told The SannFrancisco Examiner last July. “Andnthere’ve been so many kidnappings.”nShe is reported to have moved tonOregon with her husband, three children,nand two pets. Where will theynrun next?nWithout the cultural cohesion thatnthe bourgeois elite imposed, the newnmiddle class cannot expect to retain fornlong its traditional identity and values,nlet alone its political and economicnpower. But the new proletariat is nonlonger part of a bourgeois social andnpolitical order; it is only an artifact ornremnant of it, and it cannot look to thenbourgeois elite for leadership or salvation.nThat elite is extinct, and thennational republic it governed duringnthe Bourgeois Interlude is defunctnalong with it. If the post-bourgeoisnmiddle class seriously wishes to avoidnits own extinction, it will have to evolvena new group consciousness and a newnidentity independent of both the moribundnbourgeois elite and the technobureaucracynof the global managerialnorder. It will have to expurgate thenself-indulgent “interiority” that ultimatelynproved lethal to the bourgeoisie,nand it must aspire to form the core of annew political and cultural order innwhich it can assert its own hegemony.n<^nAPRIL 1990/11n