In more modern American society, gentry is often used to refer loosely to the highly educated professional upper-middle class, this use of the terminology is inconsistent with the British use of the same term as the American use would include those without confirmed aristocratic roots (as is required under the British definition). This sense of the term is often pejoratively used in the term "gentrification", a term that could alternatively be called "bourgeois-ification". Attitudes stemming from the phenomenon of the historic American gentry help clarify the current use of the term in U.S. society, and it is still loosely applied to people from old-monied and landed families in the United States, though the term "gentry" is very rarely used in America for cultural and historical reasons.- Read Yuppies, Trust-fund babies, like Billy Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Ted Kennedy, Friends of the Parks, Schakowsky Voters, most members of the Chicago Media, and people who never ever look at the balances in their checking accounts.
Gentry Liberals (Progressives) want Mass Transportation, because they rarely if ever need it; they want Public School Funding, because Catholic/Lutheran-Dutch,Baptist & Protestant/Jewish/Muslim schools are values based educations; they want SEIU/ACORN to do whatever the hell they please, because they promote whatever agenda the Gentry embrace.
America is involved in a Class War. Gentry ( anyone who plays ball with them) and the Helots.
I'm a Helot - a worker bee/blue collar value/pro-Real Labor/anti-abortion/Mom and Dad Marriage and Gays can have a happy life with each other/tax-paying American.
I go to the ATM, not to draw out cash, but to make sure that I have enough Buckos to cover bills and obligations. I used to have more nickels at the end of the pay cycle. Gas costs a lung; groceries a kidney; tuition . . . enough with the internal organs. My neighbors are getting laid off.
The Gentry are loud. They get attention. They are not cops, firefighters, nurses, school teachers, pipe fitters, electricians, accontants, clerks, plumbers, and carpenters. They sure as hell are not housewives - housewives do not lunch or join Friends of the Parks, or PETA, much less Planned Parenthood.
The Gentry join gyms, don't smoke, attend theatre, opera, the best restaurants, and the Progressive Political Grassroots - working stiffs go the above when they have two nickels to rub together. Helots do not hold Subscriptions to any of the above; they buy tickets. Helots are not subscribers; they do not have enough disposable income. The Gentry are Public Television and Radio.
Helots work, provide for their families, pay too many taxes and die.
Joel Kotkin has been writing about the American Gentry ( Liberal Progressive) for decades, but his recent Forbes article warning President Obama about America's swing to Socialism, while Europe is returning to grassroots capitalism, hit a nerve*.
Kotkin illustrates Gentry Liberalism:
You have to wonder what average Brits must make of the likes of Jonathon Porritt, the head of the government's Sustainable Development Commission--a member of the gentry in both attitude and lineage. The Eton-educated Porritt's recent pronouncements include such gems as a call to restrict the number of children per family to two to reduce Britain's population from 60 to 30 million. He also has scolded overweight people for causing climate change.
These do not seem like sure electoral winners. Today extreme green policies that were once merely odd or eccentric are becoming increasingly oppressive, leading to even more actions that disadvantage suburban lifestyles. Environmental activists' solution for the country's severe housing shortage--particularly in the London region--is to cram the working and middle classes into dense urban units resembling sardine cans and force even more suburbanites off the road.
Even so, large-scale house production over the past decade has lagged behind demand and, as a result, the tidy single-family home with a nice back garden so beloved by the British public may soon be attainable only by the highly affluent--and, ironically, that includes much of the gentry. What an odd posture for a party supposedly built around working-class aspirations.
"New Labour has brought in 'New Urbanism,' and the results are not pretty," suggests University of Westminster social historian Mark Clapson, as he showed me some particularly tiny, surprisingly expensive new houses outside of London
Familiar? Vote accordingly.
* Click my post title for many articles on Gentry Liberalism