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A working class hero… What?

In books, ethics, moral issues, people, politics, science fiction, writing on April 17, 2013 at 15:25

I’ve been sent a book by an amateur author to read and review (thank you). I’ve given up after just a few pages because of intolerable amount of arising complains about the style and content (sorry). Don’t know yet if I write a real review (after all, I do a bit of writing which probably is not terribly good also) but I’ll put down some thoughts here.

I think it is a mistake to write fiction to serve a political/economical/worldview idea. The book should be about real living human beings, otherwise it looks just like bits of everyday blog and forum posts pretending to be a book. We all have ideas and they should shine through proper fiction writing. No need to force them on readers.

There is no human beings who are “your typical something”, that’s cardboard cutouts. Everybody really is unique.

The protagonist supposed to be your typical “working class hero” fighting dogmas. Class is a dogma, “working class” – double so. There only a tiny sad minority of people who don’t work, some of them spending their time drinking, in front of tv or playing computer games. If you call somebody “working or labouring class” what are you saying? That others don’t work or do not work well enough? That’s wrong. And is the protagonist (being a politician) in a lower tier job or being of low education? Nope. (See Wikipedia: working class – a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs (as measured by skill, education and lower incomes)). Maybe his parents were of working class. But are we defined by our origins (unfair) or our own effort and goodness (fair)? Anyway there is no excuses now for low education, not with internet, tv documentaries and public libraries. Even in 1900s, working at a factory, my great-grandfather managed to self educate and loved to read serious literature.

New Great British Class Survey has some flaws in my opinion too.  Peoples’ lives are changing all the time in many ways. Somebody inherits the money. Somebody skilled and educated has to do a low paid simple job for a while. Somebody loses jobs or property. Somebody gradually educates him or herself and is learning new skills. Somebody lives in an expensive house but doesn’t want to sell it and struggles. Somebody moves to more rural area, can’t go to opera and theaters anymore, looses his connections – does he jumps classes? A “class” sounds almost as permanent as a “caste”.

The worst to come. Reading the book I’ve stumbled upon the notion that global warming is not a big deal, but (o, horror!) there is “rise of Russia and China“… Being both Russian and British citizen I find this offending. I could understand people being worrying if Russia or China are not getting any more democratic, peaceful and open. But, no, they have to stay poor and undeveloped for that “working class politician hero” being happy… This is so nationalist. Well, that’s it for me. Page four and I am completely fed up…

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