Colby Cosh is a good writer and it's nice to learn more about him. Today's post really is an interesting one as it makes you think of the various people you know and if, as a whole, you see a correlation as Colby suggests:
Read it all.
I bring this up because becoming a political writer has had the perverse effect of radicalizing me, emotionally, about class matters. I followed what now seems like a pretty singular path into this job; the enormous majority of my colleagues, on all points of the political spectrum, seem to have backgrounds that can safely be described as affluent. There are exceptions, but very few. And while I wouldn't quite say as a rule that the most strident protectors of the working class were raised the furthest from it--well, golly, it sometimes seems that way. I don't know if I can describe, as someone who once lived in a trailer park, how it makes me feel to hear Naomi Klein (parents: doctor, filmmaker) or Avi Lewis (no genealogical comment necessary) or Linda McQuaig (parents were, as I recall, some sort of doctorate-wielding consultants) mash the W word and the C word together in that self-satisfied way of theirs.
There's a kind of Marxist presumption that because I'm a right-winger I must have a trust fund somewhere, or that pater must be a stockbroker ensconced in a leather chair, applauding my every blow for the plutocratic Home Team.
If you compared the average working physicist to the average working journalist, I believe you'd find that the latter had parents whose income was much higher. And I believe this is so even though it's the physicist who is ostensibly in greater need of early-life educational advantages, an encouraging household milieu, and (to stick one toe into Larry Summers territory) inheritable cognitive endowments. This happens not because journalism is a cliquish, incestuous business, or just because it is; it's also
because a child of intellectuals or businessmen just has a much easier time imagining getting paid for doing mental work and nothing else.
Read it all.