Herman Melville on the Prejudices of the Rich against the Poor

This is another excellent piece I found on 1000 Natural Shocks (over 18s only). I’ve blogged several times about the way the rich justify their power and wealth, and the vast inequalities in society, by demonising the poor. They ease their consciences by declaring that if the many are poor, it’s somehow because it’s their fault. They’re lazy, feckless and immoral. The whole Tory welfare policy of taking benefits away from people in order to somehow encourage them to find work is based on this.

The great 19th century American novelist was well aware of such prejudices, as this quote very succinctly shows.

Melville Rich Prejudice

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One Response to “Herman Melville on the Prejudices of the Rich against the Poor”

  1. Michelle Thomasson Says:

    Reminds me of the Poor Law in the UK enacted in 1834 to cut costs via The Poor Law Amendment Act. From that point on if the poor needed support they could get it – but only from the Workhouse – the conditions were deliberately harsh, so barbaric that only the totally destitute would seek help there. Workhouses were not abolished until 1930! Now 180 years later our society with it’s imposed austerity and debt are creating workhouse conditions where many work for less than the minimum wage and are treated terribly but are afraid to complain. Workhouse-like conditions without passing a poor law…. further info: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/poorlaws/newpoorlaw.shtml#Act1834

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