class warfare

Sharpen your bayonets and pack a bunch of rusty nails into your improvised explosive devices, everybody — it’s class warfare time!

No, hey, settle down. I was only kidding about the weapons. Here at Wordmonster, we like violence almost as little as we like histrionic political language designed to make people hate and fear each other. Which is to say almost not at all.

Class warfare is a metaphor, obviously. The idea is that the different social classes (poor, medium, and rich) are at war. The war is about money. Poor and medium people are trying to take money from rich people, who would prefer to keep it. Instead of using bombs or bullets, the two sides fight with tax laws.

So, points for imagination, I guess, but a strange thing happens when you declare yourself at “war” with people who have more or less money than you do. Can you guess what it is? You start to think of those other people as those other people, the bad guys, the enemy. You also make it easy to confuse your opinion about the marginal tax rate with a moral imperative, a noble cause worth dying for.

Points for imagination, indeed.