6. One might argue that the aligning of poor white people with conservative politics is completely irrational; conservative policy literally flies in the face of poor white people’s interests. But, this is, in some sense, what Marcuse is describing and diagnosing (though he’d go further and say, in fact, that both liberal and conservative policy is more or less against the interests of most people). First off, is this correct? That is, is it true that economically less well-off white people align with conservative politics? Second, if it is, what’s Marcuse’s diagnosis exactly?
In the assessment of political alignment with the interest of certain groups, I think that it can be a challenging and very complex task to tackle. The argument that conservative politics do not align with the needs of poor white people, does make some sense to me, economically speaking. In “trickle-down” economics it seems only reasonable that this group would be one of the least benefiting parties from such a policy. On the contrary, however, I think that there may be many poor white people who feel that social conservatism does indeed align with their beliefs about the specifics of how our country and society as a whole should function. Whether less well-off white people truly do tend to align with conservative beliefs, I am not sure, however, I can agree that economically speaking, their alignment with these said views does spell irrationality. As for Marcuse’s diagnosis, it seems that he thinks a major factor of industrialization is the divide between the two parties and more specifically the convergence of the two. The ideas of reason and freedom he states can only come and function fully when we are able to truly choose any political ideas that we want. Rather he is stating that we are not able to do this in the duality of the way that our current system is functioning. There are two large collectives of ideals that you either subscribe to or lose the “meaning” of your choosing.