There is a similar group of people in urban centers today — intellectuals and artists who want to live their lives in search of some transcendent ideal expressed through the perfection of their art. These people are generally liberal. They are called “hipsters” and confused with their very opposite — the middle-class workers who most ardently embrace the status quo. In contrast to true artists, uncanny middle class “hipsters” dedicate their lives to acquiring capital, and then use that capital to acquire material possessions in an effort to conform. The middle-class hipster buys what he is expected to buy, just as he lives the life society expects him to live — that of a wage earner. And yet, these two sorts of people are grouped under the same term. How that is possible is a unique historical product of American ideology.
This may seem bizarre, but it is in fact a very natural consequence of the economic landscape of our generation. Most of us do not have real jobs. Most of us do not personally accumulate any wealth. The recession continues. However, our parents’ generation presided over the largest accumulation of personal wealth in all of human history. Our impoverished landscape is distorted by their wealth and influence.