I recently looked up the meaning of bourgeois. All these years I’ve thought of it as excessively materialistic as that is how it seems to be thrown around in the books I’ve read. Almost exclusively as a derogatory epithet. According to Merriam-Webster it almost certainly describes me!
1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the social middle class
2 : marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity
3 : dominated by commercial and industrial interests : capitalistic
1 a : burgher
b : a middle-class person
2 : a person with social behavior and political views held to be influenced by private-property interest : capitalist
1 : middle class; also plural in construction : members of the middle class
2 : a social order dominated by bourgeois
What’s wrong with being middle-class? It seems like that is something that most of the world would actually like to be. To own a comfortable house with room for the family not to feel cramped and enough money left over at the end of the month to put a little aside for the future. Perhaps it’s the influence of Marx on our world that it has become a slur, though fascists also used it as an insult. I guess statists in general just don’t like the people having rights. Perhaps it’s the portrayal in media that has made it into a disparaging term.
Personally, it think more people need to take up the mantle of bourgeoisie and return it to something more along its origins: the class of people who work and build things of value. To me that seems more like a noble thing rather than something to be despised. This country, and especially our government, should be encouraging entrepreneurship instead of reliance on government.
My paternal grandfather started a couple of small businesses. My father and one of my uncles ran small businesses either on their own or with my grandfather. Most of the rest of my family was either white collar working class or in law enforcement. I am a member of the bourgeoisie. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear you are as well. The next time someone spits that term out at you, own it. Raise it up on the mantle of your being and proclaim your willingness to fight for the middle class. Don’t let people just pay lip service to representing the middle class.