WHO ARE THE BOURGEOISIE?If you read any remotely leftist literature, you'll run across the term bourgeoisie and bourgeois as the capitalist class. It's a French term, generally meaning "middle class", although in Marxist parlance has come to mean a lot more.It has come to mean a lot more, however, over time. Today, it means:One belonging to the bourgeoisie The middle class One whose attitudes and behavior are marked by conformity to the standards and conventions of the middle class In Marxist theory, a member of the property-owning class, a capitalist; opposite of the proletariat The term is used to convey things like mediocrity or a preoccupation with respectability and material values.Now, to me, this term has real meaning, but at the same time, it's archaic. I know a bourgeois when I see one, but there really hasn't been a word to replace this term, probably because of an overall decline in leftist theory in this century, and with the term "imperialist" often replacing the older term.In that spirit, let's see if we can come up with some other terms that more appropriately reveal what a bourgeois is...Perhaps "ass-kisser" would be a good term to describe a bourgeois? "Back-stabbing, conniving manipulator" is another good one. A "flake" is a good one, actually, although so is "phony" or "two-faced son of a bitch."But that only characterizes the person in the workplace, and there's so much more that you could say about them. Shallow, materialist, pretentious, empty-headed, snobbish -- all of those work pretty well. Vapid, condescending, racist, sexist, classist -- those work well, too.So many possibilities. See, I'm not out to mark the bourgeoisie as some all-encompassing boogeymen; rather, I see them as a byproduct of our capitalist society -- people who have become disconnected from their fellow human beings, and as a result are afflicted with sort of an inner rot which leads them to hate and fear the rest of society, and in many respects work toward its destruction.This disconnection, alienation, and atomization is a strong characteristic of the bourgeoisie -- they are sick, lonely souls who are most comfortable in the company of their own; certainly not mingling with what they'd term "the help."The bourgeoisie uniformly cling to the State out of fear that the unruly, unwashed masses they so fear will drag them back into the fold and force them to be human, that is, social, beings, again. To the bourgeoisie, that's a fate worse than death. They pride themselves on standing apart from what they'd call "the herd" -- meaning the rest of us non-bourgeois folks.You'll invariably find bourgeoisie in upper management positions, and in the majority of other management positions. That's their natural environment -- you don't work with them, you work for them.Another defining feature of the bourgeoisie is their deep hypocrisy. This is probably one of the most consistent characteristics of the bourgeois of the world -- they soothe their withered souls with notions of do-gooding while at the same time supporting the structures which cause the problems they malign in the first place!The bourgeoisie are most likely to shake their heads and "tsk" at the evil of humankind, which they believe in whole-heartedly -- of course, they're okay -- it's just the rest that's screwed. The quote "hell is other people" captures the bourgeois attitude.To attempt to fill the void in themselves wrought of their isolation and alienation, the bourgeois invariably seek to fill it with things. Materialism and consumerism, addiction to fashion, is the meat and drink of the bourgeois -- this is a token of pride for them, the arena in which they strive to excel.The bourgeois are very conscious of their place in society, and they envy and fear those above them, and loathe and fear those below them. Really, fear is a defining emotion for these people -- they live in fear of everything. They fear dropping into the lower social class, just as they fear offending those above them.Bourgeoisie are a narcissistic lot -- to say they're self-obsessed doesn't approximate how bad they are.Wealth = worth to the bourgeoisie. They are staunch adherents of the meritocracy, where those who succeed most are of course the most worthy. The wealthy are to be vicariously studied, envied, and emulated by the bourgeoisie, whereas the poor are to be avoided, lest it be contagious. This comes from their precarious center position, classwise -- richer than the poor, poorer than the rich; rich = good, poor = bad, be like rich. That's how it works with them.HOW TO ANNOY THE BOURGEOISIEHow do you tweak these sick people? There are all sorts of ways. First off, they take themselves very seriously, and are an uptight lot, ill-at-ease in just about any situation. That's because they're always trying to work some angle, to improve their position in the little social chess game they're always playing in their heads. Proper behavior and dress is so important to them, so one way to offend and annoy them is to not dress right for a given situation -- that will anger them for two related reasons: 1) maybe you're not dressed right because you're richer than they are and don't have to care like they do; 2) maybe you're not dressed right because you're poorer than they are, in which case they'll wonder how you managed to get in.Related to that is if you don't compliment them on new acquisitions; they generally fish for compliments and offer leading questions, so the way around that is to simply ignore their efforts. Another way to mess with them is to dress like them -- nothing offends them like appearing to resemble someone else, fashion-wise. In a sense, they try to camouflage their conformist interiors with what they feel are unique fashions (which really amounts to being "unique" together) -- so if you feel so inclined, match an outfit to them and watch them squirm.Bad service -- this is the Cardinal Sin in the world of the bourgeoisie. Don't mind cruel conduct; what really offends the bourgeoisie is bad service -- if you've ever worked customer service, you can readily spot a bourgeois -- they're the ones who yell at you or come up and complain to you like you're an idiot, and quickly pipe up, "let me see your manager". They're the ones who push their way to the front of a line, or who fume and roll their eyes when you're not catering to their needs fast enough.Now, the way to drive them bananas is to be as polite as possible, while offering piss-poor service. It'll annoy the bejeezus out of them, although the problem with this is you'll end up taking a lot of crap from them if you do this, so if possible, make it look like an accident, so you don't end up taking all of their heat. What'll REALLY get them fired up is if you give other folks decent service, while at the same time giving them bad service -- again, their "keeping up with the Joneses" reflex will simply be too much for them to take.If you're an ethnic minority, congratulations! You've already managed to alarm and offend the bourgeoisie. Since most minorities are either below or above them in social status, there is an innate dislike of you in the bourgeois person. Fear characterizes any interaction with a minority by the bourgeoisie, although the nature of it manifests in different ways.If you're Asian (Chinese or Japanese), their fear of you is based on the supposed "Asian superiority" relative to them; if you're Southeast Asian, you may be able to hoodwink them, but not if you're Polynesian -- skin tone means a lot to the bourgeois, with white being most good, and getting progressively worse the darker you go.If you're of African ancestry or Latino, then you'll immediately alarm them by way of your potential criminality, because these groups are generally below them in social class, and therefore suspect.Incidentally, there are minority bourgeoisie -- these folks tend to hate their own ethnicity and seek to hide it by "acting white" in as many ways as possible.Any mention of a controversial subject will swiftly discomfit a bourgeois -- anything about politics or religion will make them squirm, particularly issues which can't be tidily summed up in a pat phrase. If you really want to bug a bourgeois, solicit their opinion, and then follow-up on their response -- actually listen to what they say and then ask -- "do you really believe that?"That'll piss them off because you're forcing them to actually think about what they just said. At a basic level, bourgeoisie folks are good conversationalists, but only if you keep things superficial -- if you get "deep" on them, they will squirm.