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Ralph Kramden of the Honeymooners, like other quintissential American characters;Willy Loeman, Joe Buck, Walter Lee, etc., is constantly looking for the "one," that got away.

Ralph is dissatisfied with his position in life and feels he is a loser if he does not make it big. He is emmasulated by the circumstances in his life; circumstances that have much to do with external forces out of his control.

Yet Ralph, like many captivated by the promise of entrepreneurial capitalism will not accept this. It is almost as if he / we cannot accept it or are unwilling to accept this fate. The constant alluring message endemic in society maintains a blind allegiance to the viscious cycle of hope and disappointment.

However, Alice knows the limitations of both their lives, she is sensible, grounded in reality and perhaps this is owing somewhat to the understanding that for the most part women were not at the time of this character, welcomed into the land of "OZ," if you will.

The promise of "something" there had not yet deluted women as much as men. However; with the advance of the women's movement [1970 on] more females entering the workforce attempting to climb the ladders of "success," are also struggling with this dilemma.

From afar, it may have seen for many women that the principal problem with society was that it discriminated against women. If this could be defeated all would be well. What the women did not realize is that men themselves were not liberated;so how could demanding men to do the liberating accomplish anything of worth?

One could utilize any particular category, not only gender, could be age, race, creed, disability and so on. The oppression if only seen as the power to exclude or keep out, is quite misdirected. As in the often alluded to phrase the oppressed becoming the oppressor.

The "wrongs" occuring in one's life from a power separate and apart, is not wrong simply because it excludes; it is wrong because of the reasons it excludes not the result. By changing places, does this make it right?

In order to gain in an exploitative economy one must also exploit to succeed or one is asking the existing system to be something it is not. As Marx, instructed, "Take from an institution its power of exclusion and it ceases to exist."

The problem with power of exclusion in capitalism is not discrimination based on gender or any of the other previously mentioned catergories; it is basically exclusion based on class, a very complicated yet simple phenomena. If one is asking capitalism to no longer exclude based on position or class, you are asking it not to exist, not a bad sentiment by the way.

To believe one can transcend class is like Ralph Kramden constantly believing he will hit it big. He keeps trying and this is good for the oppresing class in akin with the often quoted Marxist like phrase- "the strength of democracy is that it offers the illusion of freedom." The illusion of personal freedom will keep him focued on his attempts and he will continually put the onus on himself without ever coming to realize the genuine dynamics within society.

Someone like Ralph may be able to eventually wear the clothes of the emperor; however, these clothes never really do fit. One may obtain a house, a car, a few vacations here and there [albeit, more difficult in the current economy] but still somewhat possible, However; one like Ralph will always be dissapointed, always fall short of the mark, always stress under the oppression of manufacturing capitalism.

To gain a more clear understanding of this, perhaps a quote from F. Nietzsche will help to elucidate, bear with me please: " On the lack of noble manners"

soldiers and leaders still have far better relationships with each other than workers and employers. so far at least, culture that rests on a military basis still towers above all so-called industrial culture: the latter in its present shape is altogether the most vulgar form of existence that has yet existed. Here one is at the mercy of brute need;one wants to live and has to sell oneself, but one despises those who exploit this need and buy the worker. oddly, submission to powerful, frightening , even terrible persons like tyrants and generals, is not experienced as nearly so painful as is this submission to unknown and uninteresting persons, which is what all the luminaries of industry are. What the workers see in the employer is usually only a cunning, bloodsucking dog of a man who speculates on all misery; and the employer's name, shape, manner, and reputation are a matter of complete indifference to them. The manufacturers and entrepreneurs of business probably have been too deficient so far in all those forms and signs of a higher race that alone make a person interesting. If the nobility of birth showed in their eyes and gestures, there might not be any socialism of the masses. For at bottom the masses are willing to submit to slavery of any kind, if only the higherups constantly legitimized themselves as higher, as born to command-by having noble manners. The most common man feels that nobility cannot be improvised and that one has to honor in it the fruit of long periods of time. But the lack of higher manners and the notorious vulgarity of manufacturers with their ruddy, fat hands give him [Ralph Kramden] the idea that it is only accident and luck that have elevated one person above another...."

So all of us Ralph Kramden's -women too, Now- lets relax and enjoy the silly little show called Entrepreneurial Capitalism.

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I think I will reply to my own debate here; I perhaps should not as it will take the sting out of it, but what the heck.

Someone should write; Gee John, relax! Ralph is funny, the Honeymooners is funny- Like from one of the Honeymooners episodes; When the little boy Alice was baby sitting saw Ralph wearing the racoon hat, "Gee, I never knew Davey Crocket was so fat." One could say, Gee I never knew John was so stupidly serious!

Have a Great Night
You could have called this piece "Sympathy for Joe the Plumber." So what should Ralph Kramden/Joe the Plumber do?

Joe the Plumber recently signed a deal to be a pitchman for digital TV converter boxes, so he may have found his solution. I wonder if he will be able to transcend his "class" though.
Good rhetorical question- Joe remains safe at home idolizing the ruddy hands of the capitalist. Although it is obvious that Joe has very crude manners, he does try to appear reasonable. But reasonable or not we all make fun of him/us?

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