Updated: Jan 11
A Tale Of Two Classes (Taken Across the Waters)
The Wealth Gap discussion joins a long list of puzzling occurrences that seem to reflect class and systems. The obvious is certain, some people are wealthy and some are poor. Some people work hard, save their money and are poor. Some never work and are rich. It’s complicated, is a foregone conclusion that demands deeper examination.
In all races and ethnic groups there are same levels of genius and ability as well as laziness and lack of ambition.
Come with me back in time to Victorian England. There was found a strictly structured social system where privilege was determined by birth. The system was so embedded and so engrained that few questioned the legitimacy of entitlement by aristocrats and the sorry plight of the poor. What I hope to present here is a notion of how MONEY worship determines wealth building, more than the activity of working.
Mystery writer Agatha Christie once commented that she had no idea what her father did during the day. He didn’t have a job but managed to spend most of his hours away from home. She assumed that he was at one of his membership clubs with other men of his class. What was certain, was that he was not gainfully employed. He met with his solicitor (lawyer) or banker to arrange investments or a trust for his children. It was his responsibility to secure livelihoods for family members so that they would never have to work to maintain a casual lifestyle.
Aristocrats down on their resources had few options for recovery. They would need to marry money or sell property or if all else failed they could move to the Continent to avoid creditors and financial embarrassment. Debtor’s prison was a reality at that time. Many moved to America.
Aristocratic men sometimes took an interest in science (medicine) or tasks associated with working class careers, to the disapproval of family. Some were threatened to desist behaving like the lower classes or risk being cut from financial support. It was inexcusably ill mannered to work for a living. It reflected on the family name.
Women were the charges of their father and then husband and were taught to never think of money. It was beneath their concern. But, when circumstances failed her and she in dire financial condition could not marry money, a last resort was to hire her services as companion to an elderly widow or governess for a wealthy family. She was still above the rank of servant, yet the position was demeaning and humbling for a once privileged woman.
In that day housework was grueling with cleaning, washing, cooking, shopping, kitchen gardening and mending. All servant work in addition to caring for the Mistress' hair, bath and dressing, getting her tea, answering the call of her bell, running errands and to be available for any emergency. My Lady’s day was filled with several dress changes, always looking her best, visiting neighbors or receiving visitors, needlework and reading. She attended evening events, was always ready to play piano or sing and impress others with her water painting skills. She often shopped for personal finery and attended gown fittings with her seamstress. She even had a live in nurse to care for her children.
Fundamental to this archaic system was a code of entitlement that elevated the “betters” from those “below” that served them. Servants were often mistreated, abused and taken for granted. They were beneath notice, easily replaceable and dismissed for the slightest offense without a reference. Servants were taught that they lived to care for their betters and their esteem was determined by the house at which they served. It was understood that they would work long hours, seven days a week. After the Industrial Revolution, former servants obtained jobs at factories with sometimes better working conditions. To encourage servants to remain, they were granted a half day out to spend as they wished.
Systems that determine the lifestyles of social classes within every society has at least one thing in common. One class is entitled to be served by those they deem to serve them. This is replicated as a rite of passage wherever the wealthy live.
MONEY. To afford this lifestyle, a system of wealth building and wealth retention is mandatory. Without working, wealth had to be accumulated by exploitation of others over generations from serfs and debtor farmers. Answering the 19th Century capitalist call, Europeans looked offshore for resources. They found them in the rich and fertile lands of Africa, India, the Americas and other plucking grounds. Taking advantage of weaker populations, they colonized to plunder resources and built unbelievable wealth. The slave trade alone established family wealth for generations. Then by owning plantations with slaves in America and the Islands, much money flowed home. Pillage of Egyptian treasures for science and hobby was a blink and nod to their perceived entitlement.
MONEY. From birth the elite are taught that they should live without care, that the world was made for their enjoyment. All it took was MONEY. Victorian aristocrats came of age and received quarterly allowances to spend. Females were given a marriage inheritance that brought good husbands. Because MONEY was the unspoken center of life, those with securities at death became promised inheritance. It was anticipated, an every day experience to hear of somebody receiving a legacy. As expectation, the wealthy infirmed were watched carefully to determine when the payday would finally present.
MONEY. It all rolls into a ball labeled entitlement. Mine because I want and therefore deserve it. Because my world is spun around MONEY to enable a lifestyle of leisure, fun, enjoyment, security, lavish treats and not give a mind of concern about any other human being but those I love.
What is your name little girl? Mary, Mary Money
Tell me about your life and family. We enjoy the best in life, because we are never without money. We vacation around the world, eat at fine restaurants and I go to private school. My parents are always on the go and involved in social activities. We have servants at every one of our homes. I especially like cursing on our yacht. We live the American Dream.
What is your name little boy? I am Barron Faith
Tell me about your life and family. From an early age, I was asked what work I wanted to do. My parents work, we attend Sunday church services, enjoy community activities and are happy. We don’t have a lot of money but every few years we go to the beach or on a cruise. I think that I will become a firefighter like my father.
The Wealth Gap begins with the system introduced and perpetuated.
Nations, Ethnic Groups, Families that place wealth accumulation as priority, evidence levels of greed that justify taking from others as a means to their end.