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DesDownunder

School 'prefect' in story?

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Fascinating thread!

In the UK the only class structure today is Money. Those with it, the 'nouveau rich' are the new upper class, frequently buying stately piles that aristocrats can't afford any more - and turning them into hideous hotels or apartment complexes...

Quite apart from the fact that the House of Lords no longer has true 'Lords', just those appointed by government quangos. It's rather sad, but then the world is changing...

We still - luckily - have a Royal family. But then they are actually German.

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You guys are truly amazing.

Let me rephrase my argument.

When I said America is inherently classless, moreso than other countries, I was using the word class in a more narrow construct than it is generally being used here. When I think of the word "class" to define and separate and categorize people, my first thought is to get angry, and my second is to look at it probably as it was used long ago in the Western world, as something defining the quality of people, something that sprung from their birth status, their lineage, their breeding, their titles and only then their education, property and money.

So when I say this is not the prevalent way of separating people in this country, it was on that basis I meant it. We are not judged on our lineage nearly to the extend it was done that way in England. That there are still distinctions based on race, sexuality, economics and education and the like remains obvious. However, if we simply focus on the value of the person, who he is, we Americans don't hold who he came from as being terribly important. He can become whatever he wants here, and that isn't limited by his birth peculiarities.

Okay, so I'm a hopeless romantic.

Cole

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Cole, while I can understand what you are saying, I must vehemently (okay, calmly) point out that your comment is spoken from the point of view of a majority player. If you were in any of the minority 'classes' you wouldn't feel that way at all. There is a reason blacks protest about discrimination so much, because it's there. Even the blacks don't see that they are doing the same to other minorities. Sadly, from my own observations, and that of friends, I can say that the 'class' squashed to the very bottom of the heap in North America, are the aboriginal peoples. As little racial profiling and discrimination as there is here by comparison with many USA locations, it is truly epidemic, and it horrifies me. There is nothing much I can do about it, except be myself and respect everyone equally, even speaking out when I see injustices, (very hard to do for an aspie who gets tongue tangled just talking to friends), but it remains a constant irritant to me that my fellow human beings cannot seem to help but need to quash another in order to feel good about themselves. I suspect that this need, to be higher in the 'pecking order', is the root cause of all this class crap.

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Discrimination of any sort is truly horrible. I feel for you, Trab. It shouldn't happen. Maybe one day it won't, but I won't hold my breath. Human nature being what it is, people are always going to be looking down on others if and when they can. It makes them feel superior, and that too is a human feeling. Not a nice one, but one that certainly exists.

To me, however, that's not the sort of thing I'm talking about when I'm discussing social classes. I was thinking about distinct classses as they had in England with one group definitely above the others and very little possiblility for people born below that class ever to move into it. That's the sort of class I was referring to, and it's the sort of thing that isn't pervasive in this country.

Discrimination based on race, sexuality, handicaps and the like is an entirey different breed of cat.

C

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I wish I could agree with you about it being a different kettle of fish. Even in England it started with simple discrimination. Conquered groups speaking a different language. A new wave of conquerers and the same thing. The class structure almost certainly started with simply overrunning the country, setting up discrimination based on language, and finally entrenching it in law, and custom. It is quite likely to happen here too, in 1000 years.

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America has many different races and religions. The defining characteristic of any of the groups is primarily economic. The only color that really means anything here is green.

If that makes us a "classless" society, so be it.

I've always thought that it was our celebrity-worshiping, low-brow, proud to be ignorant, religious fanatic, republican-voting trailer-trash that made us a classless society.

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