I prefer condos to conventional forms of housing. It is far more convenient to delegate certain tasks to an association. The hiring of certain kinds of help simply does not scale down well to one home. But, of course, the Homeowner’s Association comes at a cost. I don’t just mean the fee for services. I mean conformity. Your neighbors are the same as you, your neighbors are a little different. There is comfort to that, but it straitjackets true creativity and individuality.
When it comes to classes, there are ways in which neighboring classes resemble each other. I will name a few examples, but this is key in successfully identifying which social class a given person is from. Some values are shared by neighboring classes, and some values exist in a candy cane fashion and are shared by classes two apart. By combining your observations, you can reliably tell how poor someone is.
That’s my superpower. I’m the Incredible Classist Man. Read exciting testimonials from people you don’t know!
“He cured the AIDS in my butt! It turned out to be tiny poor people!” – A Degenerate Homophiliac
“100% nonsensical ENTP blather nigger. What are you talking about?” – The Old Jew
“Really finds all the poors, even the ones that claim to be upper middle class!” – That angry wasp living by your storm gutter
“And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kid and your damn Doge!” – A Poor, Rightfully Put In His Divine Place Farming Mud
Let’s start with brand names and status signaling through material goods. Proles love status signaling by buying expensive brand name stuff. Even if it’s not a terribly good idea, buying something like a fancy shirt, some nice kicks, or a BMW allows them to feel bougie. Why is this a valuable status signal? In Proleland, resources are relatively scarce. Accordingly, the ability to not only acquire lots of resources but to spend them on useless luxury goods raises their status in society. It shows they can make and dispose of great sums, which makes them great. The ceremonial feast and other such ritualized destructions of wealth are some of the earliest rites of showing status in primitive societies. To say that shiny rims don’t result in lasting social mobility is to miss the point. The point is to impress others *within* one’s milieu.
Material signaling continues in the middle class, but it has a slightly different character. Everything shared between two classes is manifested a little differently in each. In the middle class, the emphasis is no longer about big, flashy, one-time purchases, but about maintaining a lifestyle expensive enough that the proles cannot imitate it. As such, the wasteful spending is no longer about bling. Both the upper class and middle class buy organic, Whole Foods food… but only one can afford it. The middle class is always collecting stuff and cluttering up their homes with it. Not tasteful, intelligence signaling stuff like African masks (where are the masks babs show me the masks) and golden Maltese Crosses, but stuff like Margaritaville machines and CD collections. The middle class is trying to maintain the highest lifestyle they can, keeping up with the proverbial Joneses. When the middle class sees a brand, it sees a marker of quality that shows a product is going to last a long time while simultaneously advertising their lifestyle. The middle class loves Target because it’s like Walmart but everything is *slightly* more expensive, thus keeping out the proles, and because the poor retail drones are forced to worship the customer. The middle class believes, erroneously, that the higher castes love to run their servants and ritually humiliate them, and Target gives them a place where they can ritually humiliate poorly paid shelf stockers. Because of the slightly higher price point, proles avoid the store, reasoning that it doesn’t make much sense to pay more for literally the same crap. This comforts the middle class person, for the sight of proles reminds them of where they came from and where they could return if not careful, and it is this atavistic fear that really drives their extreme disdain for “trashy” people. It is the fear of death. Better to bury the past and cut off all the crabs that could drag one back into the bucket.
Now, if you’ve got inherited money, it doesn’t prove anything to be able to spend it at Target. So that’s not going to be a successful status signal anymore. When resources are no longer scarce, spending them doesn’t mean anything.
What bridges the middle and upper middle classes? Ideas. Ideas are the bridge.
Proles distrust authority and establishment ideas. They think, not unfairly, that experts spew lots and lots of crap ideas that make no sense. The middle class is different. The middle class is the class of expert worship. If a doctor tells you to do something, you do it. Expert worship is partly a product of social distance. You really can’t worship experts once you see them close up – they are too human, too mortal. And it’s partly because of the transformative power of ideas. The middle class is able to rise above the masses because it is skilled labor, not unskilled labor. It is able to do things through the special things it has learned. And furthermore, they acquire values which allow them to structure their lives. By living in accordance with bourgeois values, they are able to escape the chaotic mess of prole life. How can they not worship experts when experts are the ones that create these wonderful and powerful ideas? Science says! The middle class uses this new concept of ideas to look down upon the proles. The middle class knows all the right ideas, and the proles are so ignorant to them! In the middle class mind, every question has a right answer, and it is only a matter of being told what the right answer is. When they see someone with the wrong answer, they scoff, imagining that person never learned the right answer or that they are too stupid to absorb it.
Such an attitude makes a person very smug.
The upper middle class doesn’t need bourgeois ideas to structure their lives. Their lives are naturally quite disciplined and orderly. They have the money to protect them from proledom. What matters here? Épater le bourgeois! Only novel ideas can keep you ahead in the Baron’s Race! I have written extensively on this subject already, but suffice to say, novelty dominates conventionality. The Left always wins in the end. But… the Left can also be Right.
But the upper class is no longer the class of ideas. It was, once upon a time. But its members are now stagnant, and they are aware of this. To be nimble of mind when there are no dangers is a difficult thing. There is no selection pressure to stay sharp. To compensate, and to prove their domination over their nerdy minions (actual peasants are too lowly to even figure in upper class minds), they become more physically adept. The established WASPs could out-muscle the new Jews, but the fact that they resorted to this was a mark of insecurity – the new blood was stronger than them. Again, the fear of death reigns.
What bridges the upper middle and the upper? Pedigree. Prestige. For the middle class, just going to college is enough to be proud. But for the upper middle, it is not enough to get into college (a trivial task) – one must also get into a professional career. To do that, one needs prestige, as much prestige as can be gotten. It’s not what you know, it’s where you learned it, and who you learned it with. Seniority is out, names are in. The golden sheepskin serves as legitimation for one’s place in the world. And this legitimacy is necessary because one’s family name and ancestral legacy is no longer enough to carry a man. People first become aware of the great wheel of history at this strata. It is filled with the ruined legacies of great noble houses. Memory is long and history is short. Below is oblivion, above is a return to glory. But to move up requires one to turn the great wheel. The projects that might accomplish this increasingly become world historical and multi-generational. Alliances are made, plans are planned and then forgotten, and all the while, centuries slip by. Many families are extincted before they ever seize the grass crown, while others are destroyed by their attempts to grab it.
Yet people keep trying. Man is a creature whose appetites are never sated.
How can a man rise?
As above, so below,
Monsieur le Baron