Category Archives: grovelling

Those classless societies, Australia and the USA

Dalrymple is taken to lunch in a grand club by some very rich men. They give him

the benefit of their opinion on Britain’s rigid class system. They appear not to notice that they are being served by a flurry of obsequious men, whose grovelling is certainly the equal of any that I have seen anywhere.

Since Dalrymple’s hosts are

intelligent and cultivated, I conclude that they must feel uneasy about the notion of class, perhaps even guilty at being themselves so obviously members of an upper class, and quite a rarefied one.

The embarrassment of Dalrymple’s interlocutors stems, he explains, from

a common confusion between a class society and a closed one. They are not the same thing. A classless society would be the most closed of all, because in it there could be no social mobility, upward or downward. Everyone would stay where he was because there would be nowhere else to go.

Revenge of the nightclub-queue slaves

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 07.49.29Observe, writes Dalrymple, a queue of people waiting to get into a nightclub,

how meekly they allow themselves to be searched by the thuggish-looking bouncer-greeters (who incidentally have a very high rate of violence towards women). How the bouncer-greeters lord it over them! What power, moral and physical, they wield!

The bouncers have a star-like quality:

I have seen a greeter-bouncer drive by (in a pastel-shaded BMW), and have heard the admiring comments of those he and his type have humiliated a hundred times.

The people in the queue,

supposedly so rebellious and anti-authority, are willing to endure almost any humiliation so long as they gain entry into one of the circles of hell, where the noise is so great that they enter a trance-like state almost at once. Slaves could hardly be more abject.

It is an illusion that everyone wants to be free,

but everyone wants to assert himself, and no one likes to be humiliated.

How do the abject slaves of the nightclub queues revenge themselves for their humiliation at the hands of the greeter-bouncers?

By being insolent towards those in authority who nevertheless have an infinite duty of care towards them, such as doctors, who cannot answer back. A young man who grovels to a greeter-bouncer in a night club queue will have no hesitation in cheeking a doctor and letting him know who is boss.

The doctor

cannot refuse to cure a patient merely because the patient shows him scant respect, and for the first time the patient knows it. Thus we see the dialectic of dependence and resentment in a population that is no longer expected to regulate itself, but expects always to be protected from the consequences of its own tastes and conduct.