So I did it. I used the "c" word. Class. That funny old-fashioned idea that your options in life were mostly, if not completely, dictated by the family – the class – that you were born into. That relic of the past that thankfully, in our modern egalitarian society, no longer holds you down.
For in this enlightened day and age, you're free to move up.
You're free to move up – even if you're born at the bottom, born to a poor family with no assets or education. You're free to earn yourself a scholarship to a good university. And even if you can't, you're free to work as many jobs as you need to put yourself through.
You're even free to apply to your dream job. And they're free to reject you in favor of a candidate with a higher GPA. Who went to a better school. Whose tuition and board were fully paid for by her wealthy family. Who is better than you.
Not from a higher class, mind you. Because we live in a meritocracy. She can't be higher class, because we don't have class in this society. She's just better. Plain and simple.
But not to fear. The wonderful thing about a meritocracy is that you're free to make yourself better too! You're free to rent a tiny apartment, so that you might find some meager savings to invest. You're free to spend your weekends and evenings learning new skills and growing your network, slowly working your way up the ranks, until one day, you find yourself sharing meals with those who never had to.
"Oh, but I worked damn hard to get where I am. I deserve my position, and if those lazy fuckers worked as hard as I do then they wouldn't have anything to complain about."
Sure, buddy. It's not like those lazy fuckers hadn't been working at your daddy's company for decades before he parachuted your childish ass into that cushy role above them.
"Besides, it's not like people can't build themselves a better life. Yeah, sure, it takes sacrifice. But you just need to want it enough. I mean, look at me."
Sure, miss. I wish I could sacrifice some time to start a side business while studying at Yale – with money from your wealthy family friends, I might add.
"And the thing is, when you actually look into it, most billionaires have a rags to riches story. That's the thing, the rich are rich because they've worked for it. They deserve it. It's just how it is".
No, it's not how it is. I refuse to accept it, and fuck whoever suggested it.
They’re not better because their parents could afford to send them to Yale. They’re not better because their family had the connections to fund their business idea at the ripe old age of 18. They’re not better because they’d been taught enough about the world to apply to Goldman Sachs straight out of uni, or because they can now afford to take an NGO's low salary and actually do something meaningful with their life.
They’re not better because their class bias only lets them see those who've worked hard and succeeded. They’re just blind – blind to all of us who've worked hard and failed.
They’re not better than us. They’re just from a different class. And the last thing they want is for us to stop bullying each other over superficial differences in identity and remember it.