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Part of the recent political struggle in the United states has been a return of the notion that "rank has its privileges" to an America that was not built that way in the first place. The U.S. was created in that "one brief shining moment" when the increasingly preposterous excesses of the nobility spawned philosophers like John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin and the idea that “all men are created equal”. The idea was even written into the new American constitution.
The nobility did not take kindly to losing their privileges. Raised on fairy tales and children's stories that promote the belief that there are certain special people out there who ought to be above the rest of us mere mortals simply because of who they are. Generations of girls have fantasized about finding out they were a “real” princess. Walt Disney made billions telling that story dozens of different ways.
In the mid 1800s’ help came to the noble and would-be noble class from Charles Darwin. He famously proposed that talent and brains and, by inference, success, was, in fact, inherited and improved by natural selection. Those who had believed all along that some people (mostly themselves) were, in fact, better than the rest of us, seized on this idea and ran with it. The result was the flowering of progressivism, eugenics, socialism, communism, nazism and finally, the Democrat party - all predicated on the idea that this better breed of people should run things (and, incidentally have extra privileges to go with that responsibility).
Oh, at first the notion took a quasi-Democratic form. If by chance or dint of hard work, you did manage to "make it", it is considered self-evident that you are one of the elite. You (and your genes) are welcomed into the privileged gene pool and protected from the consequences of actions that would get ordinary mortals thrown into jail. The 16th and 17th century kings, dukes, earls and barons have been replaced by actors and actresses, politicians and corporate titans.
When are we going to give up the Hollywood-fueled notion that there ought to be such a thing as a privileged class? Well, Halloween came and went and once again this year the number one costume for girl children in the United States was - you guessed it - the "Princess" costume.
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain