Is there true aristocracy in the United States?


Aristocracy was a term which meant ‘rule of the best’ and included a war-like class that felt it had certain duties to lesser individuals. In the European Middle-Ages like in China and Japan a system of honorable behavior and respect for women was included, reason for the rise of the Renaissance in Italy. Even the brutality of war did not prevent a resurgence of interest in the arts, literature and a code of conduct that allowed for a highly civilized layer of society.

Not so with the bourgeois commercial and industrial upper classes who feel no duty at all towards others nor a desire to follow certain rules of behavior. Their only interest is/was to control the production and exchange of goods and the control of money. Devoid then of a civilizational urge, they are as hard boiled and deprived of civilizing potential as the ever struggling lower classes (poverty does not breed nobility). Especially in the US where the economic mobility and capitalist-like competition make everyone uncertain in status, the upper classes have no civilizing character distinct from the proletariat (vide Trump).

About the author
Gui Rochat is a certified cosmopolitan and fierce contrarian living in New York City.

Cover image: 18th century British aristocracy as visualized by Stanley Kubrick in Barry Lyndon (1975).

 

 

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One thought on “Is there true aristocracy in the United States?

  1. Albeit rarely, my 5 years of Greek and 8 of Latin are “vindicated,” so to speak. Could not agree more with the assessment by Gui Rochat, especially the point about the absence of a “civilizational urge.” I would almost add that, besides the absence, there floats at large a contempt for any civilizational urge not directly connectable or connected to profit.

    Therefore, it is meaningful that the head of the indispensable and exceptional nation appears, is, or has become the very caricature of himself, a gorilla thumping his chest.* Which would be amusing, were it not for the consequences of such pernicious attitude on the rest of the world (and indirectly even at home).

    Post-Easter cheers!

    (* No offense to actual gorillas, for whom this behavior is both natural and harmless, as they are above and outside the realm of human idiocy or pretense.)

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