If Only People Would Grasp The Implications Of Their Own Observations

15
849

There’s an idea out there that we should become a more socially equal country. One that’s equal in civil liberty is clearly a desirable goal – civil liberties being those things we gain by being human, as we’re all humans we shall all have those liberties. There are, of course, the nutters who insist upon economic equality which is a system that has just never worked anywhere – incentives matter.

Social equality though – what’s wrong with that? Well, Torsten Bell tells us:

The DVLA has sold nearly 6m personalised number plates: 8% of us have one, with a total value of £2bn .

OK, a useful manner of raising money. That’s even “Nudge” style stuff. People are weird, how can we turn that to advantage in creating a better society?

But what is this weirdness being taken advantage of?

It turns out we’ll pay through the nose for social status, whichever side of the pond we’re on.

Oh, social status is important, is it?

We humans care about social status. It shapes how we behave, what jobs we do and what we spend our money on.

Well, yes, it appears so. As is usually true of sexually dimoprhic species in fact and is definitely true of apes. Social status matters deeply to us peeps. It’s actually the defining factor in that meaning of life, the production of grandchildren. So a socially equal country is something that does not, cannot, exist. At least, not among our current species. And those attempts to create New Soviet Man never did work out all that well, did they?

15
Leave a Reply

avatar
5 Comment threads
10 Thread replies
7 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
bloke in spainQuentin VoleMichael van der RietSnarkusSpike Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Richard
Guest
Richard

It is not just the fact that caring about social status is “hard wired” into us it is also the fact that different groups measure social status in different ways. Kind of hard to make everyone “equal” when we are all playing different games.

Snarkus
Guest
Snarkus

Richard, Very perceptive comment. I know people whose social status involves unusual sports. kudos in that sport is incomprehensible to most peeps. Among my own kind, coding skills used in solving developers problems gained “status” among coworkers but only indifference from the PHB class. The idea of equality always makes me ask “What problem do you wish solved?” If response is whine list, conversation ends as no specific issue is raised.

Leo Savantt
Guest
Leo Savantt

Is civil liberty really desirable or even possible? We restrict the liberty of criminals, sex offenders and other transgressors (such as banning some from the directorships of companies), most would say quite rightly so. We deliberately makes some people less equal. Being equal in a civil, or indeed any other sense, has no inherent value whatsoever, it is only quality that counts. In law, if our neighbour is unfairly treated by a court, would we prefer better and therefore unequal treatment for ourselves, or even our enemies, from the judiciary? If one County Council raises local tax and does a… Read more »

Spike
Guest
Spike

Bottom line, we should strive to make people more equal by a measure they use to try to be more unequal? This is simply gov’t once again struggling against human nature.

Tell me, is social status one of the ways in which Kamala Harris thinks it is “equitable” if everyone “winds up at the same place”?

It’s $50 a year here for a vanity car license plate – even in subsequent years where prisoners don’t have to stamp out a new plate. Will this price come down, if we are all entitled to equal vanity?

bloke in spain
Guest
bloke in spain

Very useful things, personalised number plates. Excellent c**t indicator. They signify the vehicle in question contains someone who thinks they’re important. Whereas, if they were actually important, the number plate wouldn’t be needed to identify them. Who but a c**t…?
Of course there are those who buy them because it removes the year indicator from the car. So you don’t know how old it is to judge the wealth of the owner. Think that through. The genuinely wealthy don’t buy recent cars to to signify their wealth. Who would they be trying to impress?

Spike
Guest
Spike

No, I think they merely label a vehicle whose driver is not on the road particularly to get anywhere, nor to obey the rules of the road, but to send a message to other drivers (not necessarily of one’s self-importance). In any case, they label bad drivers, as do social-issue bumper stickers.

I agree that the genuinely wealthy are those who use a minimum of their wealth to let you know they are.

bloke in spain
Guest
bloke in spain

Don’t know about the bad driving. The landlord of one of our locals out in Essex had his initials on the front of his car. He was also a reasonably well known competitor in F1, in his day. Like most comp licence holders, he was a pretty safe driver. Nothing to prove. Complete c**t in other matters. His Finnish wife was tasty though.

Spike
Guest
Spike

That would be a counterexample, as F1 drivers are probably not bad drivers (unless they think your village is holding an F1 when it isn’t).

Hard to indicate a trophy wife with a vanity plate. You probably need a convertible.

bloke in spain
Guest
bloke in spain

Oh much worse than that. He had a Roller. One of the naff ones.

Quentin Vole
Guest
Quentin Vole

A Roller you drive yourself (as opposed to ‘James’ in his peaked cap) is always naff. Unless it’s a Silver Ghost. Hard to imagine an F1 driver choosing one.

bloke in spain
Guest
bloke in spain

We do have an early Cloud in the family. It was always a good bird puller if you’re interested in the rough end of the market. Plenty of room in the back.

bloke in spain
Guest
bloke in spain

Trouble is, you always look as if you’re on your way to a wedding. Or a funeral

Michael van der Riet
Guest
Michael van der Riet

I had a FOSSIL number plate. I can’t see how that inflated my ego in any way whatsoever. But then of course humour is seldom appreciated.

Quentin Vole
Guest
Quentin Vole

I once passed F46 GOT on the M3 – out and prod!

Michael van der Riet
Guest
Michael van der Riet

Well I dunno. The Finns work on the daisy cutting system and take elaborate steps to avoid contact with those in closest proximity, but they’re not doing too badly. Thrifty and self-reliant people who don’t want to rely on benefits are told, “Take it! It’s there! Take all that you can!” Finland is a very flat country with not a lot of ups and downs and they don’t like those who try to stand out above their fellows.