I know that America is one of the few first world countries to never have had a king. That is one of the things I am proudest about my country. We don’t give people un earned privilege just because who they come from. Or do we? We might not have dukes and earls and princesses, but we do shamefully have a landed gentry in our country.
Before I get started here I want to clue you in on why I have been thinking about this lately. With the pandemic going on its seventh month now there are few American made TV shows available. Given the times it will likely be 2021 before we see much new content. Maybe that is a good thing as the quality of American productions has gone down substantially in the past few years. Yeah, there are a few good show, at least by my standards, but for the most part it is becoming the “vast wasteland” that many have been proclaiming for years now and the commercials are especially sleazy.
So, with my two iPhone hotspots I have managed to move over to Netflix with a AppleTV unit. What we seem to be watching more than anything are British shows. Especially the who-done-its But we are also watching history shows like “The Crown” and “The Czars” and of course, “Downton Abby”on PBS was appreciated. With all that history under my belt I appreciate our lack of all the king and czar stuff in our country.
I am currently watching “The Czars” on Netflix about how Russia was ruled by one family for over three-hundred years and how that quickly disappeared in a blood-bath during the Russian Revolution about a hundred years ago. Watching that happen and knowing the current situations in Russia, I can empathize with the everyday Russian. He has no idea what it is like to personally have power to change things. First were the czars followed by Marx and Lenin and finally with Putin now. They are struggling with any idea of “power to the people”.
Ok, now on to the idea of an American Aristocracy. We might not have the kings, dukes, czars or supreme leaders, but we do have a those who have an undo influence on how our government operates. Those are the ones who have inherited extreme wealth from the successes of their fathers, grandfathers or great-grandfathers. These folks have no idea what it is like to go without or even to have to work to be able to live. They have had privileges all their lives and in many cases it has tarnished their character. There is no better example of that than the person currently occupying the Oval Office. His daddy gave him $40 million to get started and then another $400 million in inheritance. The only thing he has been lacking is the approval of his father. That deeply tarnished him from probably a very young age to the point that he thinks of NOTHING but himself and his image.
Finally, closing out this post, unearned privilege is in my mind the worst human characteristic. If there is no sense of accomplishment there is little chance of being a brother’s keeper Christian. I think we need to go back to the times when inherited wealth is taxed at 60% or more. That will make sure that those who gain wealth will have earned it themselves. Let’s make America the land of opportunity but never the land of aristocracy.