Jenny Russel of the Guardian writes, “As the middle classes feel the pain of comparison with the super-rich, we lose all enthusiasm for the common good”.
The rise of the super-rich, and their capacity to outbid others in the competition for houses, schools, space and possessions, has produced a new definition of success. It is one that excludes whole swaths of professionals. Doctors, publishers, managers and academics who began their careers in the expectation that they would lead comfortable lives and feel proud of their social position are now experiencing a sharp sense of dislocation. But that experience isn’t leading, as one might expect, to a generalised support for greater equality. Instead it’s frequently giving rise to a sense that individuals must fight to preserve what they have at all costs.
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