Social Values And Norms

Class – Bad

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"Class - Bad"
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I really did not want to say that a stratified class system was good or bad, so I chose bad as that appeared to be the best answer. But to be perfectly honest I believe it is all a matter of individual case analysis, and that in some places it is a good thing and in some a bad thing. However just for the record I will side with the Communists on this one this time.

A stratified class system is not difficult to understand. Rock strata composed of sedimentary rocks are essentially layers of different materials, that give rise to the often colorful and picturesque formations of multicolored contouring found at such places of erosion as the Grand Canyon in the United States of America. It is not difficult to see how such a term can be used to describe a class system.

A stratified class system is thus one where different classes occupy different levels, and the higher ones are better off, or have more wealth or power, than the lower ones. Now at first it might seem obvious that this is an unfair system, and one might feel inclined to join the Socialists. But firstly let us define unfairness.

Unfairness is not simply a difference of status between two groups of people. If we were to define a group of individuals as group A, then if 99 of these people had incomes of 400 dollars per week and one person had 200 per week, we would classify this as an unfairness, if it was not that individuals fault they were in that situation. Whereas if we have two groups, group A and group B, and those in group A receive 400 per week but those in group B 200 per week, this is not unfair, as those in group B are not the same people as those in group A.

This might not sound convincing, so let us look at it this way. Humans have shelter, clothing, plentiful food (in well off countries), and a small chance of being injured or killed in violence. Compare this situation to that of a non human animal. Anyone who believes in the words of Charles Darwin will know this to be no different to the situation previously described with regards to groups A and B. Thus, is it unfair to snails or turtles that they do not have cars, mobile telephones and high paying jobs? Precisely. It is not an unfairness, but a difference of situation between two groups, or classes.

Now you may be wondering why I chose to write to the 'bad' side of this debate. Well with regards to humans we do not have proper classes. What I mean is that with the previous theoretical situations we had absolute class boundaries and distinction, whereas in human society it is far more complicated. There is not a high class, middle class and working class. This is a generalization used to simplify classification of social demographics. It is obviously grossly over simplified from the facts of reality.

Thus I would argue for the pursuit of equality of all humans, on the basis that a class system can not exist in present conditions, as an absolute system of class definition would be difficult to impose, and quite unnecessary. However given the theoretical conditions of groups A and B I would judge that there is no unfairness unlike the first situation with just group A.

More about this author: Mark Waybill

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