Historically, there are
major groups that have commonly been described as “adventurers”:
a. Pirates and bandits who realised that the real money lay in getting people to pay them to go pillage someone else;
b. Members of the idle rich who wandered about robbing tombs and subjugating the locals for fun rather than for profit, often distinguishable from the first group only by the presence of a “Sir” before their names;
c. People who just wanted to look at birds, but it sort of got out of hand; and
Now, I’m not saying that this taxonomy would make a reasonable basis for a class system in a tabletop roleplaying game, but I’m not not saying it either.
To say otherwise suggests you understand little of the social class system here in the UK. Perhaps you are from somewhere like the US where your income defines your social class? It doesn’t work like that here.
You can be a very poor aristocratic Lord, forced to sell off the family silver and living in gentile poverty in the gatehouse of your old ancestral abbey , but you will always be Upper Class.
You can be a multimillionaire footballing legend and super brand like David Beckham and you will always be Working Class. Indeed, David is known for proudly extolling his working class credentials.
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson describes himself as working class, Multi milionaire Lord Alan Sugar would fire you if you suggested he was anything but working class.
Unless Harry or his parents are hiding a private education at Marlborough or perhaps Winchester, family lineage back to at least a minor Earl or 3rd Son of a Duke at some vague point in history, an historic family seat - even Norfolk or Cumbria would suffice - I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s working class. Hell, I bet he buys his own furniture.
Duke of Westminster, Earl Percy, Lady Mary Charteris = Upper Class
Kate Middleton (pre-marriage), David Cameron, Eddie Redmayne = Middle Class
Harry Styles, Adele, Jamie Oliver = Working Class
Working Class is not an insult. Working Class is not an indication of how much money you earn or your family income. At least not in the UK.
I think what you are trying to say in your ask is you think Harry (or his family) had more money than the other members of 1D. That his background was more affluent. That comes with an inherent and uncomfortable tone of him being somehow ‘better’ or ‘above’ the other four guys.
Whether his parents income level was above that of the other families or not does not elevate him to a ‘higher class’, and it most certainly doesn’t mean the others were ‘lesser.
sorting kids by ‘intelligence’ and ‘giftedness’ is literally useless, even harmful by promoting a sense of superiority/inferiority, and strongly works to reinforce the class system thru the lie of meritocracy, and all kids deserve the same quality of education and to be treated with an equal capacity for learning thats my hot take for today
📣📣📣 this is a public service announcement for those following the grenfell tower story abroad 📣📣📣
a lot of the foreign press seems to ignore the main tenets of the story so if you may here is a brief breakdown of why it’s shaping up to be a defining national moment in the uk:
***the housing tower is located in north kensington. it is social housing for poor and working class londoners of which a huge number are BME. the borough of kensington and chelsea is the richest in london and marked by devastating inequality and gentrification that some poorer residents describe as social cleansing. non-luxury housing in london is generally a huge issue that has gone unaddressed for decades now, and privatisation of social housing provision has meant that profit motive and cost cutting have been strongly featured in poor people’s housing. race, housing and poverty are also tightly linked in london; this was a poor and ethnically diverse community as you can see if you watch videos from the scene. first victims we knew that sadly perished were a black british female photographer and her mum, and and a syrian refugee.
***the council is tory and they have done less and less for the housing of its poorer residents and more to accommodate wealthy people. for example, the council is sitting on 300 million in cash reserves yet somehow didn’t find cash to install basic fire sprinklers that the residents asked for? not only that but the 8 billion refurbishment that included the now notorious cladding was partly done for insulation but partly also to make the ugly 1970s council estate look more aesthetically pleasing for the swanky neighbourhoods nearby. the more flammable material used in the cladding saved the building contractor a whopping £5000
***government has been tory for the past 7 years and the order of the day has been austerity. public services have been cut to the bone and so has local authority funding. social housing managers who often work for subcontracted private providers paid by the council have a huge case load. they are encouraged to spend less and less time on health and safety (including fire safety) and more on asking intrusive questions about people’s jobs and incomes because of the tory culture of dividing people into the “deserving and undeserving poor” ie those who work and those who don’t. people on benefits are not prioritised when it comes to housing despite individual circumstances, which is why in grenfell you had 70 year olds with limited mobility living on the 22nd floor.
***uk has probably the most entrenched class system in the world and trashing of the working classes and the poor is almost a national hobby for some people. right-wing tabloid media is extremely powerful and they paint a picture of benefit cheats and non-working immigrants even though most poor people in britain work (they are the new working poor who have terrible wages and live in squalid and unaffordable housing) and most BME people were born here, they’re not immigrants
***if you are poor you are largely voiceless and meaningless to this neoliberal tory government. the tenants had written letters raising concerns about fire safety and in response were threatened with legal action. of course they couldn’t respond because tories have cut legal aid because of… yes, austerity. meanwhile tory ministers have been sitting on reports about fire safety in council flats including one from a coroner of a case where six people died in a housing block in south london in 2009. the prime minister didn’t meet the people affected at the scene and the response has generally been very poor. local council has been nowhere to be seen and the donations have come from ordinary people – proper working class solidarity in the face of state that treats them with utter contempt.
TL;DR: austerity kills, gentrification kills, indifference kills. people want justice, they are angry. why did up to 150 people die? this was preventable – it’s scandalous, horrific. it’s like poor people’s lives don’t matter in britain – a hurricane katrina moment for the uk. so please watch videos of THE PEOPLE, poor and working class londoners, who are suffering and expressing anger. don’t listen to theresa may, tories and the bbc trying to sanitise the story. this has everything to do with inequality, poverty, race and most of all CLASS. make those people visible again and help us change things because honestly this is the breaking point and we don’t need people spreading a false narrative abroad. cheers, peace out
It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under they sky were also very much the same–everywhere, all over the world, hundreds of thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same–people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world. If there was hope, it lay in the proles!
This was made by a capitalist and it’s really illustrative of how they conceive of the world, how they lack basic human empathy, how they view freedom in a particularly historical way rooted to the current economic system, etc.
Never does it occur to them that the common inheritance ought to be controlled directly and democratically by the people it impacts; that rationing according to need is a viable option; that perhaps a small minority of property-owners price-gouging people who need necessities is a shitty basis to build society upon.
“Freedom” to them means having a society where elites can hoard whole warehouses of goods, defended by an outside police force, while the majority is forced to scrape by with little to no control over their destiny. This historical view of “freedom” is fundamentally capitalist; when the class system falls, this liberal “freedom”, too, will disappear to the wastebin of history – no different from the feudal era of “honor” and “fealty”.
I recently watched the Stroke of Insight TEDTalk in my systems neuro class and am completely amazed at what Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor describes experiencing. Imagine what a superpower “turning off your left brain” and entering a state of just being would be? I highly encourage you all to watch the TEDTalk or read her book, especially any of you interested in neuro as a major/field!
Unfairly maligned as sex pests in recent internet videos, Satin Bowerbirds have in reality a largely-celibate society. Rather than waste their time with breeding the next generation, the bulk of this unusual bird’s civilization revolves around the creation and maintenance of small shrines dedicated to gods yet unknown to humanity. That said, it is true that a very small minority caste of these birds are kept busy “getting busy’ to ensure the continuation of the species, but they should be recognized as extreme outliers and therefore left uncounted.
Food (and class) in Harry Potter
A (lengthy) guide for fans who aren’t British
After another user asked me some questions about British
food as it appears in Harry Potter I decided to make a post about it, as no
doubt other foreign readers have similar questions. I will talk about
EVERYTHING so sorry if you have to scroll through loads of stuff you know to
find what you want, but I have written it to be accessible to literally anyone
and I don’t want to assume people know what something is just because I do.
Also, it was impossible to make the post without referencing
class. The fact that it was impossible only goes to show how it’s probably
impossible to understand the books in depth without an understanding of class
in Britain. The whole texts are encoded with references to class which are so
subtle (much like class itself) that even I, who grew up being encoded in the same
way, had to analyse the texts to find them. At some point I’ll make a post
about just class, but for now we’ll stick to the light-hearted topic of food!
I School Days
1. Show up to class a little early. It’ll give you time to set up, read over some old notes, put your water bottle/thermos on your desk, fill out your planner if you couldn’t in the previous period(s), check your planner to see if you have something on that day etc.
2. Sit in the front or second row. I’m serious, you will definitely benefit. Write detailed class notes. Pick whatever system works for you. I usually write my titles in red pen, notes in black pen, underline points that are repeated/emphasised, highlight keywords at home
3. If you have time at school, do as much homework as you can. If you know you have commitments that day, please for the love of your education do your homework at lunch. I know you might feel awkward, but your friends will understand.
4. When you get home, first list down all the homework received that day on a q card (cross off as you go). Then write the same tasks in your bullet journal, but as a daily spread. Use stayfocusd or self control for mac + leave phone in a different room. FINISH ALL OF YOUR HOMEWORK. If for some reason you couldn’t complete a homework task, write it on a sticky note and place it on your wall. After homework is done, write your revision notes (flashcard the info as well). Place the notes in your accordion folder/binder. If you have some loose sheets at any point, place them in a ‘To Be Filed’ box. Sort that out when you’re packing your bag for the next day.
5. Go through the flashcards made that day and the flashcards made on the previous days.
List out all assignments/assessments on another q card with their due dates. This will come in handy later.
6. Pack your bag the night before. Remember your accordion folder + make sure your ‘To Be Filed’ box is empty. Put water bottle in the fridge and make meals for the next day.
7. The next day, wake up early, complete any unfinished homework, go through flashcards again, read through revision notes, make lunch for the day, put laptop in bag, put food + water in bag, exercise (esp if you have commitments after school), shower, change, blah blah blah. Only do this if your schedule is packed, and in my case, this is a must.
1. On Friday nights, first off, do homework. You will thank yourself for it. Whip out that list of assessments/assignments and allocate half days to knock off at least two of these little assholes. Work ahead, you will feel much better.
2. Do your readings. For English, knock off some wider reading novels, for HSIE, knock off some textbook unit readings (two units ahead), for science, knock off some more textbook readings. Write summaries of each page. Type these summaries. Print these summaries. Place in accordion folder/binder. Flashcard the info. Spend like half a day doing this lmao.
3. Spend 1-2 hours going through the flashcards you made that week for each subject. This counts as studying my friend.
III Weekends When You Actually Have Assessments
1. Due to your working ahead, homework completion and readings, you shouldn’t be panicking too much. Get those revision notes and slot in the textbook readings notes. Highlight, annotate, read aloud, go through flashcards and get someone to test you on the content. Make sure you know all terms, formulae, key concepts, vocabulary etc etc
2. As for assignments, again due to your working ahead just print them out and heavily edit those little asshats. Then type the edits into the doc. Repeat this process four times. Then get someone to read it. Make sure all your assignments are on your USB + email them to yourself because you never fucking know tbh.
3. You’ll probs have to sacrifice your reading time but that’s chill because the teacher/prof will probably be focusing on prepping you for the actual assessment + you gotta do what you gotta do.
Seriously, just do your homework the day you receive it, write revision notes, do your readings, write notes on those readings, make flashcards, knock out assignments as soon as you know they actually exist, read every wider reading novel (analyse these novels), read your required readings (analyse this too), go over flashcards every morning/afternoon, make use of spare time in class, do homework at lunch if needed, stick to your schedule, buy coffee/hot chocolate in the mornings and put it in a thermos, keep a necessities pouch in your bag, keep your P.E shoes in your locker, use a planner, track your spending, wash your hair, brush your hair, go to commitments, attend school events, attend events you’re invited to, go shopping, watch movies, be kind to yourself, take bubble baths, light candles, listen to music, SLEEP, get that A and most importantly be proud of yourself.
“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.” .. (quote Kurt Vonnegut)
I suppose it’s important to acknowledge that there are many right-wing libertarians who aren’t raging ultra-nationalists underneath a thin veneer of liberty rhetoric. I remember back several years ago, when I fell into the right-lib camp, I considered myself a “cosmotarian” – Reason Magazine’s term for someone who was “culturally-liberal and fiscally-conservative”. I suppose these “cosmotarian” types, alongside other “might-as-well-be-a-liberal” types, probably don’t have a hyper-reactionary bootlicker lurking just beneath the surface, and I’m willing to give them that benefit of the doubt. However, I still think “cosmotarians” and other Propertarian-Lite™
(”socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative”) are intensely naive to the ramifications of their ideology.
The preferred economic setup will usually have the biggest sway in the social makeup of a society. Top-down economic arrangements are often “socially libertarian” when the dominant class’s power isn’t threatened. Smoke some weed, have a gender-neutral marriage, carry a gun, allow for a nominally censorship-free press, etc – as long as these all take place on the terms set by the dominant class, they can be “peacefully” reconciled into the capitalist status quo. Once dominant class interests are materially threatened by strikes, occupations, direct action, mutual aid, dual power, and cross-racial solidarity, however….then the libertarian pretense goes out the window. A militarized police state and partially-legitimized right-wing militias are the agents who will “restore law and order” when the “degenerate leftists” push for “chaos and depravity”. The right-libertarians who recognize this and openly embrace it are the ones who start dabbling in ultra-nationalism and fascism, the ones who see the class privileges of property and whiteness slipping out of their fingers. Anti-capitalist, anti-racist movements challenge the class structure’s legitimacy and therefore “require” a swift reaction from the powers that be.
Because “cosmotarians” lack a class analysis of any sort, their perspective is limited to celebrations of “personal freedoms” – a convenience store is allowed to sell gallon-sized jugs of soda, a sales tax is lowered by 4%, an increased minimum wage proposal is struck down, regulations on cars are cut back, etc. At no point does it occur to them that there are dominant class interests at play and that the state manifests itself mostly in accordance with these interests. Thrust the moral dilemma of right-libertarianism-turned-fascism onto them and I do believe many of them might be receptive to some class struggle outlook, but just as many of them will find some circular justification for the rising police state they’re witnessing – ultimately similar to other liberals.
TLDR: Not all right-libertarian types are secretly fascists, but most of those who aren’t secretly fascists are also intensely naive to the ramifications of their ideology and the natural functioning of the capitalist class system.
I personally dislike Snape partially because of the discourse around him and what it made me realise about him. We came from much the same places but at the same time not. I've never had any privilege comparable to what being not mudblood in HP is nor the other privilegie he has as a white man in muggle world. So I feel a bit betrayed by the way he climbs is by pushing others down.
I struggle with your ask on two levels, really - firstly, ‘not Mudblood’ is a really difficult topic to discuss because I do not think it’s adequately explored as a concept. This was beautifully written about by @raptured-night and you can read the full post here.
I will steal this small segment:
Rowling falls short of demonstrating an issue of systemic prejudice or privilege (i.e. wherein the governing institution and laws are written so they benefit purebloods and support the continued discrimination and disenfranchisement of half-blood and Muggle-born witches and wizards) where non-pure-blood witches and wizards are concerned
That sums up my feelings when it comes to the depiction of prejudice within the wizarding world - it’s not comparable to real-world prejudice, and embarrassingly, smacks of a white person trying to write about racism; JK depicts the name-calling and the internment camps, and absolutely nothing inbetween. (This is similar to my argument about her failure to understand that Dumbledore was not written as a queer character.)
Secondly, ‘the other privilege he has as a white man in the Muggle world’. I think I addressed this rather comprehensively in a set of posts before I went on hiatus, but just to recap - whilst race is absolutely an issue in the UK, the concept of ‘white man privilege’ is not the clear cut construct within the UK that it is in some other countries. Race, sex, age, sexuality etc are all major factors when it comes to prejudice, but so is class - and class is so incredibly important in the UK, it cannot be stressed enough.
Snape was deliberately not a depiction of a privileged person; he was a neglected, unwashed child, who grew up in poverty with parents who fought with each other. He lived in a slum on the bad side of town, and was shown shooting down flies* in his dark bedroom. Before he arrived at Hogwarts, he was singled out by two of the richest characters in the series who spent the next 7 years mercilessly bullying him, and even attempted to kill him.
(*This passage makes my skin crawl, because it’s not usual for flies to take hold in an urban area like that. It’s an indication of how close to the dirty, polluted river they live, and how his family do not have the means of keeping the flies from invading their home. And as for it being dark, is he being a moody teenager - or have his parents run out of money for electricity?)
Finally, we do not see Snape climb by pushing others down. We don’t see enough of him in the years between Hogwarts as a student and Hogwarts as a teacher to determine whether he climbs the social ladder or not. What we do see is that he is gifted his position at Hogwarts as a teacher because of what he can do for Dumbledore’s war effort, and not on merit.
I have written extensively on this before, and why this matters, and I will copy it below - because the point remains; Snape proved that he always had the potential, yet in other circumstances, it is likely that he would never have been given the opportunity:
“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” - Stephen Jay Gould
Because in an AU where Severus Snape does not become a Death Eater, let us not pretend; Severus Snape does not become one of the youngest wizards to teach at Hogwarts. And yet, as we see, he was clearly capable - and that potential would’ve been lost.
And the more I mull on Snape, the more the fact that he apparently succeeded bothered me. It’s not because working class people can’t succeed, but because there are pitfalls that people from other classes do not fall into. So, the fact that Snape manages to transcend his social class is astonishing on the surface - the fact that he goes from one of the lowest in society to being a respected teacher at a boarding school…and he even passes to the untrained eye as being a pureblood. That’s incredible.
And when you see Snape’s story slowly unfold, it gradually makes more and more sense. There’s the oddities in his presentation - the spitting on the ground, the greasy hair, the idea that he was “another” pureblood’s lapdog. Then there’s the revelations - that he was a Death Eater, and his family was poor, and his childhood was unhappy, and he was brutally bullied by two of the most popular purebloods. …but even so, people didn’t quite grasp the class issue (there were a lot of thoughts pointing at a pureblood family who fell out of favour, lost money through gambling etc - a family who were high in society who fell down, not someone starting from the bottom).
Finally, the truth outs - he’s a halfblood, with a Muggle parent, who grew up dirt poor in Muggle Britain, and he’s absolutely the bottom of the scale. And then it all fits together, because you realise that he didn’t earn his place at Hogwarts on merit - he was gifted his place at Hogwarts because it was for the war effort. (Sirius has this very lament when he wonders why Dumbledore would employ Snape; he’s wrapped up in the Dark Arts / Death Eater issue, but it doesn’t occur to Sirius at any point that perhaps Snape was the best person for the job, or someone who could be trusted…that someone who had been in such a valued position for so long might’ve actually gained his place on merit.)
So the spectre of class looms large again. Snape appears to be a poster boy for aspiration - the idea that even the lowest of the low can become the richest and most successful. But once you realise his full story, you become horribly aware that he only made it to the position he did through being useful - not on merit, not on ability, not because he had opportunity to prove his skill and worth.
And the more that I think about that, the more it bothers me. Because Snape had the potential to achieve the sort of social standing that would make him someone that Lily would bother with - but because of his early social standing, he probably wouldn’t ever have got there. Their friendship was always incompatible, and the gulf was too large for them to get over. “You’ve chosen your way,” she says…which would’ve been easier to take, had there ever been any choice for him at all.
…how have the aristocracy achieved such a remarkable recovery of their fortunes? First, in common with their ancestors, they have systematically, repeatedly and successfully sought to avoid tax.
In 1980, Samuel, the 3rd Baron Vestey, and his cousin, Edmund, were found to have paid just £10 in tax on the family business’s £2.3m profit. When they were challenged, Edmund shrugged his shoulders and said: “Let’s face it. Nobody pays more tax than they have to. We’re all tax dodgers, aren’t we?”
Aristocrats may not like paying tax, but they don’t object to taking handouts from the taxpayer. The landed aristocracy has benefited to an extraordinary degree from payments under the EU’s common agricultural policy. The figures are staggering. At least one in five of the UK’s top 100 single-payment recipients in 2015/16 was aristocratic. The richest have carried off the most. The Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Farms estate received £913,517, the Duke of Northumberland’s Percy Farms took £1,010,672, the Duke of Marlborough’s Blenheim Farms got £823,055 and Lord Rothschild’s Waddesdon estates received £708,919. This is all in a single year. Multiplied across the years, the payments from the EU have benefited the British aristocracy to the tune of many millions of pounds.