Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A Question of Inversion.

There was a murder committed recently in a highbrow area of the London stockbroker belt. The estate in question is gated and patrolled by private security, and the average cost of a house there is £14m. It’s a place for very rich people.

One of the residents was interviewed and expressed his shock by saying that the people who live on the estate are all ‘driven, focussed high achievers.’ Well now, I gather it’s considered largely axiomatic among psychologists that people who are driven, focussed high achievers, especially in certain fields like business, politics and some of the professions, exhibit strong psychopathic tendencies, so my first response was:

Oh, right. A bunch of psychopaths, then. It’s surprising there aren’t more murders on the estate.

Is this an example of me being an inverted snob, and is that just as wrong as being a normal snob?

Yesterday I saw a new, top of the range soft top Jaguar parked in the ‘pick up and drop off only’ area outside a supermarket, and I wondered again why I’m so inclined to look down on rich people. Is it just envy? Certainly not. It’s more to do with my observation down the years that rich people are far more likely to be hard, bombastic, arrogant, predatory, and just plain soulless than poorer people. But is that observation subconsciously skewed by my having had a poor upbringing and never having been driven by money or the pursuit of power? It’s hard to know.

Today I was surfing the TV channels at lunchtime when I came across one of those programmes in which posh people in posh clothes sit at a posh table in a posh dining room eating posh food and taking it all so seriously. It seemed to me that when you’ve got so much money that you no longer have to worry about the things ordinary people have to worry about, you need to go in search of anything, however trivial, to give you a break from being driven and focussed and achieving highly. I wonder whether I’m right.

Well, inverted snob or not, I think my spots are too ingrained now to change them. I shall continue to feel reluctant to associate with rich people, at least those inclined to declare their wealth openly as though it somehow matters.

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