My mother spent many years travelling on P & O liners across the Atlantic and into the Indian Ocean. She once told me that the happiest voyage she ever had was on a one class ship. Most of the voyages were on ships that had first, second and steerage classes. True to the norm of having classes trains here in the UK have first class compartments and all over the world planes have ‘business class’. I recall a man who had won the lottery travelling first class on a plane saying he couldn’t believe they gave one gifts.
This whole idea of class troubles me because we have fought an ongoing battle in society as a whole to break down the artificial barriers of class, a fight which now flows over into the way in which people with money are elevated into a different ‘class’. But this is not about the effects of wealth giving one different places to live, different shops to use, different cars to drive, this is about businesses which serve everyone drawing a distinction because it panders to the ego of the first class.
Of course it makes the young want to strive to be first class but it also makes wealthy people feel above other humans. The terrible speech in The Third Man where Orsen Wells accurately describes his feelings about people as being mere numbers whose only worth to him was for the money he could make from them is just how wealthy people think about other people.
It is a madness.