On Status

The extraordinary thing about status is its ability to transform both micro and macro civic engagement. Status, I believe, is the sub-divider of all other identifiers such as race and class.

We might perceive the status of a wealthy plumber as something less than the status of a surgeon of equal wealth. The projection of status happens as much as being perceived. So the wealthy plumber who makes his way around in a pickup truck, shiny and new, projects a certain ascetic value, ready to be judged or perceived by society. It is also as much as the norms that a given environment sets.

Perhaps in an immediate environment their status may rise or fall in comparison to others within that ‘space’, however, in the public space where all the types mix and mingle is the location where the at-large expression and judgment take place.

Status, I feel, while possessing the ability to obtain the respect of society, is wholly superficial. Status gives proof that societies side-step the harder process of judging a person’s character based upon the, ‘mores of men’; the perceivers ability to hold a person to social norms as they pertain to ideas of moral and/or religious values:

1) A person would then have to hold themselves up to these same measures

2) They would have to repudiate an intrinsic part of status – material value.

A person who bases overall success of their own life based on their ability to obtain strictly material substance would have a hard time deliberating the relevance of status.

Valuing life as have or have not immediately places the importance on the have. For sure, we must have food, water, and shelter – the basics. Beyond these, we might see healthcare and education. However, if one person owns a Rolls Royce and the other a Ford, these things on their own do not necessitate an inequality of basic human needs or rights.

A higher level of importance that society assigns to status is a sign of decline. In simple terms, a man, or women deemed a better person/a better being because of their job title and/or material accumulations, correlates to a sense of judgment, tastes or morals – the good stuffs which come intrinsically and are nourished with will-power become balanced with that which can be monetarily gained. Title and material gain then replace or overpower ideas of morality, which may have spiritual and religious context. More importantly, obtainment of titles and the material may even slight the judgment of a person who has the ability to choose to do well for the good of humanity not because a religious text told him to do so, but because he naturally sees the necessity.

-The current flow of status:

Status encourages self-interest.

  • Self interest gives the idea of “for the good of all” a hazy redefinition
  • The haze caused by self-interest then contributes to the inequality by way of, literally, not wanting to share ones wealth or questioning why anyone else but himself should benefit from his/her own labor or investments.
  • Inequality arises when the laborer lacks in some definite basic need [food, shelter, etc.] While his employer/manager gains overtly or clandestinely in material things.
  • Inequality arises when there is no labor for the person tomorrow whose effort in the past we depended upon and attributed to financial and material gains of some, and who now languishes – no longer playing a contributive role to society, becoming dependent. Whose status, paradoxically, not only lowers but also goes to a negative sum.

Business and labor are productive towards a better society. As business owner or laborer, this is our equal contribution to society. Anything outside of food, clothing, shelter, health, and basic education is a gift from society – it is the reward. However, one should not do more, or differently, or tactically towards the aspiration of larger rewards if the aspiration creates an inequality; if once person’s life falls below standards for the sake of another’s desires for increased rewards then an injustice has been committed towards all of society.

If we desire to engage in an increasingly global economy and welcome technological advances, which produce on levels of high efficiency, we must refrain from pushing man into becoming obsolete while at the same time using status as judgment of a person’s existence.

If he is useless today, then he was useless yesterday when he was producing the widgets you so desperately needed to make your business the success it is today. A machine rendered obsolete is dismantled and parsed out for scrap, a human being cannot face this same fate, and therefore, if desire for advancement exists this is fine, however, a human cannot be neglected in such a way as to create disparaging existences and hence the inequalities that do exist.

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