‘If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.’ John F. Kennedy.
It seems that Britain’s rich never really took heed of this warning. A recent study has found that less-academic wealthy children are 35% more likely to find success then their more-academic poorer peers (‘Glass Floor’ Study). It’s hardly surprising that people want to maintain their wealth – human greed is an inevitability of life – nor is it astonishing that people are zealously doing whatever is at their disposal to ensure the success of their offspring. These are justifiable motives, which anyone could be guilty of and one cannot condemn people for.
Nevertheless, when a society allows this manner of culture to appear and fester then the problem arises. If we accept that social mobility is inconceivable then surely we are doomed to live in a feudal system where wealth is concentrated at the top and people are born with pre-determined career paths. There are many evils that could be contributed to this: a rigid class system, inequality, generational poverty and a lack of social mobility. All of these have been explored sufficiently elsewhere so I decline the urge to flogging the proverbial deceased horse.
The issue that I think is most worthy of dissection here is the risk that comes with people with less academic ability reaching higher positions in society than those that are more able. Surely, this will have a detrimental effect on the evolution of human societies. It’s hard to ignore the correlation between the rise in class mobility in 20th century Europe and the advancement of society from that time onwards.
Moreover, when those that are less able hoard the high positions in spite of a lack of merit then surely advancements will be – if not hindered – at least not as swiftly developed as they would be in a classless society. What does this mean for the future of Britain? Is it doomed to advance at a dawdling pace due to society inability to ensure class mobility? Lets hope for the future of society that this study will inspire some to strive to break the ceiling and give some hope for the future.