Idleness versus Responsibility

In discussions of the upper class the question of idleness versus responsibility inevitably comes up: should a man or woman who is upper class work or should they be idle and spent their time well dressed and shun useful employment as a sign of their superiority?

The truth is that the aristocracy was never an idle class. Responsibility has always been a integral part of life with them. The building of a state, education of the citizens, and the protection of law and order were not things that would happen all by themselves; and the aristocracy knew that. What distinguishes the aristocrat form the bourgeois is that the aristocrat takes pleasure in his work, even pride, and does not just work so that he/she might make money to spend in leisure. Aristocrats make their work a part of their appreciation of life and so it becomes not just labor, but almost a ceremony. 

Being idle as a symbol of power is a very snobbish idea that came into existence as classes who wanted to be considered upper class made a point of practicing conspicuous consumption [in this case of their time] to show to others that they did not need to work.  Idleness became in vogue during the renaissance as the merchant class and petty nobility wanted to reinforce their power by being idle to show they had no need to earn a living, this practiced has continued into modern times. This attitude seduced many, and coupled with conspicuous consumption were two ways non-aristocrats sought to show their superiority; their contempt of being productive exposes them as failed elites



















Idleness has frequently, and falsely been associated with the aristocracy


An aristocrat is always a man of responsibility and never abuses idleness
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