I don’t know many people from the ruling class. I guess I am a pleb. I do bump up against a colleague occaisionally though who seems to come from a totally diffferent and quite bewildering world. I think he’s one of them. I don’t, sadly, have quite enough to do with him to ever get the hang of how they behave and how to cope with them, just rather often rather punitive glimpses.
They seem strangely concerned with what they imagine people might think. This is the top of the list motivation and must be an incredible constraint, since it is impossible to know what people will or won’t, or indeed, do, think. People don’t actually tell us. We tell each other those of our thoughts which are acceptable and appropriate at particular times. And given how alien our rulers are, they must be frequently mistaken about what us plebs are thinking.
They also seem to have amazing manners. People talk of how ‘charming’ ‘delightful’ and ‘so polite’. If you cross them them though, in my amazed experience, you will receive a torrent of abuse which can go on for page after eloquent foul mouthed page. This no doubt gets saved up under the stress of wondering what people will think and of being impeccably polite.
They have an amazing capacity for achieving a one up. That’s the trick I’d like to get behind. Like writing to you saying ‘help’! Then, when you offer your best, responding saying ‘I didn’t actually need help.’ Makes me feel both foolish and vulnerable. I had said too much and shown my own soft underbelly only to be dismissed and mistaken. Obvious lesson – ignore apparent requests for help. But I’ll get wrong footed again next time, just differently. It’s a step by step painful process.
All this does at least give me a glimpse of how our rulers operate. In a different, foreign world, far stranger and less transparent than that of a Muslim, or perhaps a Chinese. How do they generally manage to pass amongst us undetected?