The philosopher Alain de Botton has written about this in his book Status Anxiety. In centuries past, he says, people knew where they fit into the social order. If you were born a peasant, you knew you were a peasant. If you were born a lord, you knew you were a lord. There was no mobility or opportunity, and so there was no stress about getting ahead. You weren’t responsible for your birthright, so you accepted it and moved on.4!
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