Getting on in the world is a priority for many. But is social mobility good? As the BBC researches the class system, philosopher Mark Vernon says thinkers like Kant have mulled over such questions for centuries.So, what would Kant say to social climbers? "Mine's a Sloe Comfortable Screw, love, and why the long face?" Funny, innit, how the British always find ways to defend their class sytem? Funny also, how they always find ways to have a quiz.
Pausing only to reflect that the BBC is full of public school and Oxbridge chaps and chapesses, we note here the variant on the 'it's not good for you' tactic: philosophers say it's not good for you. These days, the British rely on philosophers to tell them how to be happy. It is what keeps Alain de Botton and A C Grayling in business. But here philosophy is being used to tell people to put up with their lot, to stop worrying about the grotesque inequality of British society and just put up with being vulgar and poor. And, being British, the people will do just that.