Vive le Petit Bourgeois

Theodore Dalrymple writes about the petit bourgeois in his weekly Takimag column and provides his Parisian barber as a shining example of this often derided stratum of society.

Most men, said Thoreau, lead lives of quiet desperation, but I am not sure that we are entitled to conclude that those who do not complain about or revolt against the difficulties of their existence are necessarily desperate. Be that as it may, I do not think that those of more exalted, elevated, or fortunate social position are entitled to look down on the petit bourgeois, upon whose devotion to duty or business so much of their own comfort depends. They, the petit bourgeois, are the salt, not the scum, of the earth, and the intellectuals’ lack of sympathy for them says more about the intellectuals that it does about the petit bourgeois.

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