Cruising into the middle ages

Cruise ships are all the rage these days. But, ever thought about why? I’ve taken a few cruises, and the nicest thing about them is you are in a little bubble, where all of your needs and wants are taken care of. All you need is money, and folks are at your beck and call. Your job is to have fun.

But wait, doesn’t this sound familiar? This was the lifestyle in the 19th century (and earlier). You were either a master or a servant. Society was clearly divided into classes, determined at birth, with little intermingling.

On the cruise ships, nearly all of the employees are from so-called “second or third world” or “developing” countries. They work very hard, get paid very little, and have very little time off.

This is a microcosm of what’s happened/happening on a global scale. The new class lines are shifting, being drawn more according to where you were born, instead of who you were born to. Why are there so few Americans or Western Europeans as cruise line employees?

Historically, all successful cultures have had class divisions, and those that try to eliminate them rarely do so with any amount of success. If the “first world” countries are the moneyed gentry of the 21st century, is it any wonder that there is so much fodder for hatred of them that is aligned with national and regional borders?