Judith Shklars bok Ordinary Vices är full av lågmäld visdom, boken liksom småputtrar i ett behagligt tempo.
I ett av kapitlen behandlas frågan ”What is wrong with snobbery?” (ett kapitel som för övrigt fick mig att tänka på ett gammalt blogginlägg från den här bloggens barndom). Shklar skriver:
The word ”snob” has had many meanings since it surfaced in the late Middle Ages, none of them good. It began as an all-purpose insult, used to express contempt. By now it has certainly earned its evil reputation. For us, snobbery means the habit of making inequality hurt. The snob fawns on his superiors and rejects his inferiors. And while he annoys and insults those who have to live with him, he injures himself as well, because he has lost the very possibility of self-respect. To be afraid of the taint of associations from below is to court ignorance of the world. And to yearn for those above one is to be always ashamed not only of one’ s actual situation, but of one’s family, one’s available friends, and oneself. Snobbery is simply a very destructive vice.
Judith Shklar (1984), Ordinary Vices (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press).