A long time ago, people were born into social estates. Some were nobles and rich and some were peasants, villains or even, serfs.

Today, theoretically it's possible to earn as much money as you want. But in practice, it's much easier for some people and their children (i.e. medic, lawyer, pharmacists, entrepreneurs, notaries, bankers) to rise in social class and wealth.

The economic inequality may also be a source of injustice.

So, is modern wealth disparity really much different than noble priviledge?

  • 3
    Luckily, it is easy to move from the bottom to the top on the USA and visa versa. What exactly are you asking? Slavery has a definition that has nothing to do with, wealth distribution.
    – user1873
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 0:33
  • 3
    I voted to close based on the fact that it's unclear what he's asking. The question in the body doesn't seem to align with the premises laid out which don't seem to align with the question in the title which itself makes no sense.
    – Publius
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 1:58
  • @user1873: maybe slavery is not the right word. How do you call in english the fact that only Noble children could become Noble? Selective privilege by Law?
    – Revious
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 9:39
  • 1
    @Revious This is a huge edit I made. Let me know if I changed your meaning.
    – Razie Mah
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 23:45
  • 1
    Reopening, although I reserve the right to change my mind :). Good answers here would be focused on social mobility in comparative historical terms. Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 3:21

1 Answer 1


Historically, nobles had the following privileges:

  • A prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the government, especially in the military, at court, and judiciary

  • commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour and/or a portion of the annual crop yield

  • could impose restrictions on such a commoner's movements, religion or legal undertakings

  • exclusively enjoyed the privilege of hunting

  • duelling established the status of a respectable gentleman

In modern times, most of these noble privileges don't exist. Anyone can hold public office, serve at the highest levels of the military, or as a judge. The requirements vary, but no one is excluded because their family isn't wealthy.

The wealthy do not have the right to levy taxes. Section 8 housing means that many poor people have their housing subsidized by rich people.

Wealthy people don't have the right to restrict movement. Anyone can get a hunting license. Dueling has been outlawed.

While there is disparity between how easy it is to become rich or remain rich, there is no guarantee that you will remain so unlike nobility. Only 38% of people born into the top quintile remain there, while only 34% of people born in the bottom quintile remain there.

  • Thanks for the answer. The next question will be about what is making the world a fair place and why it's still not a fair / civil place.
    – Revious
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 17:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .