Friday, December 07, 2007

More on class struggle in airline seating

The New York Times agrees with me about the brutal class system aboard airplanes:

It’s that insubstantial curtain that is drawn after we reach altitude, the one that pretends to protect decadent first-class activities — it cannot be lap-dancing, orgies or the tango — from the purportedly covetous eyes of the rest of us. What that curtain really does, its sole purpose, believe me, is to keep us from using the toilet up there.


To be blunt, I now hate those people in first class and whatever system deposits them there. Hi, Karl Marx, did you say class system? Sometimes, I imagine myself as Pirate Jenny in “The Threepenny Opera”: kill them now, or later?

In truth, when the revolution comes in an airline cabin, it will be a petit bourgeois revolution. The organization World Development Movement, in making an argument for a tax on aviation to pay for poverty relief, notes:

Flying is an activity dominated primarily by the rich. The richest 18 per cent of the UK population are responsible for 54 per cent of flights, whilst the poorest 18 per cent are responsible for just 5 per cent. The average salary of passengers at UK airports is £48,000.

So, when the first class sections are dismantled and distributed evenly, cushion by cushion, martini by martini, personal DVD player by personal DVD player, it will only be one step on the way. It will be the Sun Yatsen to the Mao Zedong!

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