To the editor: There are times when I regret having developed a habit of checking out the local newspaper.

But then there are times when I find my newfound commitment deeply rewarding. I learn fascinating things that have completely escaped me through my many decades in the academe, such as, for example, that America has no social classes (Holly Geddes letter published Oct. 14), or the latest, the damage control version (Geddes, Nov. 4) where the same author discovers that language is evolutionary in nature.

You don’t say — growth/development is so inspiring, in children anyway.

Social structure is elemental to all life. There has never been a society in the history of humanity that has existed without a well defined social hierarchy.

The same holds for the animal kingdom.

Apparently this is news to Geddes, a history teacher. Frightening. The only classless society of note is the theoretical final stage in the Marxist philosophy when all human institutions hitherto known to man wither away and a classless utopia takes their place.

European natives and world travelers learn from Geddes that “In Europe where class structure still exists the working class person can oppose the upper class elites.”

“We in America have never had a class structure — so what can we oppose?” earnestly questions the credulous Ms. Geddes.

One would have to conclude that social class is the sole source of conflict in human history — not the history I read.

Best I can tell Ms. Geddes seems convinced that the European society is stuck in the medieval social order of Lords and Serfs. This social organization gives the poor Europeans the necessary backdrop for the social friction and agitation that poor Americans being devoid of social classes lack altogether.

I guess this erstwhile history teacher never heard of the Magna Carta or the Glorious Revolution of 1688?

In last week’s rendition Geddes (mis)informs us that in the U.K. one still needs “a title” to run for the House of Lords — membership in the House of Lords is by appointment, not competitive elections, Ms. Geddes, always has been and, no, no title needed.

I think we should organize a ribboned 5K run with proceeds to go to purchasing Ms. Geddes a ticket to reality, or maybe to Europe.

I think she may find architectural remnants of the medieval past which she envisions Europeans inhibiting, but other than that she’ll find more-or-less vibrant democratic societies.

Most of all, I think we can all sleep well tonight knowing that Ms. Geddes is a “retired” history teacher.

Tiascha B.T. Crandall


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