To be an aristocrat is largely to insist that, in the past, others have treated you as an aristocrat

We can describe a simple formula here: a certain action, repeated, becomes customary; as a result, it comes to define the actor’s essential nature.
Alternately, a person’s nature may be defined by how others have acted toward him in the past.

To be an aristocrat is largely to insist that, in the past, others have treated you as an aristocrat (since aristocrats don’t really do anything in particular: most spend their time simply existing in some sort of putatively superior state) and therefore should continue to do so.

Much of the art of being such a person is that of treating oneself in such a manner that it conveys how you expect others to treat you: in the case of actual kings, covering oneself with gold so as to suggest that others do likewise.


This is one of the many passages and charts Alessandro finds in books and articles on a daily basis. They span many disciplines, including:

Alessandro occasionally adds a personal note to them. The whole collection is available here.