Bratling: A child of wealth, aged 16 to 86, 1-2-3 generations deep, who was never said “No” to, always had his/her way, never punished, even if mom or dad had to buy his/her way out of trouble until reaching the age of majority, and,…
…never had to worry about earning a living, so could pursue their passions and acquired habits as long as they lived.
Higher education was never a matter of a job or profession, only status
Offered a choice of the best universities and professions, even if lacking the required academic markers for admittance, the majority select the line of least resistance. Only a few become scientists or mathematicians, while far more select law, far less mentally rigorous than medicine, or sitting on corporate boards after a satisfactory period of training.
Politics and power seem to be popular honey-trap for the more wealthy for it takes a lot of money even to raise a lot of money to go to Congress, but many careers are built closer to home with local civic organizations, schools boards, county and city government with no ambition to move to uglier places of work.
Locally, their greatest source of access to power is to profit from the family name, which in recent years has reached into Hollywood, even B-actors, even television and sports.
They’ve always been with us.
Bratlings, “spoiled little rich-kids”, were part of the social landscape from the earliest days, found in popular fiction back to the early 19th Century when wealth accumulation first became ostentatious and garish. Even Ben Franklin footnoted them once by asking why would a young man wish to go to Harvard when there were so many, many more ways to build a fortune simply by going into commerce? (If you didn’t already know, the early upper-ranking colleges in America were principally divinity schools, such as Harvard and Yale, to educate a class of ministers for their supporting churches for the second sons of wealthy farm families who would leave their farms to their eldest son, and only cash remittances for the other children. This practice, called primogeniture, only began to disappear after the Revolution.)
But bratling children of wealth rarely made national headlines, only local tabloids. But the locals, whether upper Park Avenue, or the big house on the hill overlooking Joplin, Missouri, the local folks knew the bratlings by name and reputation. A famous murder case, Leopold and Loeb, two college-kid sons sons millionaires in Chicago, brought rich bratlings to national prominence when they murdered a 14-year old boy just to prove they could get away with it, but then were easily caught. (A common bratling error of judgment.) Thy made national headlines partly because Clarence Darrow successfully defended them, not by getting them acquitted, mind you, but by avoiding the death penalty, which public opinion was very much in favor of seeing happen.
Hollywood and Broadway have had field days with rich bratlings, from Tennessee Williams plays in the South to scads of films going back to early talkies. Popular fiction, even comic books, were filled with stories built around rich kids running headlong into the real America; some were funny, others sober “rites of passage”-type dramas about kids (mostly boys) having to get out there and get their noses bloodied. One of my favorites, since I watched it with my sons, was “My Bodyguard” (1980), about a rich kid who had to learn to defend himself at a private school with a bully gang, well-played by Matt Dillon. (Available on internet).
Now I have some direct experience with these people, having been a paid go-between for a drugged-out hippie in Central Arizona who I’d represented (along with her friends) in a drug bust in the mid-70’s. (Having recently passed away, I need to do a “Famous Common People I have known” segment about her and her special qualities.) The #2 daughter of one of Chicago’s most prominent lawyers in the 1950s, she ran away to a commune in Arizona in the 1960s. So her dad created a Trust for her estate, (approx $7 million) then made her older sister trustee. Wanting control of the trust for the benefit of her son, she hired me to hire and oversee the lawyers. Over 5 years, I went through three law firms in downtown Chicago before we finally got that money transferred, at which point I was promptly fired.
I came away with a wealth of information about the 1960s urban drug scene among the children of the rich.
So today, 2021, how many millions of American young people are in the total grip of PopCulture and Social media?…living in a world where the Left has unfettered access? And of a financial estate they actually don’t need the money, only the status that it carries. Almost all of them, it would seem.
And how many are rich bratlings from that upper rank of money and status. Try over 20 million “millionaires”…compared to just 207 millionaires in 1924, cumulatively, running back to 1964, when Nancy Pelosi was a young Baltimore bratling, there are over 30 million, over 10% of the population. In 1920, they made up only 1%.
Still, historically, they were always there in America. Every valley had its first family, and in say, the Mohawk Valley of New York, those holdings were huge. There were millionaires even then, only with no tax authorities to report it to, no one knew much about net worth. And it was mostly in land.
The notion of “millionaire” didn’t really register until around 1900, after the Industrial Revolution had created, well, 207 of them, by 1924. This is not to say that those founding farm families across the fruited plain didn’t command great wealth, only it was in land, not cash in the bank. And by 1900 there were thousands of them.
Yes, I know not all those kids turned out bad. I don’t know if there’s a statistical measure of how the children of the rich have fared, but some became scientists or followed lives of music. Many, from Christian parents, were taught to “give back”. One of my favorite Supreme Court justices, a progressive, and a Jew, Louis Brandies wrote that he felt it was a wealthy man’s duty that once he’d made his wealth, to step away from earnings, and spend the rest of his life in public service.
A very noble ideal indeed. and thousands of those young men and women from wealth did just that, dedicating themselves to the service of others…until, some say the 1920s and the Great Depression, others say the following generation in the 1960s, with the Vietnam War, with the help of leftist thinkers on their campuses, many of those students turned radical…and then stayed…there since they didn’t have to earn a living, so long as as they did not bring the family name into disrepute.
From Nancy Pelosi to Teddy Kennedy to Hillary Clinton the bratling parade has grown to the point that today it’s simply a matter of size. Entire classes of people who would never been included into the “wealth group” now are; sports figures, pop-singers, Hollywood B-stars, and they are trying to use every device into arranging for their poor witless children to get a leg up by getting back door scholarships to prestigious schools Darlin’ Darla and Billy Bob couldn’t get past the admissions scores on a bet.
You can’t understand the function of “fear” unless you understand “how things work” today in how society and how it once worked in society in earlier generations and how Nature uses it to decide key aspects of where modern man is headed.
Spoiled rich kids (bratlings) have been a problem in every society since the Magna Carta. All because of that status thing, and their seeming immunity from punishment for wrong doing. And in our society, entirely the doing of our political class, we have created an entitled leisure class at both ends of the political spectrum.
Today, the only available cure, is cultural. Outside the law.
Their manipulators had pretty much secured their protection from the first grade onwards.
My purpose in writing this prelude is to make the reader aware of the healthiness of “fear” in the natural law scheme of survival. We have far too many children of millionaires now who have yet to hear their first “no” or know the sting of an open-hand swat on the backside. Once upon a time that was often all it took.
By going to “DarkAlley, VassarBushmills.com” the link will take you to 56 (and counting) pieces I’ve written about how to handle all sorts of misbehavior in a civilized manner, and will bring forward the “bratling” chapters in their own category.