Status is a difficult issue for Mr. Maurice to contemplate. After all, when you’re at the very pinnacle yourself, with absolute Number One status in every respect, who cares where everyone else stands?
The hierarchy of pigs is absolute. Of people, more ambiguous. Maurice likes these things spelled out clearly. In his view, all pigs deserve high status, relatively speaking. That’s a given, because they are so much more trustworthy than humans.
In times of financial crisis, few expect to move upward–except for those new Status Seekers, successors to the strivers of the 1950s, who continued heading toward the top. At the same time, plenty of folks anticipate a downward slide. Maurice is bothered by this. Today, the uppermost group knows they’re at the top of the heap. But if status is measured solely by dollars, what if someone accumulates more than Mr. Maurice? Is his Number One spot tarnished. Will he, too, start to skid downward?
Though he values high-end cars and luxury goods of all sorts, and would love to accumulate more and more of them, Mr. Maurice does not care for the idea of using commodities as indicators of status. “Too much ambiguity,” he insists. Under certain circumstances, someone with ever-growing mounds of possessions might develop the appalling notion that he or she ranks close to Maurice in status! To nip this idea right in the bud, Mr. Maurice generally favors a classless society–again, with himself at the apex. How, he asks, could it ever be otherwise?
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