or: nobody likes a nineteen-year-old who keeps talking about the volunteer work they did in their gap year
I came to the conclusion that most people in America would really like to be able to get a job where they think they’re doing something noble and nice and good and it isn’t just for the money. But the reason they hate what they call the cultural elite is that they see it as a class that’s grabbed all the jobs where you can get paid to do something that isn’t just for the money—if it’s art, if it’s charity, if it’s intellectual, if it’s political, whatever it might be. Because those are all the things where, if you want to get a job in that area, they won’t pay you for the first year or two, because there are all those unpaid internships. They see these people who grab all the jobs where you get to be good and noble. And we don’t get to do that. If your father is an air-conditioner repairman from Nebraska, it’s conceivable that you might become a CEO, but you can’t imagine being the drama critic for the New York Times. So if you come from a background like that and you want to actually have a career which involves doing something noble in the world, what can you do? You can join the army. That’s about it. Or you can work for the church. That explains a lot of the focus of right-wing populism. The right wing figured that out, that people want enough to survive and to do good.
David Graeber, Beholden