Without economic support for a public-spirited class, oligarchy will steadily corrupt virtue
Thank you for an extraordinary piece. I have learned much much from it. The argument is certainly convincing. Seems to me too what is Macro- and what is Micro- are integral to each other, not separate and discrete. I have shared this wonderful essay on Twitter-X. I checked the Like box but my Likes on PostLiberal never show up, even though I am a paid subscriber and have been for 2 consecutive years. So I feel obliged to communicate “Like” in more than 1 word.
I share the sentiments in Gert-Jan de Ruijter's great comments before me. I came from a similar cultural background where law is regarded a noble profession and a lawyer is supposed to serve Justice, not his/her bank account. Indeed, "if necessary, a lawyer was morally obliged to provide his services free of charge. That was part of the 'noblesse oblige'". This too is true in the cultural values I grew up learning.
Having discovered “noblesse oblige” is not the way things work in the milieu I found myself, I undertook the herculean task of completing a separate doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology where 3,000 hours clinical internship were required for license to practice. In my solo forensic practice, I serve my indigent mental health clients on a sliding fee scale; I charge the going “market rate” for similarly credentialed forensic psychologists. This “compromise”, from a necessity (one has to make a living) AND career satisfaction point of view, is more personally gratifying to me. I surmise often perhaps I am lucky enough to have grown up in a family where early on I learned from my parents money, though utterly necessary, is not the most important pursuit in life.