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Read the following passage and answer the questions :
Ever since the dawn of civilisation, class inequality has existed. Among savage tribes at the present day, it takes very simple forms. There are chiefs, and the chiefs are able to have several wives. Savages, unlike civilised men, have found a way of making wives a source of wealth, so that the more wives a man has the wealthier he becomes. But this primitive form of social inequality soon gave way to others more complex. In the main, social inequality has been bound up with inheritance, and therefore, in all patriarchal societies, with descent in the male line. Originally, the greater wealth of certain persons was due to military prowess. The successful fighter acquired wealth, and transmitted it to his sons.
Wealth acquired by the sword usually consisted of land, and to this day land-owning is the mark of the aristocrat, the aristocrat being in theory the descendant of some feudal baron, who acquired his lands by killing the previous occupant and holding his acquisition against all comers. This is considered the most honourable source of wealth. There are others slightly less honourable, exemplified by those who, while completely idle themselves, have acquired their wealth by inheritance from an industrious ancestor; and yet others, still less respectable, whose wealth is due to their own industry. In the modern world, the plutocrat who, though rich, still works, is gradually ousting the aristocrat, whose income was in theory derived solely from ownership of land and natural monopolies. There have been two main legal sources of property: one, the aristocratic source, namely, ownership of land; the other, the bourgeois source, namely, the right to the produce of one's own labour. The right to the produce of one's own labour has always existed only on paper, because things are made out of other things, and the man who supplies the raw material exacts a right to the finished product in return for wages, or, where slavery exists, in return for the bare necessaries of life. We have thus three orders of men — the land-owner, the capitalist, and the proletarian. The capitalist in origin is merely a man whose savings have enabled him to buy the raw materials and the tools required in manufacturing, and who has thereby acquired the right to the finished product in return for wages. The three categories of land-owner, capitalist, and proletarian are clear enough in theory; but in practice the distinctions are blurred. A land-owner may employ business methods in developing a seaside resort which happens to be upon his property. A capitalist whose money is derived from manufacture may invest the whole or part of his fortune in land, and take to living upon rent. A proletarian, in so far as he has money in the savings bank, or a house which he is buying on the instalment plan, becomes to that extent a capitalist or a land-owner as the case may be. The eminent barrister who charges a thousand guineas for a brief should, in strict economics, be classified as a proletarian. But he would be indignant if this were done, and has the mentality of a plutocrat.
Q. (i) What is the irony in the most honourable source of wealth?
Q. (ii) What are the two legal sources of property ?
Q. (iii) How does the writer distinguish the three orders of men ?
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