“All over the world people are keen to be admitted to the hottest clubs,” is the advertising text of the Swiss agency. “But that is permanently denied to many. Private Member Clubs choose their audience and only those who come into possession of one of the rare club cards will be let through the door. “A terrible state of affairs for all those who thirst for social advancement, but for whom the steps to success remain closed The agency promises a remedy here: “If you are looking for a solution to effectively enhance your own reputation with exclusive VIP club memberships, we will arrange top-class club memberships for you – either in appearance or in reality,” says the advertising text.
Associations, clubs, boxes, circles – people who are trimmed for success repeatedly fail because of their non-affiliations. In the past it was fraternities or “the little wreath” from which he could have benefited, today it is the digital communities whose access is often denied him. For days, people have been waiting impatiently for an invitation from the new, supposedly very exclusive “Clubhouse” social media app. But she just doesn’t come. Perhaps you haven’t been part of it for a long time?
Not that all of this is a new experience. Even on Instagram and Facebook you were often locked out of a lot of interesting things because you weren’t allowed to be a “friend”. In the Middle Ages, the sender put his request in one of these baskets hanging down from the balconies and protected the paper from the wind with a heavy stone. All in the hope that the addressee on the upper floor will read the message at some point. And answer. Otherwise the waiting person only got “a basket”. Today it is blocked digitally. It’s simpler, but it hurts just as much.
Useless knowledge: What is the sociological term for networking?
One would love to belong to this or that nice or even promising rope team, also called “dictyonomy” (from the Greek “dictyo”, “network”) by the sociologist Nicholas A. Christakis and the political scientist James H. Fowler. And of course you strive upwards, like the young Karl in Hans Fallada’s novel. Karl: “I can’t eat – at least not until my future has been decided!” The housekeeper: “There won’t be much to decide! You will have to become a seller, with your uncle Ernst!”
It’s just stupid that as “Karl 2021” you lack tough cliques. You neither belong to the paladins of the economy, nor do you meet any autocrat in the golf club. And clubhouse still doesn’t answer! The Swiss agency is reassuring: even earlier it was “only a very small and elitist group who were allowed to enter clubs in which artists, intellectuals, diplomats and high-ranking businessmen were allowed”. And please note: “Beauty, wealth and social prestige alone are by no means sufficient to enjoy VIP club membership. Then as now, recommendations and vitamin B are considered the best door openers.” Please contact us if you are interested.
If only it weren’t for these access restrictions. They add to the stress. With an artificial shortage (no more than 144,000 heavenly places) the Jehovah’s Witnesses were already successful. But happiness also comes as a limited edition in trendy shared apartments like the Soho House. The countdown is running. According to the Institute for Labor Market Research, a quarter of the jobs in Germany are only awarded on the basis of personal recommendations. Groucho Marx, who didn’t want to belong to a club that accepts him as a member, doesn’t help you either.
Another Marx, namely Karl, was indignant about the “coterie”, as the friends’ economy was called during his lifetime. The rise of a lord to power, he wrote in 1859, had given “a coterie of the ruling class” the signal to “rush in and fill the posts that had just become vacant after the other coterie had been forcibly evicted”. Today it sounds like this: “Due to our close cooperation with a global partner network, it is possible for us to give you an impressive VIP membership or to arrange top-class VIP club memberships for you.” This is what it says in the agency’s advertising text. “Use the card to get into conversation with celebrities, artists and high society.” Will you finally get your clubhouse password here?
Maybe you should just keep it like Thomas Mann. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature once said that he had never “belonged to a school or coterie that was just on top”. And, of course, “that is why I was never supported by a school, I was rarely praised by writers.” But he still made it to the top, as people like to call it.