We live increasingly in a world of haves and have-nots, of gated communities next to ghettos, of extreme poverty and unbelievable riches. Some enjoy rights that are completely denied to others. Relative inequalities are exploding, and the world's poorest, despite all the advances of globalisation, may even be getting poorer.
Germany's hierarchical reverence for seniority may have something to do with the fact that everything here happens relatively late. Germans start school at six, graduate in their late 20s, and get their first proper jobs in their 30s. Adolescence can go on a long time. It is rare for anyone to achieve responsibility before their 50s.