When discrimination is race-based, we call it racism; when it's gender-based, we call it sexism. Somebodies and Nobodies introduces rank-based discrimination - or "rankism" - a form of injustice that everyone knows, but no one sees. It explains our reluctance to confront rankism, shows where analyses based on identity fall short and, using dozens of examples, traces many forms of injustice and unfairness to rankism.
In 17th-century Sicily, a clever valet named Mascarille tries to help his boss, Lélie, win the girl of his dreams – only to find that Lélie is a monumental dunce who ruins every one of his intricate schemes. Undaunted, Mascarille invents progressively wilder plots, only to see his best-laid plans go very awry in Molière’s The Bungler, translated by Richard Wilbur.