by Joel Fernandez
In today’s politics, it is customary to say that we live in a society of equals. That should be the case, but the fact is that it’s not. The truth is that the world is a mosaic that needs all kinds of people in order to function properly. The class system is something that is sometimes misconstrued from both sides of the spectrum. Often times, the different social classes are at odds with each other. Today’s discussion will be about what defines one’s social class and the ability to transcend the divisions that define our society in a way that is commensurate with both character and ability.
There is common misconception that the upper class is defined only by wealth. But that’s not necessarily the case. It is defined by wealth as well as influence. As such, it is possible for a middle class person to be wealthier than an upper class person. It is the influence over society or public policy that separates the upper class from the newly rich. While it is uncommon, it is possible for someone from the lower class to transcend their societal limitations in order to ascend to the top of the social hierarchy. That anomalous behavior is indicative of how a person’s inner qualities can propel them to seemingly unimaginable heights.
The working class represents the majority in every culture all over the world. They are the employees that are necessary for the industrial process to function properly. It is worth noting that there is nothing wrong with working for a living. But a person’s willingness to be content with working for others instead of owning the business denotes their social class. What’s more, working class people generally lack the leadership skills that are necessary to run a business effectively. The point being that working class people possess specific character traits that fit in well with their place in the grand scheme of things.
The class system that we outlined above has been in use for all of recorded history. There’s actually nothing wrong with it, insofar as all of the different levels complement each other within the societal structure. Problems begin to arise when one or more levels of the class system begin to overreach. For example, a working class person should not instigate dissension because of a desire that is not commensurate with their intelligence level or ability. A middle class person should not crave influence or power that they cannot fully understand. And an upper class person should not abuse their power in order to stunt the growth of the classes that are beneath them.
If, at any point, there is a case of class overreach; it will lead to a social conflagration that will affect everyone negatively. If, for some reason, the ruling class decides to use their power as a means to obstruct upward mobility; over time the resentment of the lower classes will be compounded until the population becomes generally unruly. At its best, the relationship between the ruling class and the middle and working classes is that of a synergistic unit. At its worst, class warfare ensues and domestic politics spill over onto the world stage and creates a national embarrassment.
The reason for it is that if enough people feel that their ability to transcend the social hierarchy is being unfairly limited by a blatant abuse of power, they will band together to overthrow the ruling class. These days, income inequality is at the forefront of the national discourse in America. If we look, we can actually watch the ruling class tap dance around the topic in order to appease the American people. It seems likely that at some point, the ruling class is going to fail at their attempts to pacify the people and there will be a great upheaval of the status quo.
The United States is the most powerful country in the world. But we forget that within a historical context, it is actually very young. We have seen different empires claim the title of the world’s most powerful at different points in time. If you look at how long it took the Roman empire to fall after it stopped being a Republic, you would say that America still has to to stand the test of time. When Alexander the great conquered most of the known world in the name of Greece, everyone saw what the country that invented democracy was capable of. If you look at Greece today, let’s just say that democracy has seen better days.
At any rate, the United States is still young enough as a country to consider certain events unprecedented. More succinctly, America can say that it has not encountered an Alexander the great. They have never seen an Augustus Caesar or Genghis Khan consolidate power inside or outside of their borders. The appearance of such an individual would be unprecedented within the context of American history. Moreover, there has never been an American individual that changed the world in a way that is similar to the heroes of the storied and ancient democracies of the world.
Given the current political climate in America, it is difficult to discern what the American ruling class would do in the event that a such historically transcendent leader would emerge from within their own borders. One that could sway the people in virtually any direction, effectively undermining the rest of the ruling class. They would have us believe that one can expect to rise in American society in a way that is commensurate with both class and ability. If that is true, then God bless America. If it turns out to be a sinister lie that is perpetuated by the ruling class, then the attempt to expel a domestic prodigy and turn him into a foreign genius constitutes a failure of the American experimentation with democracy. If world history is any indication of how events could play out, it would be the first of many failures that will lead to the collapse of yet another empire.
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