On the Ruling Class

“So do you, like, really believe that stuff you said about freedom is a commodity?” Brielle asked Mr. Magundi.

“Not really,” he replied. “The strange thing about that kind of freedom in our economic system is that nobody has it. This is why I can never quite come to terms with economic philosophers who talk about the ‘ruling class.’ If you work for a living, you think there’s a ruling class that tells you what to do. But your boss lives in terror of his supervisor, who lives in terror of the associate team leader, and so on up the line, until you get to the president of the company. And the president of the company makes all the money in the world, as far as you can see, but he lives in terror of the board of directors, who could ruin his life with a snap of their fingers. And the board is made up of a bunch of rich people who, in their ordinary lives, are in the same position as your company president. Somehow we’ve managed to create a system where no one is secure in his position, and even the richest live in constant fear of losing everything. From the least to the greatest, we are a society of middle managers.”


2 thoughts on “On the Ruling Class

  1. oh there’s a ruling class. it’s a thing, an element of hierarchical society. it’s unmoved by to those who inhabit it, or how insecure they feel in their position in it. so long as people strive to rule others, and we place our faith in FAKE money, there will be freedom for those who manage to claw their way to the top — for those who achieve financial independence — and financial power (the idea of freedom as a commodity) will remain as a cudgel to break the backs of the underclasses.

    my friend, boetian says it much better than i:

    “The ruling class comprises those people who have their own independent means of survival, while the ruled is everyone forced to work for them.

    “The salient thing about the ruling class though is that it’s a class, not a conspiracy. It arises and perpetuates itself not according to some Plan scrawled in goat’s blood in a musty grimoire somewhere, but inevitably out of certain blindly deterministic functions of economics/psychology/etc… There’s no capstone to the economic pyramid, no one ultimately pulling the strings. The system is such that the strings pull themselves. Everyone, no matter how high up they might seem to us, is replaceable, because it’s the machine that’s immortal.”

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