Social development is accelerating. The position of the lower social classes in all Western countries is deteriorating. Attempts to change the trend through elections have failed. In this situation, we need a systematic and scientific understanding of how the power and financial elite operate and, in particular, what their weaknesses are.
In my book Breached Enclosure, I liken the new aristocracy to top footballers. It’s just a comparison. And like any comparison, it shows that the two social classes have something in common. But only something. In many other ways, they are different.
Footballers share a similar view of the world, often have similar hairstyles, drive similar cars, go to the same restaurants and spend holidays in similar places. Even their wives look so much alike that if you switched them, most people wouldn’t notice the change (and who knows if the husbands would notice the change). So they think alike, have almost identical interests, and when push comes to shove, they can defend those common interests very effectively – like salaries or transfer terms.
You can do basically anything to a member of the same social class, but you must not jeopardize the interest of the social class as a whole.
Nevertheless, they are still able to play against each other with maximum effort, toughness and often trickiness. Just like members of the financial and power elite. But there is one unwritten rule in all this infighting. You can do basically anything to a member of the same social class, but you must not jeopardize the interest of the social class as a whole. A footballer can hurt his opponent, he can cheat, simulate or plot against others. That’s fixed by some sort of punishment. But imagine if a footballer set up a campaign against the absurdly high fees paid to players and that he severely criticised the ostentatious luxury that is typical of these people. Such a footballer will be ostracised by the whole community. No one will want to play with him, no one will want to put him on. In the end, he will have no choice but to leave the professional sport.
A somewhat crowded ivory tower
The new aristocracy differs from the top footballers not only in education, ability and ambition but also in the fact that it is a huge group. We arrive at the following numbers if we start from the often used sociological division between the discrete elite (owners of the largest estates) and the service elite (top managers).