18 March 2012
The Three Estates
The classical Three Estates (social classes) during the mideival period were the Clergy, the Nobility and the Peasantry. (http://britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/195896/history-of-Europe) The Clergy were the ultimate authorities, the nobles had all the wealth and secular power and the Peasantry existed to support the other two. No changes in social position were possible and people were born into whichever estate their parents inhabited. The only exception to this was the ability for both Nobles and Peasants to enter the Clergy. However, only the Nobles were able to enter the upper ranks of the Clergy. (textbook) The modern version of this world view would go, I believe, something like this. The ultimate authorities in our modern, secular, disbelieving world would be the Politicians, elected and otherwise, who tell everyone else what to do through the coercive power of the government. The people who own everything and have seemingly great secular power are the Wealthy. I do not mean those who have all the wealth they and their families need to survive, I mean those who have great wealth measured in the tens of millions or even billions. They control resources and corporation, frequently multi-national in practice. These people segregate themselves from the masses in privileged enclaves. Their heirs are better educated and taught a skewed view of reality which reinforces their dominance and sense of superiority. They feel they are naturally endowed with secret knowledge which the masses do not know. They know what is best for...