Ruling class

The ruling class is the social class of a given society that decides upon and sets that society's political agenda.

Sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916–1962) argued that the ruling class differs from the power elite. The latter simply refers to the small group of people with the most political power. Many of them are politicians, hired political managers and/or military leaders. The ruling class are people who directly influence politics, education and government with the use of wealth or power.[1]

Examples

Politicians in the United States have obviously begun to think of themselves as part of the ruling class, exempting themselves from many laws that apply to ordinary citizens.

Analogous to the class of the major capitalists, other modes of production give rise to different ruling classes: under feudalism it was the feudal lords while under slavery it was the slave-owners. Under the feudal society, feudal lords had power over the vassals because of their control of the fiefs. This gave them political and military power over the people. In slavery, because complete rights of the person's life belonged to the slave owner, they could and did every implementation that would help the production on the plantation.[2]

In his recent studies on elites in contemporary societies, Mattei Dogan has argued that because of their complexity and their heterogeneity and particularly because of the social division of work and the multiple levels of stratification, there is not, or can not be, a coherent ruling class, even if in the past there were solid examples of ruling classes as in the Russian and Ottoman Empires and the more recent totalitarian regimes of the 20th century (Communist and Fascist).

Milovan Djilas said that in a Communist regime the nomenklatura form a ruling class, which "benefited from the use, enjoyment, and disposition of material goods", thus controls all of the property and thus all of the wealth of the nation. Furthermore, he argued, the Communist bureaucracy was not an accidental mistake, but the central inherent aspect of the Communist system since a Communist regime would not be possible without the system of bureaucrats.[3]

Globalization theorists argue that today a transnational capitalist class has emerged.[4]

In the media

There are several examples of ruling class systems in movies, novels and television shows. The 2005 American independent film The American Ruling Class written by former Harper's Magazine editor Lewis Lapham and directed by John Kirby is a semi-documentary that examines how the American economy is structured and for whom. The 2017 Philippine political crime-suspense epic Wildflower is about a rich influential and corrupt political family the Ardientes ruling over a town where a wave of murders and crimes which they have committed washed over.

Society, in the novel Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, is eusocial with a genetically engineered caste system. The alpha++ class is the ruling class having been bred as scientists and administrators and control the World State in the novel. This situation can also be found in the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four where the inner party as symbolized by the fictitious Big Brother literally controls what everyone in the outer party hears, sees and learns, albeit without genetic engineering and on the model of Stalinist communism having taken over the Anglosphere (Oceania). In Oceania, the ignorant masses ("proles") are relatively free as they pose no threat to oligarchical collectivism ("Big Brother").

Examples in movies include Gattaca, where the genetically-born were superior and the ruling class; and V for Vendetta, which depicted a powerful totalitarian government in Britain. The comedic film The Ruling Class was a satire of British aristocracy, depicting nobility as self-serving and cruel, juxtaposed against an insane relative who believes that he is Jesus Christ, whom they identify as a "bloody Bolshevik".

See also

References

  1. ^ Codevilla, Angelo. "America's Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution". The American Spectator. 2 (July 2010): 19. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Slave Ownership". Archived from the original on 2007-12-03.
  3. ^ Wasserstein, Bernard (12 February 2009). Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in our Time. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780191622519.
  4. ^ Transnational Capitalist Class Archived 2010-08-16 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

Anglo-Norman

Anglo-Norman may refer to:

Anglo-Normans, the medieval ruling class in England following the Norman conquest of 1066

Anglo-Norman language

Anglo-Norman literature

Anglo-Norman England, or Norman England, the period in English history from 1066 till 1154

Anglo-Norman horse, a breed from Normandy, France

Anglo-Norman Isles, or Channel Islands, an archipelago in the English Channel

Anglo-Normans

The Anglo-Normans were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans and French, following the Norman conquest. A small number of Normans had earlier befriended future Anglo-Saxon King of England, Edward the Confessor, during his exile in his mother's homeland of Normandy. When he returned to England some of them went with him, and so there were Normans already settled in England prior to the conquest. Following the death of Edward, the powerful Anglo-Saxon noble, Harold Godwinson, acceded to the English throne until his defeat by William, Duke of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.

The invading Normans came from the duchy of Normandy in the kingdom of France. They formed a ruling class in Britain, distinct from (although inter-marrying with) the native populations. Over time their language evolved from the continental Old Norman to the distinct Anglo-Norman language. Anglo-Normans quickly established control over all of England, as well as parts of Wales (the Cambro-Normans). After 1130, parts of southern and eastern Scotland came under Anglo-Norman rule (the Scoto-Normans), in return for their support of David I's conquest. The Norman conquest of Ireland in 1169 saw Anglo-Normans (or Cambro-Normans) settle vast swaths of Ireland, becoming the Hiberno-Normans.

The composite expression regno Norman-Anglorum for the Anglo-Norman kingdom that comprises Normandy and England appears contemporaneously only in the Hyde Chronicle.

Aristocracy

Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos "excellent", and κράτος, kratos 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best-born".The term is synonymous with hereditary government, and hereditary succession is its primary philosophy, after which the hereditary monarch appoints officers as they see fit. At the time of the word's origins in ancient Greece, the Greeks conceived it as rule by the best qualified citizens—and often contrasted it favourably with monarchy, rule by an individual. In later times, aristocracy was usually seen as rule by a privileged group, the aristocratic class, and has since been contrasted with democracy. The idea of hybrid forms which have aspects of both aristocracy and democracy are in use in the parliament form.

Banana republic

In political science, the term banana republic describes a politically unstable country with an economy dependent upon the exportation of a limited-resource product, such as bananas or minerals. In 1901, the American author O. Henry coined the term to describe Honduras and neighbouring countries under economic exploitation by U.S. corporations, such as the United Fruit Company. Typically, a banana republic has a society of extremely stratified social classes, usually a large impoverished working class and a ruling-class plutocracy, composed of the business, political and military elites of that society. Such a ruling-class oligarchy control the primary sector of the economy by way of the exploitation of labour; thus, the term banana republic is a pejorative descriptor for a servile dictatorship that abets and supports, for kickbacks, the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture, especially banana cultivation.In economics, a banana republic is a country with an economy of state capitalism, by which economic model the country is operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class. Such exploitation is enabled by collusion between the state and favored economic monopolies, in which the profit, derived from the private exploitation of public lands, is private property, while the debts incurred thereby are the financial responsibility of the public treasury. Such an imbalanced economy remains limited by the uneven economic development of town and country, and usually reduces the national currency into devalued banknotes (paper money), rendering the country ineligible for international development credit.

Communist state

A Communist state (sometimes referred to as Marxist–Leninist state or workers' state) is a state that is administered and governed by a single party, guided by Marxist–Leninist philosophy.

There have been several instances of Communist states with functioning political participation processes involving several other non-party organisations, such as trade unions, factory committees and direct democratic participation. The term "Communist state" is used by Western historians, political scientists and media to refer to these countries. However, contrary to Western usage, these states do not describe themselves as "communist" nor do they claim to have achieved communism—they refer to themselves as Socialist or Workers' states that are in the process of constructing socialism.Communist states are typically administered by a single, centralised party apparatus, although some provide the impression of multiple political parties but these are all solely in control by that centralised party. These parties usually are Marxist–Leninist or some variation thereof (including Maoism in China), with the official aim of achieving socialism and progressing toward a communist society. These states are usually termed by Marxists as dictatorships of the proletariat, or dictatorships of the working class, whereby the working class is the ruling class of the country in contrast to capitalism, whereby the bourgeoisie is the ruling class.

Cultural hegemony

In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society—the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores—so that their imposed, ruling-class worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm; the universally valid dominant ideology, which justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural and inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for everyone, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class.In philosophy and in sociology, the term cultural hegemony has denotations and connotations derived from the Ancient Greek word ἡγεμονία (hegemonia) indicating leadership and rule. In politics, hegemony is the geopolitical method of indirect imperial dominance, with which the hegemon (leader state) rules subordinate states, by the threat of intervention, an implied means of power, rather than by direct military force, that is, invasion, occupation, and annexation.

Dogbert's New Ruling Class

Dogbert's New Ruling Class, or DNRC, is the official Dilbert fan club. It is a group of people who, according to Dilbert author Scott Adams, will form the new ruling elite once Dogbert conquers the Earth. DNRC members (defined in effect by their subscription to the (free) email Dilbert Newsletter, which was issued approximately four times per year, apparently ending in 2008) are characterised by their 'superior intelligence and good looks', whereas non-members ('induhviduals', a play on the word 'duh') suffer from idiocy and lacklustre charm. DNRC membership stood at 533,198 in February 2008 and has been fairly stable since September 2004.According to Dogbert, DNRC will eventually take over the world. Once this happens, all 'induhviduals' will become subservient slaves of DNRC (except the CEOs, who are too incompetent to do anything). It is not certain whether this will be permanent, however, since in the past Dogbert has been known to conquer the earth only to grow tired of the ensuing peace.

A typical DNRC newsletter contains the following core features:

Strange Thought Of The Day

'Induhvidual' Quotes

True Tales of 'Induhviduals'

Ask DogbertAdams also uses it as vehicle to promote his other publications, often done so blatantly as to be part of the humor.

Dominant ideology

In Marxist philosophy, the term dominant ideology denotes the attitudes, beliefs, values, and morals shared by the majority of the people in a given society. As a mechanism of social control, the dominant ideology frames how the majority of the population thinks about the nature of society, their place in society, and their connection to a social class.In The German Ideology (1845), Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels said that "The ideas of the ruling class are, in any age, the ruling ideas" applied to every social class in service to the interests of the ruling class. Hence, in the revolutionary practice, the slogan: "The dominant ideology is the ideology of the dominant class" summarises its function as a revolutionary basis.In a capitalist, bourgeois society, Marxist revolutionary praxis seeks to achieve the social and political circumstances that render the ruling class as politically illegitimate, as such, it is requisite for the successful deposition of the capitalist system of production. Then, the ideology of the working class achieves and establishes social, political, and economic dominance, so that the proletariat (the urban working class and the peasantry) can assume power (political and economic) as the dominant class of the society.In non-Marxist theory, the dominant ideology means the values, beliefs, and morals shared by the social majority, which frames how most of the populace think about their society, and so, to the extent that it does, it may serve the interests of the ruling class; therefore, the extent to which a dominant ideology effectively dominates collective societal thought has declined during the modern era.

Marxism

Marxism is a theory and method of working class self-emancipation. As a theory, it relies on a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Marxism uses a methodology, now known as historical materialism, to analyze and critique the development of class society and especially of capitalism as well as the role of class struggles in systemic economic, social, and political change.

According to Marxist theory, in capitalist societies, class conflict arises due to contradictions between the material interests of the oppressed and exploited proletariat—a class of wage labourers employed to produce goods and services—and the bourgeoisie—the ruling class that owns the means of production and extracts its wealth through appropriation of the surplus product produced by the proletariat in the form of profit.

This class struggle that is commonly expressed as the revolt of a society's productive forces against its relations of production, results in a period of short-term crises as the bourgeoisie struggle to manage the intensifying alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness.

In periods of deep crisis, the resistance of the oppressed can culminate in a proletarian revolution which, if victorious, leads to the establishment of socialism—a socioeconomic system based on social ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one's contribution and production organized directly for use. As the productive forces continued to advance, Marx hypothesized that socialism would ultimately be transformed into a communist society: a classless, stateless, humane society based on common ownership and the underlying principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory. Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts, which has then led to contradicting conclusions. However, lately there is movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remains the fundamental aspect of all Marxist schools of thought.Marxism has had a profound impact on global academia and has influenced many fields such as archaeology, anthropology, media studies, political science, theater, history, sociology, art history and theory, cultural studies, education, economics, ethics, criminology, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, film theory, critical psychology and philosophy.

Mbum language

Mbum proper, or West Mbum, is an Adamawa language of Cameroon spoken by about 51,000 people. Speakers are mostly bilingual in Fulfulde. It is also known as Buna, Mboum, Mboumtiba, and Wuna.

The Mbum are considered the original population of the Adamawa Plateau in Cameroon. However, some histories recall that there were a people already in the area when they arrived there centuries ago. They have had a long and close relationship with the neighboring Dii people in the eastern parts of Adamawa Province to the extent that it is frequently difficult to make any distinction between the two. Their relationship with the Fulani, who entered the region in the early-19th century, is more complex. The Fulani are often perceived as a ruling class; nevertheless, the Mbum have historically participated actively in the states set up by the Fulani.

Blench (2006) considers Gbete to be a separate language.

Muslim Raj Gond

The Muslim Raj Gond are a small Muslim community found mainly in the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra in India. A small number are also found in the state of Madhya Pradesh. They are also known as the Dao Muslim Jamat. The community are Muslim converts from the Gond community. The Ruling Class amongst the Gonds were known as Rajgonds.

New class

The new class is used as a polemic term by critics of countries that followed the Soviet type of Communism to describe the privileged ruling class of bureaucrats and Communist Party functionaries which arose in these states. Generally, the group known in the Soviet Union as the nomenklatura conforms to the theory of the new class. The term was earlier applied to other emerging strata of the society.

Milovan Đilas' "New Class" theory was also used extensively by anti-Communist commentators in the West in their criticism of the Communist states during the Cold War.

The term "red bourgeoisie" is a pejorative synonym for the term new class, crafted by leftist critics and movements (like the 1968 student demonstrations in Belgrade).

New class is also used as a term in late 1960s post-industrial sociology.

Oligarchy

Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning 'few', and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning 'to rule or to command') is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, family ties, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as meaning rule by the rich, for which another term commonly used today is plutocracy.

In the early 20th century Robert Michels developed the theory that democracies, as all large organizations, have a tendency to turn into oligarchies. In his "Iron law of oligarchy" he suggests that the necessary division of labor in large organizations leads to the establishment of a ruling class mostly concerned with protecting their own power.

This was already recognized by the Athenians in the fourth century BCE: After the restoration of democracy from oligarchical coups, they used the drawing of lots for selecting government officers to counteract that tendency toward oligarchy in government. They drew lots from large groups of adult volunteers to pick civil servants performing judicial, executive, and administrative functions (archai, boulē, and hēliastai). They even used lots for posts, such as judges and jurors in the political courts (nomothetai), which had the power to overrule the Assembly.

Peter O'Toole

Peter Seamus O'Toole (; 2 August 1932 – 14 December 2013) was a British stage and film actor of Irish descent. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company before making his film debut in 1959.

He achieved international recognition playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for this award another seven times – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982), and Venus (2006) – and holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations for acting without a win. In 2002, O'Toole was awarded the Academy Honorary Award for his career achievements. He was additionally the recipient of four Golden Globe Awards, one British Academy Film Award and one Primetime Emmy Award.

Political class

Political class, or political elite is a concept in comparative political science originally developed by Italian political theorist theory of Gaetano Mosca (1858–1941). It refers to the relatively small group of activists that is highly aware and active in politics, and from whom the national leadership is largely drawn. As Max Weber noted, they not only live "for politics"—like the old notables used to—but make their careers "off politics" as policy specialists and experts on specific fields of public administration. Mosca approached the study of the political class by examining the mechanisms of reproduction and renewal of the ruling class; the characteristics of politicians; and the different forms of organization developed in their wielding of power.

Elected legislatures may become dominated by subject-matter specialists, aided by permanent staffs, who become a political class.

The German Ideology

The German Ideology (German: Die deutsche Ideologie) is a set of manuscripts written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels around April or early May 1846. Marx and Engels did not find a publisher, but the work was later retrieved and published for the first time in 1932 by David Riazanov through the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow.

The multi-part book consists of many satirically written polemics against Bruno Bauer, other Young Hegelians, and Max Stirner's The Ego and Its Own (1844). Part I, however, is a work of exposition giving the appearance of being the work for which the "Theses on Feuerbach" served as an outline. The work is a restatement of the theory of history Marx was beginning to call the "materialist conception of history".

Since its first publication, Marxist scholars have found the work particularly valuable since it is perhaps the most comprehensive statement of Marx's theory of history stated at such length and detail. However, recent research for the new Marx Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) indicates that much of the 'system' in it was created afterwards by the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow in the 1930s.

The Ruling Class

The Ruling Class may refer to

Ruling class, as a proper noun, the social class which controls politics and wealth

Aristocratic class

Political class

Upper class

The Ruling Class (play), 1968 play by Peter Barnes

The Ruling Class (film), 1972 film adaptation of the play

The Ruling Class (novel), 2004 novel, unrelated to the play and the film

Elements of Political Science by Gaetano Mosca, published in English as The Ruling Class

The Ruling Class (film)

The Ruling Class is a 1972 British black comedy film. It is an adaptation of Peter Barnes' satirical stage play The Ruling Class which tells the story of a paranoid schizophrenic British nobleman (played by Peter O'Toole) who inherits a peerage. The film co-stars Alastair Sim, William Mervyn, Coral Browne, Harry Andrews, Carolyn Seymour, James Villiers and Arthur Lowe. It was produced by Jules Buck and directed by Peter Medak.

The film has been described as a "commercial failure ... [that] has since become a cult classic"; Peter O'Toole described it as "a comedy with tragic relief".

The Ruling Class (play)

The Ruling Class is a 1968 British play by Peter Barnes. The black comedy centres on Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney, the 14th Earl of Gurney and the attempts to cure him of insanity.

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