And along with the title question goes Marx's dictim “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.”This fellow
below plays with the above concept and offers some of his own positives and negatives
[From Marx] "The individuals composing the ruling class possess among other things consciousness, and therefore think. Insofar, therefore, as they rule as a class and determine the extent and compass of an epoch, it is self-evident that they do this in its whole range, hence among other things rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are the ruling ideas of the epoch.”
“during the time that the aristocracy was dominant, the concepts honour, loyalty, etc. were dominant, during the dominance of the bourgeoisie the concepts freedom, equality, etc.”..... "In an age and in a country where royal power, aristocracy, and bourgeoisie are contending for mastery and where, therefore, mastery is shared, the doctrine of the separation of powers proves to be the dominant idea and is expressed as an ‘eternal law’”
Their status as ruling ideas means that they are adopted by (virtually) all members of the society, but that the actions of those guided by those ideas serve only the interests of the ruling class. The ruling class, therefore, is parasitic relative to the other classes, in that its members do nothing “productive” but, rather, are supported by the other members of the society. Thus, members of classes other than the ruling class act, not in their interests, but in the interests of the ruling class. This means that members of the ruling class are “freeloaders,” but not clearly recognized as such by members of the underlying population—which fact enables relative peace to exist within the society, and forestalls actions, on the part of the underlying population, that might disturb the status quo.
Questions for discussion and no it doesn't have to reference Marxism. He just happens to loom large historically in the discussion.Do you believe that most societies, I'm particularly interested in ones with democratic structures, have an identifiable ruling class? Explain.Do you believe that most people chronically vote against their own interests and if so why is that?If you feel there is a problem with concentrated power in the hands of an elite, what change would you like to see in the future and how would you get us there?