In my book They Hate if You’re Clever and Despise a Fool, I argue social classes are an inevitable and necessary part of any society because class struggle is necessary for social progress. I end the book with proposed classes to be accepted consisting of 1) Patricians subdivided into true Patricians and Capitalists and their supporting intelligentsia; 2) Plebeians subdivided into petite bourgeoisie, wage slave proletariat, and intellectual proletariat; and 3) Lumpenproletaria. These classes are conceptually qualitative. Upon further reflection, I now understand this ending proposal to have been wrong. Recognizing qualitatively defined classes in practice only serves to tip the balance in favor of those with the power to define concepts and quality which are always the ruling classes and their Inner and Outer Party. Classes should be defined as best as possible numerically so it is evident to each person in what class they are and in what class they want to be. In addition, numerically defined classes will allow for explicit conceptualization of what obligations are owed to each class by the government and what obligations are owed to the government by each class. All language is vague including numeric language, but the vagueness can be dealt with much better through the use of quantitative rather than qualitatively defined social classes. Probably the best way to do this is by using property-based classes as was used by the Roman Republic.
I have dealt with this issue before when contemplating the use of standardized testing as a measure of education and for school admissions. The argument against standardized testing is that standardized testing favors the rich and the dominant culture because they have the resources to prepare for these tests and their culture defines the correct answers to these tests; further, qualitative methodology such as interviews and examination of life experience is argued supposedly to allow for creating and accepting diversity in a student body. This argument is nonsense in practice. In reality, all methodology favors the rich and the dominant culture regardless of whether it is standardized testing or supposed qualitative methodology. However, the advantage of standardized testing, especially for STEM subjects, is that the answers are the same for all classes and thus all are measured by the same standard. 2+2=4 for both the rich and the poor. If a poor person gets correct answers on a standardized test, they must be accepted as correct in the same way an upper class correct answer must be accepted on such test. This is not true of qualitative testing. What a hiring or admission committee wants to hear and the form in which they want to hear the answer to whatever nonsense questions they ask for diversity purposes is best known and usually known only by someone who has grown up in the upper class culture of the committee members since birth. Unlike math, such socialization is not something one can learn outside one’s social class; it is something one is born into and one grows up in and into. For these non-standardized examinations, 2+2 may in fact =5 when they want it to equal 5. One knows when 2+2=5 by growing up in the social class that decides when 2+2=5 not by learning it.
As is fairly well-known, the Roman Republic was divided up into three general classes consisting of Patricians, Plebeians, and Slaves. However, through their censuses, the Republic further divided these classes quantitatively. These subdivisions though varying at times generally consisted of: Senatores owing property value of > 1,000,000 sestertii; Equites > 400,000 sestertii; Plebeian commoners of the First Order >100,000; Second Order >75,000; Third Order >50,000; Fourth Order >25,000; Fifth Order >11,000; less than 11,000 and the landless poor were considered Proles and Proletarii. These classes were used to define the representatives each class got in the various assemblies of the Republic; the votes each of their representatives held in each assembly; and the number of electors each class received when it came time to vote for the patrician senators including the Tribune of the Plebs in the Senate and for any legislation passed by the Senate. These classes also decided the required contribution of each citizen to the Roman military. For example, the Equites were called such because they were required to provide horses and cavalry; the First Order Plebeians became the famous Triarii of the Roman Army of the Republic — the Latin expression equivalent to our “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” was “time to bring in the Triarii.” Even the Prols and Proletarii, as freemen, were expected to provide oarsmen for the war galleys. These economic-based classes and the class consciousness, struggle, and resilience they created transformed the failed and sacked Roman Kingdom from a tribe limited to the City of Rome and the surrounding hills to the Roman Republic conqueror of the Italian Peninsula in a hundred years and then of most of Europe and of the Mediterranean within the remaining 400 years of its life. As always occurs, the Patrician class eventually got too powerful, overcame the power of the other classes, and the Republic became the Empire — our future unless we wake up to it.
When creating such classes, we must make sure to count gross ownership of property and economic value not net ownership — that is, we must not subtract for debt. Being in debt runs the risk of eventual failure but at least it indicates one has hope in the future and hope in society — it links one’s success to the success of society and the reverse because society needs you to succeed and get its investment back at least and hopefully profit — again, there is hope there. Julius Caesar at the time of his rising to power was the wealthiest person in Rome but also the most indebted. He did this intentionally according to historians because both gave him power. His wealth gave him power directly. His debt gave him indirectly the full power of the wealth of his creditors because they all needed for him to succeed so as to profit. For the individual, having “f–k you” wealth is great but not for society. Debt is one of the ways a society builds the future and assures everyone is invested in that future and the reverse.
Not sure why I made this mistake in the book. I wrote the book more as a descriptive conceptual analysis of race and class than a normative suggestion of what they could be or should be which I do not like doing anyway. In the end, I prefer anarchy. In any anarchy, the natural class divisions based on wealth will develop on their own. The big problem is to get the power of the law away from trying to negate these natural class divisions — when the law gets involved, the end result is always the same: the Republic becomes the Empire and then its Fall.