Social Class as the Determining Factor of Future Success
Different from pre-WWII’s world order, in a more modern society, there is no clear boundary between class and class, which makes the acquisition and accumulation of knowledge, wealth and political rights freely fluid. Although some may claim this was just a temporary experience for society (Higgs and Gilleard 2006). However, compare to recent history of mankind, situation for different class has improved like family inheritance is no longer the main way of gaining wealth and power. Part of mainstream historians believe that war and conflict between countries are the main causes of this result (Lunderstad 1999). In addition, some sociologists have pointed out that social class itself was not the main way for each class to mark itself or other classes. New elements such as economic status and education level have been redefined success (Giddens 2009). Above that, the philosophical study of modernity may also greatly promote the progress of social class and the abandonment of dogma (Habermas 1987). In today’s society, civilians can participate in the political agenda, small businesses are also members of capital and business guilds, and nobles and lords lose their monopoly on resources, power and public responsibility. More and more social inequalities are being noticed and even resolved, wealth that individuals can create will no longer be restricted by social class.
The collapse of the old order caused by the war was the starting point for the establishment of a new social class order. As a result of the two world wars, the colonialism that swept the world and the ideas behind it dissipated (Lunderstad 1999), which makes people of all classes more likely to succeed. It further narrows the importance of social class in achieving personal and collective success, for the flow of population, technological advances are no longer clamped by political forms (Giddens 1980). Yet, social class problem between the state and the country gradually emerged, and each country gradually solved the human problem with their own nationals as an independent social class. Taking the economy as an example, during the war and decades later, Keynesian economics and classical economics collided, and finally government interventionism made great progress. The expansion of the public sector of different cultures and societies has made the lines used for attraction a certain social class to be thinner (Peter-Wim 2014). On this basis, the liberty supremacy proposed by Milton Friedman is accompanied by the US-led economic market. But this has become a hotbed of engineering knowledge that is now widely available. Nearly all society and social class has developed from the war has benefited from changing international relations, social class can no longer stop people from working, including women, ethnic minorities and others who are considered qualified to work. This is an important symbol that symbolizes that the social class can no longer prevent individuals from pursuing success.
The perks of industrial revolution rapidly constituted a new social order and social class. In modern society, the concept of social stratification is now more subdivided, leading to the diminish of unequal social systems such as “slavery”, “caste system” and “hierarchy” where individual rarely get any growing opportunities. The social mobility and social enthusiasm of different social classes are mobilized by new production environments and production methods, which means instead of class, wealth that symbolized productivity of a person become new metrics of success (Guven and Sakamoto 2016). In the eyes of capital society, people do not need to identify people by their social class. There are following defense about why those argument is proved solidly, the class status in the current stage is to a certain extent. Unlike the social class positioning that has been branded in identity at birth, today’s social mobility, including upward mobility and downward mobility, is more common than any other type in history. Imbalanced situation in the past has largely changed due to several reasons include education consideration, political mobilization ability and so on. As the result of that, ranking system that once have enormous power no longer working in present, and it will not be popular for a long time in the flatter social class structure even in a not distant future. To explain more, according to Eric Olin Wright which is a scholar that combined both Marx and Weber’s theories (Giddens 2009). Social class indeed have showed from the cross-inequality in the past to the bilateral inequality. Which it could be described more flattening and polarization, although the accumulation of wealth has become uneven, but the liberation within the social class has led to the fact that almost all social individuals have room to promote social class. Individuals can indeed achieve success in a broad definition through wealth accumulation or invention of new technologies in this era, and will continue to be largely in the future.
The development of rational philosophy largely ended the theology hierarchical, and introduction of modernity and postmodernity further blurs the rigid concept of the class and liberates ideas. The concept of positive freedom and negative freedom forces power to rethink and position the various social classes and resource allocations on an existing basis (Berlin 1969). By redefining the semantics of individuals and groups, success is no longer like “Divine right”, but a concept that everyone can compare against themselves, the pursuit of freedom, open communication and information sharing derived from it has become the cornerstone of modern social order and the basic condition for the pursuit of success. In order to achieve and maintain that in a modern society, the theory of communication behavior and the discussion of semantics made different social classes has been pondered, specifically the transparency and non-distortion of information dissemination between classes (Habermas 1987). This is also due to some outstanding philosophers who are also sociologists. These kind of modern philosophical discourse defines the legitimacy of the new social class, so that the right to pursue freedom and happiness can be understood by all classes of society, ensuring that there will be no natural class oppression leading to s failure. Despite some fierce criticism of the regulation of information and understanding (Chomsky 2002), but most people of all social classes cannot deny the benefits that modern philosophy brings to them.
As a conclusion, Social reforms without philosophy as the basis of thought cannot be carried out. But at the same time, if there is no destruction of the old social order, it is difficult for the social class to improve. Different from definition once stop individual from getting their own happiness and success, class system in present day cannot perform as an obstacle. Society faces an unprecedented wave of births of billionaires, to a large extent, this kind of situation will still continue to proceed. Simply due to that social class cannot accept the redemption and resurrection of the old forces, this need to protect their rights will carry on developing. It might be premature to say what shall happen in future, but based on existing evidence, it’s bound to say that social class is not a main determining factor for individual success.
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