Q&A: “Curt: What Defines Middle Class?”

—“What defines the middle class according to you? I go by the British definition” — Dawid Wella

The common definition is:
—“the social group between the upper(not working) and working (laboring) classes, including professional and business workers and their families(managerial).”—

I would use:

***”People who calculate, organize, manage, production, distribution, and trade.”***

Because I think it is the best book yet available, I tend to use Paul Fussel’s book “Class”, and most people who read it are forever changed by it.

The British system, which is more economically descriptive, if expanded, would be superior to the American which is politically descriptive.

We have simply had ‘diversity’ longer, so we have ‘softer’ categories in order to eliminate the ‘uncomfortable’ truth that we’re racially stratified as well as occupationally stratified.

The British and American Class Models

British ???? – American Upper Out of Sight Class (the 80 major money families in the states)

British ???? – American Upper Class (live on money)
For example, our tech people are hardly classifiable as elites, other than perhaps the Gates’ who have made the transition from commercial to entirely humanitarian occupation.

British Elite – American Upper Middle Class
(in America, we refer to elites as people who have political power, not economic power, and who hold utopian visions of the future.)
Members of the elite class are the top 6% of British society with very high economic capital (particularly savings), high social capital, and very ‘highbrow’ cultural capital. Occupations such as chief executive officers, IT and telecommunications directors, marketing and sales directors; functional managers and directors, barristers and judges, financial managers, higher education teachers,[24] dentists, doctors and advertising and public relations directors were strongly represented.[25] However, those in the established and ‘acceptable’ professions, such as academia, law and medicine are more traditional upper middle class identifiers with IT and sales being the preserve of the economic if not social middle class.

British Established middle class – American Middle Class
Members of the established middle class, about 25% of British society, reported high economic capital, high status of mean social contacts, and both high highbrow and high emerging cultural capital. Well-represented occupations included electrical engineers, occupational therapists, midwives, environmental professionals, police officers, quality assurance and regulatory professionals, town planning officials, and special needs teaching professionals.[26]

British Technical middle class – American Lower Middle Class
The technical middle class, about 6% of British society, shows high economic capital, very high status of social contacts, but relatively few contacts reported, and moderate cultural capital. Occupations represented include medical radiographers, aircraft pilots, pharmacists, natural and social science professionals and physical scientists, and business, research, and administrative positions.[27]

British New affluent workers – American Upper Working Class
New affluent workers, about 15% of British society, show moderately good economic capital, relatively poor status of social contacts, though highly varied, and moderate highbrow but good emerging cultural capital. Occupations include electricians and electrical fitters; postal workers; retail cashiers and checkout operatives; plumbers and heating and ventilation engineers; sales and retail assistants; housing officers; kitchen and catering assistants; quality assurance technicians.[27]

British Traditional working class – American Middle Working Class
The traditional working class, about 15% of British society, shows relatively poor economic capital, but some housing assets, few social contacts, and low highbrow and emerging cultural capital. Typical occupations include electrical and electronics technicians; care workers; cleaners; van drivers; electricians; residential, day, and domiciliary care [27]

British Emergent service sector – American lower working class
The emergent service sector, about 19% of British society, shows relatively poor economic capital, but reasonable household income, moderate social contacts, high emerging (but low highbrow) cultural capital. Typical occupations include bar staff, chefs, nursing auxiliaries and assistants, assemblers and routine operatives, care workers, elementary storage occupations, customer service occupations, musicians.[27]

British Precariat – American upper proletarian class
The precariat, about 15% of British society, shows poor economic capital, and the lowest scores on every other criterion. Typical occupations include cleaners, van drivers, care workers, carpenters and joiners, caretakers, leisure and travel service occupations, shopkeepers and proprietors, and retail cashiers.

British ???? – American Lower proletarian class
British ???? – American out-of-sight lower class.


However, in Propertarianism I do not create a single hierarchy, but three overlapping ‘cones’, where our upper classes specialize in one or more of the three methods of coercion:
1) The Priesthood: talk/gossip/rallying/shaming, Academy, Politics.
2) The Judiciary: violence, order, law, war
3) The Burghers: trade, enterpreneurship, finance, treasury.

The Four Middle Classes Criteria

1) Genetic Middle Class (reproductive, associative, economic value – ie: reproductively desirable)

2) Social Middle Class (bourgeoise manners, ethics, morals, traditions)

3) Occupational Middle Class (managerial or small business)

4) Economic Middle Class (free capital for consumption and signaling – ie: home-owner)

To some degree these overlap considerably. But there is quite a bit of rotation in and out of the middle, even if there very little rotation out of the upper middle (professional class), lots of rotation out of the lower upper class (financiers and politicals) and upper-class (families who maintain excellence over many generations).

So I use all four circles, and I tend to suggest that it’s all genetics, and it’s whether you succeed socially, occupationally, and economically that can change the appearance of what class you’re in.

American culture is still fairly favorable for anyone in the middle class to move up socially, economically, and occupationally, and by offspring, some small chance, if you marry well, genetically.

the middle class contains those people in the four middle class criteria, and divided by specialization into the people who persuade, people who trade, and people who defend limits.



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