The wealthiest, highest status people who still work jobs and get paychecks we may call the upper middle class, urban professionals, yuppies.
As far as the subordinate masses of lesser wage earners are concerned, they are the angels in heaven making 6 figures in their “self-actualizing” careers. A huge proportion of TV, movies, and fiction idolizes the exploits of doctors, surgeons, lawyers, FBI investigators, special agents, police chiefs, jet pilots, and professors.
These heroes are the most talented workers at the top of their craft.
The upper middle class is the glowing source of the culture upper proles and the middle class try to imitate. If they decide quinoa or yoga is in, it filters down over the next few years. When the middle classers embrace the new trend the upper middle class dumps it out of disgust and finds a new fad. Or they escalate, and put expensive twists on their version that sets it safely apart from the riff raff. Mid to low proles of course are impermeable to these fads and stick with their light beer and doritos come hell or high water.
Those in the upper middle class bask in their position of leadership and indulge in snobbery, but there’s one big problem that’s the bane of their existence:
They’re still hirelings.
Most of them have bosses just like the lowest prole day laborer. Because they have high demand skills that are hard to replace, they’re treated as esteemed humans, not like animals as proles are. However, they’re not the ones pulling the strings and they still have a “career” to grind at for decades before they get old and die in an upscale “retirement community”. They may go to Iceland and Costa Rica on their vacations, but most of the time they’re tied to a “position” that demands intense dedication. Because they live in a high value market, they must constantly prove themselves against the best competition in the world.
All their SWPL trappings such as hiking gear in the big city, cars with bike racks on top, vibram running shoes, new age crystals, and organic trail mix are trappings of the freedom they wish they had.
All their favorite brands promise meditative bliss, open skies, and airy mountain forests because they’re still slaves that crave freedom, just like any other worker. In some ways it’s worse for them because their intellects are just sharp enough to perceive the trap they live in and resent it. This makes them potentially dangerous.
If the middle class is the castle moat, getting constantly assailed from without, getting the castle’s sewage dumped into it from within, the upper middle class enjoys a truly privileged place within the castle walls, dwelling in the royal court.
They may actually have substantial contact with rulers. To everyone else, the Elites are like Gods living atop an incomprehensible height.
The upper middle class on the other hand gets some access to those at the very top. Unlike the rest, they get to observe how the rulers are not Gods, but flesh and blood people who often make mistakes. They might even start thinking that they could do a better job…
So, under the right circumstances, the upper middle class becomes like Lucifer among God’s angels. Already possessed of enough ambition and talent to get to the very top of the labor force, they begin to have seditious thoughts if the ruling order appears weak or incompetent.
If those with upper middle class qualities get disenfranchised and cut out of the game, they simmer with resentment and use their intelligence and leadership ability to start movements against the establishment. If the rulers cut too many of the best and brightest out of their racket, the best and brightest turn all their energy against the rulers.
When a wave of discontent from the larger population puts the rulers off balance the ambitious upper middle class may decide the time is right.
A desperate ruler does the one thing he should never do and makes a concession.
Parliament gets called into an emergency session, the estates general is convened…the rest is history.
People of the upper middle class are smart, educated, and organized enough that they often succeed at having a revolution. The problems begin when they discover that running a government isn’t the same as having a job. It requires a world view alien to the worker slave mentality. There’s no boss, no instructions to follow. They finally must truly think for themselves.
For all their skill, an upper middle class person mostly just does one thing in one sphere of influence. Though that role may be important, it cannot prepare them for the challenge of controlling many spheres and understanding the larger patterns that govern them all.
Because they still just work a job for their masters, they’re free to indulge in feel-good philosophies about how humanity could be made better. Upper middle class revolutions usually have catchy slogans with high flung promises of ‘liberty’ and ‘equality.’ When the top slaves win their revolution, though, they very quickly discover that feel-good talk doesn’t make a state run.
They come from a class that spends its entire youth sheltered in prep schools and universities, spending most of their time learning highly specialized skills in the company of others who share their priorities and values.
The problem with Upper Middles trying to rule is they have no idea what motivates most people, no clue how most people live and behave.
Their moral ideologies are possibly suited to other people like them, but they are oblivious that they represent well under 10% of the population and the vast majority of humanity is nothing like them.
To put it simply, they have no street smarts. Any lower prole teenager would be a good starting teacher to introduce them to the ways of the real world.
Unsurprisingly, upper middles find themselves in way over their heads when they actually take over. They soon find themselves solving problems just like their bosses used to, but more heavy-handedly. If the rulers used to hang trouble makers, in no time at all the victorious revolutionaries will have great terrors and great purges.
The revolution that begins with hope and optimism, then devolves into disaster and tyranny. Tragically, time and again the upper middle class discovers, as Lucifer did, that to rule is above their proper place in the heavens.