At all the times the philosophers, economists, governors and thinkers have tried to classify the sections of society. Ancient Indian classification which became caste system was:
1. Warrior Caste; 2. Priest Caste; 3. Traders Caste and 4. Worker Class
All on the nature of their work.
Western economists and thinkers divide the society in three classes:
1. Upper Class 2. Middle Class & 3. Lower Class (all on the basis of purchasing power).
However none of these definitions can be said to be comprehensive. How people can be classified on the basis of the work they do or what they carry in their pocket. The mind makes a person. If it is not why crazy people are termed incompetent to take any legal action. If we consider the actions with what is going in the mind, it appears that social structure or hierarchy of society can be broadly divided into following classification:
1. Controllers’ Coterie
There is a section of society which controls material resources. From minerals to bandwidth to permits all are material resources. These Controllers then allocate and distribute the material resources through their coteries. These coteries can be ex-controller. Similarly the Controller can be ex-coterie. The internal relationships of the coterie is based or pseudo-loyalism and opportunism. At higher order within coterie, opportunism is more visible. At middle level, actual loyalty is frequently witnessed as against its pseudo cousin at lower level.
This group frequently interacts with Traders for distribution of largesse but some how depends upon the third group of Workers either for being in power or for extraction of resources or both. The Rulers or politicians belong to this class. These people think that they determine the destiny of others therefore know better how to allocate the resources. It may be noted that the cluster or coterie is strongest in this category.
They are people who are always on a lookout for profit. Actual vocation could be anything but what drives a Trader is the profit. Trader could be a full-time clerk or doctor or something but his expectation is to make profit from every transaction of life. More people means more transactions which means more profit. Once a trader always a trader. Often the Traders work in concert with others but very often they work alone.
Worker may be hard-working person or a lazy person but a Worker is one who is at the job to work from 9 to 6 or whatever. He can be an unambitious shop keeper. He can be a Doctor or a Lawyer. His pattern is to work and earn. The mindset of the worker is that more work means more income. Except for socializing they do not interact much with each other. Further except talking about the problems of life they hardly have much to talk about. Hence there is almost negligible coterie.
This class is sometime most subtle. They are the people who are always looking for a free lunch or free tee-shirt or a free ride. Something free. Again they may in employment or self-employed, his pattern of movement is to get something for free or from other’s pocket. Their perception in life is that they have less or nothing but others have too much of it. By the way according to above definition a professional beggar who is actually seeking alms on the red-light is a worker, not the beggar. Since Beggar is the poorest he alone faces the world on his own, asking for something free to bring the equation to equal level but that does not happen.
Since the above classification is based on pattern of thought, in a rare case the pattern changes all of a sudden. Some time applying the above classification is difficult due to subtle behavior. Some time more than one pattern may be harmonised together or may alternate in different situations. Keen observation is required to ascertain the pattern of though of a person and his role in social structure. Again the visible routine of a worker or trader may be same but it is the pattern of thought which shall distinguish. The moment his focus shifts from the work of merely counting cash for goods sold, to look for more opportunities for profit, his category changes to trader. However it is the predominant behaviour over a life time which determines. For example a child or adolescent should not be categories till he matures in a pattern.
© Sandeep Bhalla