Over a year ago I wrote the post Reintroduce the Caste System where I discussed the notion that the caste/ class system might be good idea. Now I think it might even a natural development for any large society. A small village does not require any great degree of specialization for individuals, but a larger entity does. However the thing is, I don’t really like hierarchical systems and don’t find strict hierarchies really beneficial to anyone. How to have a class system with as little hierarchy as possible?
Self-discovery. Know thyself is the most important lesson anyone can learn. It may be cliché, but it is true. If you know what your strengths and weaknesses are you can become beneficial to yourself and others. Quite simple. Kids want to be superheroes or rock stars when they grow up, but most of them eventually realize they don’t have what it takes, so they’ll choose a more mundane profession. May not be as glorious a choice, but better be a good baker than lousy superhero. You’ll live longer and happier.
Modern society seems to encourage people to acquire a popular and fashionable profession, because it’s supposed to make them able to support themselves. For example, I’ve met many business students who study it, not because they like business, but because that field is promoted by society. They feel they should study business to be good and successful people. However if they have no natural propensity for that profession they’re wasting their time and getting in the way of the people who do it better.
Should society instead promote people to explore what they are good at and encourage it, I believe it would leave to some sort of class or caste system. We are not equal. I don’t really understand how a combustion engine works, I wouldn’t know how to build a computer, even though I can drive a car and use a computer. There are various engineers who probably find it quite easy to understand such mechanics, whereas us laymen in that department can only rely on the expertise of the engineers to make things work. Then again many engineers and people of other practical professions do not seem to understand the complexities of social issues such as politics or conspiracy theories that well. The engineers have to trust the politicians and social scientists. That is why equality in politics does not work, not everybody has the same understanding or capabilities.
All of the real, practical professions are not democratic. I don’t have any authority to say how a house is built. That is for the architects. I don’t have any say in medical care, since I don’t have any understanding of medicine. That is for doctors to decide. Why then should people who have no grasp of how society works have say in social issues? That too should be left for the experts. And in our world, unfortunately it is, but those experts are not really experts in organizing society in just a manner, rather they are parasites who exploit everybody. That is the failing of modern society. We have great technical ability, but we have little moral capability. There are no saints nor philosophers who are respected in the main stream. Those people exist, but they are still in the alternative media and conspiracy theorist realm.
The challenge then is to dethrone the false rulers and replace them with righteous ones. This might sound archaic, but what a good ruler, be it a king, president or chieftain needs is morals above else. In our time this is reverse; a ruler needs lack of morals to succeed and the results are quite obviously visible in society. We need a powerful class of social scientists or experts with understanding of how society works, and also with morals and courage to do the right thing.
The class system would rather play a more significant part when the false rulers have been replaced. It would ensure how that society remains in good order. I don’t think the system should be enforced strictly; “You are a craftsman, you cannot grow tomatoes in your backyard. You will be punished!” Nothing like that. Rather the classes or castes would probably be quite loose. People would probably gravitate toward the profession they are good at, and might not even think themselves to be part of any particular caste. The classes would be more like a generalization a historian in the future gives to the society when looking at it. It is there, it is something that describes the relationship between people, but it does not force them to do be something they are not.
Each member of each class would have a responsibility to to do a good job. The food industry should of course make good and healthy food. The engineers should make machines that work properly. The social scientists or rulers should make sure society works properly and not lead it into chaos and confusion. And so on. One class is not better than another. They simply have different responsibilities. Nor should a person be chained to one class if they have various abilities. Yet as few of us are like the Renaissance Man we tend to be gifted in only a few things, therefore a class is something that fits us.
This is just my pondering. I not saying this is the solution to our problems, but it is certain we have various problems and we need solutions. We shouldn’t be stuck to modern ideas of democracy and equality, especially since it is becoming more and more clear they do not function so well. What we need is respect for each other and co-operation. I don’t think there is a sane person on this earth who would disagree with that. Some sort of organic caste system might allow a greater chance of it happening.