In America’s Nine Classes: The New Class Hierarchy, Charles Hugh Smith explains the current classes in US society. We included the full descriptions of two groups - “Upper Caste” and “State Nomenklatura” - which include the tenured professors. The ‘mobile creatives’ are part of an emerging class, who are outside the traditional hierarchy.
1. The Deep State.
2. **The Oligarchs. **
3. **New Nobility. **
4. Upper Caste.
I use this term to describe the technocrat/professional class that manages the Status Quo for the upper classes. They serve in both government and the private sector.
5. **State Nomenklatura. **
In the Soviet Union, the Nomenklatura were the key administrators in all sectors. In the U.S., the Nomenklatura are well-paid government administrators with security and power. Collectively, they administer their own share of the swag, gaming the system to maximize their pensions, benefits, etc.
Together, the Upper Caste and the Nomenklatura comprise about 9% of the 121 million households in the U.S.: roughly 8.7 million households who earn between $145,000 and $250,000 annually. This class is the bulk of the top 7%, i.e. the top 90% to 97%. Household income in the United States.
6. The Middle Class.
7. **The Working Poor. **
8. **State Dependents. **
9. **Mobile Creatives. **
This is an emerging class that ranges across many income classifications and thus cannot be described by income alone. Some earn Upper Caste incomes, others are Working Poor. This class is self-employed, free-lance, entrepreneural, sole proprietors with adaptive skills. They may collaborate with other Creatives rather than have employees, and may have part-time jobs.
There are roughly 5.5 million incorporated self-employed people in the U.S.; these tend to be professionals such as attorneys, engineers and physicians. These self-employed are generally members of the Upper Caste.
The Mobile Creatives (which include small farmers, craftspeople, independent programmers, etc.) number around 10 million, or 8% of the workforce. I use the word mobile here not to suggest mobility between physical places (though that is one factor in this class’s flexibility) but mobility between sectors and ways of earning income.
Members of this class might take a short-term paying gig if the pay and circumstance is attractive, and then return to self-employment. They tend to foster multiple income streams and in general operate by the principle trust the network, not the corporation or the state.
Some members of this class joined the cohort involuntarily, as the result of layoffs; others pursue this livelihood for its freedom, flexibility (important to parents of young children or those caring for elderly parents) and potential for self-expression.
This is the “wild card” class that falls outside all conventional class/income hierarchies. It includes those seeking outlier wealth and those who have chosen voluntary poverty.
Charles Hugh Smith further elaborates on the new class in
Longtime correspondent Kevin Mercadante (Out of Your Rut) noted that being a Mobile Creative isn’t just a different mode of livelihood–it’s a different way of living, thinking and being.
_“Mobile Creatives” describes me to the letter - I felt as if I was reading a script of my own life (at least since the financial meltdown). It also takes in a few of my friends, so it’s a very real category.
This is beyond the scope of the article, but one of the things I’ve found to be a revelation is that the mobile creative lifestyle extends well beyond career and workstyle. Once you adopt it, everything else in your life falls in behind it.
Because of the creativity and independence that the lifestyle provides, there’s less need for high cost entertainment. Vacations and weekends are less important - there’s joy and adventure to be had every day. You’re less concerned with retirement. You develop a sense that you’ll survive what ever happens. You see more opportunities and fewer obstacles. At the same time, you’re also painfully aware that things don’t always work out. But you also learn that failure isn’t terminal. That’s huge.
Spending patterns change too. You find less expensive ways to do everything - to buy food and clothing, to fix your car, and even to entertain yourself. Free thought expands, and you find yourself drawn to other mobile creatives. Conversations with others are deeper and more meaningful - when you meet to discuss work, you’re really paying attention, always on high alert for new opportunities and potential joint ventures.
On the surface, being a mobile creative is less secure than traditional careers, but I wouldn’t trade it. I’ve been in so-called stable careers, only to discover that they’re only secure until the big picture game changes. Being a mobile creative enables you to adapt to change, rather than getting rolled over by it._
Interestingly, the above description of mobile creative is very much in tune with antifragile personality described by N. N. Taleb and his followers.
Going forward, we expect the state-dependent systems to collapse on their own weights and the mobile creative or anti-fragile way of living life to take over. Therefore, we ask you to read BioMickWatson’s “How to stand out in academic scientific research” with a grain of salt.
BioMickWatson wants you to ‘write papers’, but what is a paper really? It is an advertisement of your scientific abilities. Advertisement to whom? The grant panels, who will supposedly pay you for your research. In this mode of operation, you write a paper to advertise to scientists and then get paid from a small panel within the government.
You can see that your ‘product’ and the method of payment you receive are completely disconnected. It is analogous to a farmer supplying food to houses in Iowa and then getting paid from a distant panel in Washington DC. That is very complex system to bet your life on. Moreover such a highly centralized model is destructive for science and its defects are getting clearer by the day. Following text from Charles Hugh Smith is equally applicable to scientific organizations and any other centralized body.
The essence of state-cartel capitalism (the dominant form of capitalism) is the state dismantles all social connections and wealth between the state and the atomized individual recipient of state welfare so the individual depends entirely on the state for his/her identity and essentials of life.