The new class structure resembles that of Medieval times. At the apex of the new order are two classes—a reborn clerical elite, the clerisy, which dominates the upper part of the professional ranks, universities, media and culture, and a new aristocracy led by tech oligarchs with unprecedented wealth and growing control of information. These two classes correspond to the old French First and Second Estates.
Below these two classes lies what was once called the Third Estate. This includes the yeomanry, which is made up largely of small businesspeople, minor property owners, skilled workers and private-sector oriented professionals. Ascendant for much of modern history, this class is in decline while those below them, the new Serfs, grow in numbers—a vast, expanding property-less population.
The trends are mounting, but we can still reverse them—if people understand what is actually occurring and have the capability to oppose them.
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About the Author
Kotkin is the author of eight previous books, including The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us and the highly praised The New Class Conflict. He co-edited the 2018 collection Infinite Suburbia. Kotkin’s books The City: A Global History and Tribes: How Race, Religion and Identity Are Reshaping the Global Economy, were published in numerous languages including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German and Arabic. Kotkin has published reports on topics ranging from the future of class in global cities to the places with the best opportunities for minorities.
Kotkin has conducted major studies on demography and urbanism in East Asia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and many cities in the United States.
Table of Contents
Part I How Feudalism Came Back
1 The Feudal Revival 1
2 The Enduring Allure of Feudalism 13
3 The Rise and Decline of Liberal Capitalism 19
Part II The Oligarchs
4 High-Tech Feudalism 27
5 The Belief System of the New Oligarchy 33
6 Feudalism in California, Harbinger of the Future 41
Part III The Clerisy
7 The New Legitimizers 49
8 The Control Tower 59
9 New Religions 67
Part IV The Embattled Yeomanry
10 The Rise and Decline of Upward Mobility 75
11 A Lost Generation? 85
12 Culture and Capitalism 91
Part V The New Serfs
13 Beyond the Ring Road 101
14 The Future of the Working Class 109
15 Peasant Rebellions 117
Part VI The New Geography of Feudalism
16 The New Gated City 129
17 The Soul of the Neo-feudal City 139
18 The Totalitarian Urban Future 145
Part VII A Manifesto for the Third Estate
19 The Technological Challenge 153
20 The Shaping of Neo-feudal Society 159
21 Can We Challenge Neo-feudalism? 167