There's a place where the light won't find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, we'll be right behind you
--Tears for Fears
The opening thought of Marx and Engels (1848) was, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." They go on to blame such 'classification' on capitalism, otherwise known as free or unhampered markets.
Their insinuation, of course, was precisely backward. By the time Marx and Engels published their Manifesto, movement of world economies toward the capitalistic end of the spectrum was breaking down class systems--particularly with respect to income mobility. Never in the history of the world were more people breaking chains that bound their ancestors to the bottom of the social pyramid and beginning their ascent to higher standard of living.
A case that such mobility is slowing today and once again binding people to lesser economic destinies is reasonably grounded in the phenomenon of dwindling capitalism and growing socialism. As these pages have previously observed, Jeff Tucker notes that all Marx and Engels' ten points for destroying capitalism in favor of a socialistic state have been in motion for years.
Much of the allure involves the promise of 'free stuff' that drive democratic process toward a larger state. Paradoxically, the more free stuff people vote for, the more classbound (and less free) they are.