It is time to continue our introduction of the four distinct roles the players will take in hegemony! This time, we want to look into the middle class which can earn a lot of victory points but requires a constant balancing act. Soon, you will understand why, so let us dive in!
What once was called the “petite bourgeoisie” is nowadays widely referred to as the “middle class”. This socioeconomic group is situated between the upper- and lower-income groups of each society as its members are highly educated and are neither poor nor exorbitantly rich. As employees, they are usually white-collar workers (e.g. lawyers, doctors, software developers and so on). As employers, they typically run small businesses. Although the middle class is gradually fading in many countries of the world, it still makes up a considerable amount of their populations.
As a player taking control of the middle class, you have to represent two distinct groups in one: (white-collar) workers and smallholders. Hence, your playstyle incorporates elements of both the working- and the capitalist class. While representing your smallholders, you will have businesses to manage and need to ensure that they stay profitable. For that, you have to manage your capital and revenue, build your companies and sell generated goods and services on the domestic or foreign market. At the same time, however, you have to keep your middle-class workers employed and raise their standard of living. Thereby, the same game elements come into play as the ones we have seen in the post before: These people, just as their working-class counterparts, are primarily interested in a high level of health, education, and entertainment. Be careful though, as this circumstance doesn’t automatically mean that your political goal should be to use your influence in the parliament in order to shift the state into a more socialist direction- your business owners will not be happy with this decision.
In this article, we briefly introduced the middle class and its distinct features in our game. The player who takes control of it has different routes to generate victory points (and, hence, many ways to achieve hegemony), but also has to balance the interests of two socioeconomic groups in order to evade conflicts of interest which could very well hinder the path to victory. Let us, in the next article, shed a light on the capitalist class!