A classless society is an ideal concept where people are treated equally in all matters relating to daily livings. If you look carefully, you will realise that great prophets promoted this kind of social arrangements. That everyone is equal before God and so everyone should be subject to the same treatment, socially and legally, and accord the same rights and given equal privileges.
There are no feudal, aristocratic or religious privileges accorded to anyone. And where meritocracy, loyalty, competitiveness and integrity are favoured virtues.
If you further study and scrutinise groups of human and animals, God’s creatures, so to speak, you will also realise that not all members are treated equally. In the animal world, you see pecking orders based on physical strength and intelligence. The strongest and most intelligent will lead the pack and spread his genes. This is natural for the survival of the species. In the animal world, owing to their set brain potential, they are doomed to stay that way.
Human is a different kettle of fish. In the old days when territorial areas were protected through a kind of united groups or tribes, the same concept is seen like that of the animal world. A man, due to his physical strength and intelligence would emerge a leader and organise his tribe. Eventually these men were accorded a certain status and those around him come up with ways to ensure he is respected or even revered through man-made ceremonies and so called traditional or cultural practices to entrench his position and so you have kings,emperors,sultans,rajah and the likes. And what more, and unlike the animal world where leadership keeps changing, the human manages to ensure the progeny of these men keep on heading the group, despite some being unintelligent and slow-witted. And so you see this dynastic line being perpetuated in many parts of the world.
It is interesting though to observe how great countries like Russia ( the old Soviet Union), China, America, Australia and even India and Indonesia have developed into an egalitarian society, albeit, in various degrees and forms. In these countries, class is determined by your economic status rather than by hereditary line. Wealth can come and go depending on how people manage their fortune. And so do respect and social deference.
Where kings, for centuries, once ruled in India, China and Indonesia, the change to a republic , a political concept born under the French Revolution (1789-1799) came by rather easily due to the homogenous nature of the society.The same people, practising the same culture and possessed of the same hope and aspiration. Australia presents a different scenario as almost all the population are migrants where culture is anything goes and everyone is subject to the same opportunities to making a new life in a land away from where they are born. Everyone is equal and creating an egalitarian society is most natural in this country.
Culture is something some people hold dear. Their preoccupation with so-called self-identity and national and belief pride can be unreasonably phenomenal. There is a saying in Malay ” Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat“, literally translated into English as ” Let the child die rather than the culture”. Till some smart alecks retorted ” If the child died, wither the culture?”.
And so in a hetereogeneous society like Malaysia where different races and cultural practices exist and inherent prejudice festers, an egalitarian society is but a dream. In fact, traditional and hierarchical social arrangement is fiercely kept to protect the status quo.
Quite often life in this kind of traditional society could be oppressive and partial to its marginalised members. Only through egalite politique economique et sociale would each able citizen of any country reach his human potential.