Offhand I remarked yesterday that my problem is strictly financial because it “turns out money is measured in IRL friends”. That put me in mind of this section of Propaganda:
Yet it must be remembered that these thousands of groups interlace. John Jones, besides being a Rotarian, is member of a church, of a fraternal order, of a political party, of a charitable organization, of a professional association, of a local chamber of commerce, of a league for or against prohibition or of a society for or against lowering the tariff, and of a golf club. The opinions which he receives as a Rotarian, he will tend to disseminate in the other groups in which he may have influence.
This invisible, intertwining structure of groupings and associations is the mechanism by which democracy has organized its group mind and simplified its mass thinking. To deplore the existence of such a mechanism is to ask for a society such as never was and never will be. To admit that it exists, but expect that it shall not be used, is unreasonable.
Emil Ludwig represents Napoleon as “ever on the watch for indications of public opinion; always listening to the voice of the people, a voice which defies calculation. ‘Do you know,’ he said in those days, ‘what amazes me more than all else? The impotence of force to organize anything.’”
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
Propaganda (p. 17-18)
This is well-explained and needs no further input from me. Taking this in a bit of a different direction…I have the thought in mind that a person’s “connectedness” may correlate very strongly with their financial success—moreso than IQ, for instance. It’s a dual matter of quality and quantity: better to have successful (connected) friends than not. Maybe this is just a matter of being the interface between groups, like a middle-man for skills, competencies, supply and demand stuff. Human resources are the real capital good.
Taking the dark enlightenment as an example, you have your central figures in each territory (aristocrats), the people surrounding them (serfs), and the people who interface between the territories (bourgeoisie).
This is a conjecture that could be formally tested as a social science hypotheesis under various definitions of “connectedness”. It could simply refer to the number of friends a person contacts regularly (favoring quantity), the number of high-social index friends a person contacts regularly (favoring quality), the number of formal associations to which a person belongs (favoring “joiners”), or best of all a combination of factors.