The super rich suffer from acute nihilism and are vastly outnumbered by newly Internet literate aggressive personality types. They will lose badly if they don't preemptively and radically modify present socioeconomics
Considering all the negative attention that the global oligarchy has been getting recently, one interesting fact often left unmentioned is that the super rich are outnumbered 9,999 to 1. Let's briefly define what we're dealing with.
When one really filters rich people overall, it's evident that the number of decision makers is actually rather small. Out of 7 billion people on earth in the near future (6.8+ billion now), less than 1% are trend setters within social hierarchies. This is the socially visible merchant class that makes money purely off capital investments. That is less than 70 million capitalists scattered about. Majority of this group have relatively insignificant pools of investment money which doesn't expand much (mom and pop small business owners who may have some political pull locally but not too much nationally and internationally).
Within this group, there is 1% (<700,000) that makes the rest look like paupers. Here is a detailed article showing the sheer inequality among the capitalists in United States. These are the people so far removed from the rest of the world materially that they usually end up oppressing the lesser capitalists (through stock market swindles, cartels, and disproportionate buy outs of political lapdogs). In other words, majority of those within richest 1% are fighting their own battle against the 1% in their ranks.
The 700,000 super rich are trend settlers among trend setters. At this point real oligarchic activities become possible. An oligarch is simply anybody with enough disposable wealth to influence politics. Although actions (like paying 2 thousand dollar ticket at a candidate's fund raiser and donations to think tanks of one's choice) technically qualify, in the international arena influence really requires funding/owning think tanks with a global reach.
Finally, perhaps around 50,000 individuals (a few thousand families really) within the 700,000 have the power to culturally pull the rest of the international oligarchy behind them through role modeling and proactive moves. This small number of key oligarchs makes it very easy to hound them politically. Conceivably, people can protest in front of rich people's gatherings rather than in front of gatherings of politicians in the future.
The 700,000 are buffered by millions of loyal and very well paid proletariat patsies. They are the cream of the crop of the wage laborers who often defend the caste above them to the bitter end. One can compare them to house slaves who got it pretty good (200,000 - 600,000 a year paychecks). They can be found writing state propaganda articles for such oligarchic mouthpieces as the Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The Atlantic, and similar rags. This richest proletariat caste appears the most brainwashed due to its complete adoration of the ruling caste (desire to mingle and get interviews) and contempt for the caste right below them. Here is a good example of the type of apologist garbage they tend to write. It pretends to be a serious criticism on the surface while actually being staunchly defensive (avoid if you have a weak stomach).
The good news.
Out of 7 billion people on the planet, almost 500 million people are ENTJs and ENTPs, many of whom are getting Internet for the first time. If you include all relatively unemotional and intuitive homo sapiens such as INTPs and INTJs (perhaps even more dangerous to the rich through behind the scenes work), then the number goes to 700 million uppity proletariat. These 700 million people are the most likely to self educate themselves by utilizing new informational technology and to subsequently find out about their exploitation at the hands of the 700,000. Now, they cannot all be bought off, suppressed, and co-opted. There just isn't enough room in the upper circles for so many comfortable house slaves. Even if 20% of them are co-opted into status-quo hierarchies worldwide, that leaves over 500 million on the outside looking in. This means that the enemies of humanity at large are outnumbered roughly 500-1000 to one (by people who got the drive and the oversized ego to try to bring them down).
Besides being outnumbered they are also overcome with nihilism which can be exploited
Just as was the case over 100 years ago (when Nietzsche first described the phenomenon in detail), it appears that the most powerful individuals on the planet have not developed a common and coherent moral system for themselves and their offspring. Even as the elites are becoming increasingly culturally homogenized via cosmopolitan modes of consumption, Internet communication, international think tanks, common ivy league education, and jet travel allowing frequent dinners together, the majority of them have not officially agreed upon a life expanding moral framework of the future.
The future necessity and inevitability of some centralized governance on a planetary scale combined with the psychological need of rulers to overcome nihilism in a permanently atheistic world (when hedonism, Buddhism, socioeconomic ideology, and attainment of power to highest offices in the land fail to provide psychological comfort), will lead to such moral concoction eventually. However in the meantime, the lack of a relatively uniform belief system to indoctrinate elite's children (future planetary leadership) into is leading to severe infighting when it comes to paths towards planetary unification. This in turn allows for international paralysis and deference to the default mode of predatory corporate globalization overlapped with petty nationalisms.
among the NTs in the Myers Briggs typology. That leaves us with roughly 70,000 individuals who'd like to tinker with humans in new ways on a global scale and who have the financial means to do so. The ESTJs, who are 10% of the population, can add people to this group but only for managerial non-productive (in terms of building a new system) positions. Oligarch ESTJ spawn is likely to engage in something seemingly unnecessary considering their money such as military service. ESTP ofspring would get their kicks from flying balloons around the world or hunting lions (the traditional venues). Other personality types would not really be interested in possibilities of planetary governance. Many would consider politics in general beneath them (since politicians are just butlers) and boring. Even fame loses its appeal since it is not a means to get ahead and brings attention of the peasants to the wealth. If politically engaged at all, their donations would just go towards supporting the status quo of current predatory globalization.
Most of the world's proletariat are so busy just trying to survive that they have overestimated the potential of psychological fulfillment that hedonism can bring. For children of the oligarchy, sex, travel, and partying stop providing the same kick when they reach their late 20s. That's when they go their separate ways as determined by what neural breed they are. The financial means of the oligarchic NTs do a number on their egos (and the egos of the clinical psychopathic minority most likely overly represented within the ENT group) as a type of world conquest becomes possible.
One may argue that power may be sufficient to fill that void but only a minority of elites have the extroverted and emotionless traits to be inclined towards active involvement in politics. Even if they attain positions in high office, the satisfaction from power gained is not great considering most modern legislative and executive branches in the Western world are trapped within crushing interconnected oligarchic corporate power networks. Thus, even if a son from the capitalist class gets into high public office, his real satisfaction will stem mostly from drinking, talking, and dining with fellow political junkies rather than remolding the world with his will. If some legislation does get passed, it'll mostly benefit his fellow top 1% peers and have a less than pleasant feel that he is their secretary. It could very well be that political backers who actually try to get the poor peasantry educated are doing so out of resentment against their overbearing aristocratic fathers and/or their more extroverted political friends. This certainly has happened before when some children of the aristocracy in imperial Russia and Britain flirted with communism.
They are much weaker and more psychologically paralyzed than they appear. Their patsies can be turned against them and millions of people throughout the world will go about doing just that. The goal is to target key oligarchic financial structures (federal reserve and various major banks) and create informational critical mass in the minds of the wage laborers at large. The super rich have grown too soft and comfortable and the intellectual oligarch strategists among them are overwhelmed by group think and cultural inertia of their peers. As this brilliant article suggests, sociologists should refocus from studying the least well off members of society to those best off in order to properly analyze what we're up against. To understand it is to find ever better ways to fight it. In the near future, the political class can be made to serve the general population again. Politicians are notorious for being able to smell blood in the water and the oligarchs present very juicy cows from which to milk political capital and fame (those politicians who stand up to the robber barons tend to get into history books).