In the Middle Ages it was the aristocracy and clergy (Catholic Church) who between them created, managed and controlled the state, thereby facilitating exploitation of the rest of society, i.e. the human environment, to their own, mutual advantage.
In modern Europe (and western civilisation in general) centuries of development have seen the aristocracy replaced by - or incorporated into – a much wider body of capital and professional interests, while the clergy have been largely replaced, i.e. incorporated into, a larger and more diverse body of "moral supremacists", seeking advantage in their social environment by claiming the "moral high ground" for themselves, especially through their universalist ("inclusive", catholic) ideology (e.g. “multi-culturalism”), by equating state and nation, and calling themselves “progressives”.
It is not my intention to demonise capital and professional interests, “progressives”, aristocrats or clergy, but to expose them to the light of a human-evolutionary, i.e. Darwinian, understanding of their role in society, i.e. how they seek to exploit it - as an artificial, socio-economic environment - to their own advantage.
The ancient Greek aphorism, “Know Thyself”, should apply, not just to our individual selves, but also, and most urgently, to the society and civilisation we belong to and depend on.
The truth - which we have been trained and conditioned (in the context of our general self-domestication) not to recognise - is that so-called “human society” serves primarily, not as an extension of our original tribe (the modern nation State), ultimately concerned for the best interests of all its members, as we are (self)-deceived into believing, but as an artificial, socio-economic, ENVIRONMENT, where the primordial, Darwinian, struggle for survival, advantage and “success” has been perverted and largely reduced to the pursuit and exercise of POWER in its various forms, e.g. MONEY, social and professional status, the moral high ground, etc.
Those in a position to do so - naturally enough - attempt to exploit and even shape the human environment (society) to their own perceived advantage, whereby anyone in the public eye (especially in politics, the media, established religion and academia) have to pay particular attention to hiding and rationalising their subliminal, narrowly self-interested motivations as being for the general good. Business and capital, in contrast, are free to be far more honest about their motivations, not just to society at large, but to themselves as well.
The vast majority of politicians, academics, media pundits and churchmen - between them representing the New Catholicism, which, in coalition with capital, completely dominate society - sincerely believe in their own good intentions for society at large, their primary self-interests (in personal POWER, advantage and “success”) being largely subliminal, with only rationalisations allowed into consciousness.
Encased in the darkness of their own subliminal motivations, it is bitterly and tragically ironic that most see themselves as “progressives”, like the medieval church, offering hope and salvation to humanity.