The Prophecy of Marx
Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains. ~ Karl Marx
Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels prophesized in the mid-19th century that a trajectory of socioeconomic polarization would culminate in bifurcation of industrialized societies: a ruling capitalist class, who historically had absorbed and replaced the earlier landed aristocracy, and an industrial proletariat: the working class.
Marx and Engels concluded that workers, by sheer weight of numbers, might successfully revolt against their exploitation and establish a more equitable society.
Instead, class antagonism diffused, as workers swelled into a middle class with modest material aspirations. Sufficiently satisfied with their station, and unrealistically optimistic about their individual futures, workers became increasingly conservative, even as their economic status quo was threatened by the very force that Marx had hoped would impel a revolutionary spirit: capitalists. The United States embodies this historical arc of contented idiocy.