According to socialist theory, the development of capitalism implies the polarisation of society into a small minority of capital owners and a large majority of wage-workers, and therewith the gradual disappearance of the proprietory middle class of independent craftsmen, farmers and small shop-keepers. This concentration of productive property and general wealth into always fewer hands appears as an incarnation of 'feudalism' in the garb of modern industrial society. Small ruling classes determine the life and death of all of society by owning and controlling the productive resources and therewith the governments. That their decisions are controlled, in turn, by impersonal market forces and the compulsive quest for capital does not alter the fact that these reactions to uncontrollable economic events are also their exclusive privilege.