|Pyramid of Capitalist System (1911) by IWW|
Top tier = The ruling elite (politician, monarch and industrialist/CEO/major shareholder) run the country, make/influence the law, raise taxes, decide/influence when to go to war etc.
2nd tier = The Church. About 80% of the world's population belong to an institutional religion, so religious doctrine/dogma is powerful. For example, US Catholics who opposed conscription during WWI were tried as deserters following the American Catholic Church's decision to support the war (see Ben Salmon). In the UK, Anglican priests take an oath of allegiance to the monarch.
3rd tier = The military has power over everyone other than their paymasters and religious intermediaries. They are trained killers and take an oath of allegiance to either the monarch or state.
Bottom tier = The middle class and rich have power over their workers and tenants.
Under all tiers = The working class and poor are powerless, at least in the earthly realm...
"The first will be last and the last will be first." One day...