But how does your question illustrate this in any meaningful way? It's just strikes me as an invitation to feel bad for people at the bottom of the social totem pole because, OMG, what if that were you?!! The value of a "traditional" society has never been a guarantee that we would reap the benefits of sitting atop the social status heap, but that "traditional" societies are organized for productive living in a more sane, rational manner. Now, you're free to dispute that point, but know you're not disputing it by asking people to imagine how shitty it would be if they were serfs.
I don't give a shit about people who are naturally losers, and I think I already said that.
Jewish Christ, the point (among others) is that there NEVER has been a society that's truly ever functioned on the basis of merit and worth. I mean, I'm taking it for granted that the people here are all above average in intellect and ability (even though they like to entertain pretentious bullshit) so the idea is that if one was placed in the "scrape feces off the streets" "caste" for completely asinine reasons not related to, um, "genetic quality" they'd be less heartfelt of "the good old days."
"Tradional societies" never really had the "sane, rational manner" you describe. Think of society today -- it's truly not that much different than the societies of the past except for some cosmetic transience. The whole tradition shit is nonsense, people looking towards the past and seeing something that wasn't there.
As fucked as modern society is, the capitalist-egalitarian mindset of social darwinism is hilariously the most functional of all, theoretically speaking only -- no longer is some fatass inbred King sitting on a throne ruling people he's never met, or is some priest in the center of the village praising God while pimping whores afterhours. Though, all that's been replaced with by more of the same -- some faux-aristocracy of balding losers wearing business suits, or Oprahs or TV evangelists, so really, whaddya expect.
I could go on but, as you can see, I'm already losing focus.