classical liberal version of class analysis, pioneered by Adam Smith,
Charles Comte, Charles Dunoyer, Augustin Thierry, Benjamin Tucker, and
Lysander Spooner, holds a diametrically opposed position [i.e., opposed
to the socialist version of class analysis]. A ruling class does NOT
arise through free competition; it is created by state power. So long as
a powerful state remains in place, abolishing the ruling class will do
no good, since it will simply be replaced by another. Thus the
socialists attempt to resolve the problem by focusing their attack on
private economic power, while the classical liberals tend to focus their
attack instead on centralized political power. For the socialists, we
do not need to worry too much about the State, so long as we eliminate
socioeconomic stratification; for the classical liberals, we do not need
to worry too much about socioeconomic stratification, so long as we
severely curtail the power of the State."
--Roderick T Long, Can We Escape the Ruling Class?