America has entered a bold new era of internal mistrust: a new Pew survey officially shows that class conflict has surpassed both racial conflict and immigrant-native conflict as "the greatest source of tension in American society." Well—are you just going to stand there and let them get away with that?

The rich, we mean. Class war represents serious progress from both Race war and Xenophobia war; because whereas those old social wars represented a clear case of the majority oppressing the minority, now Americans get to experience, for the first time, a collective sense of the majority being oppressed by the minority. The rich will always be in the minority, by definition, and they will always be more powerful than you, by the nature of wealth. This means the Class war will always feel righteous. And—more importantly—it can be won. We have numbers on our side. The key to winning the Class war is to borrow the lessons that we, as a nation, learned in past social wars, when we hated each other for different, more ridiculous reasons.

Win the PR Battle

Look at the Civil Rights Movement: white people went around burning crosses and terrorizing innocents; Martin Luther King led peaceful marches of well-dressed people. (Spoiler: MLK won, except for dying.) As tempting as it is to want to kidnap Wall Street executives and try them for treason in public show trials and burn down their houses for fun, that will only win them sympathy. You have to be nice, while you're "repossessing" all of their stuff "for the people."

Appeal to Fairness

We Americans like to think of ourselves as fair people. We're not, but we like to think of ourselves that way. Is it fair that a man who sits in an office all day makes, say, 300 times more than a man who works in a factory all day? Clearly not. Simple, basic arguments like this can win over a lot of sympathizers. People who are unsympathetic to such arguments are probably enemy agents. Advise the security committee.

Put a Human Face on It

If someone says to you, "Hey, there was some big earthquake in Ubekibekibekistan, why don't you donate some money to help those people?" we just ignore them, because but whatever. But if someone says "Hey, look at this," and then they whip out a picture of a cute child CRUSHED TO DEATH by rubble, well, then you'll donate, you monster. Likewise, you can't just tell people that economic inequality exists; you have to introduce them to its victims one on one. What we're trying to say is that panhandling is a promising growth field going forward.

Gradually Refine and Enforce Ideological Purity

Once you have the public's sympathy, it becomes much easier to use guilt as a tool for keeping everyone in line. Over time, outlandish wealth will come to be viewed as a moral failing; reinforce this view as much as possible, and scorn those who stray. It's the simple "whites-only neighborhoods" formula, put to righteous use, to keep the rich increasingly isolated and unpopular, until they eventually break, out of a fundamental sense of human desperation. Pursue it with zeal.

Steal from the Rich

Give to the poor.

Blessed are the Meek

OUT: slick, Armani-suited, smooth-talking highly paid spokesmen going on TV shows to explain calmly and rationally why Wall Street "plays an important role in society" and "is deserving of compensation that's earned fair and square." IN: grainy video of a grandmother eating dog food for dinner. Hide your jewelry, everyone. Times are a-changing.

[Photo: AP]