Professor Vlahos concludes that elites (which he defines more broadly than “the One Percent”) are acting to their own advantage, as elites have done in other times moving towards the point when things fell apart (for example, at the end of Classical times in 6th through the 8th Centuries or after the Black Death in the 14th Century or after the World Wars in the 20th Century).
He further thinks that over what could be a long period of time our current elites have set the stage, by monopolizing resources, for a catastrophic event (perhaps climate change) to change how the cards are dealt.
Professor Vlahos came to that conclusion while teaching graduate courses on how global systems subside. He states that he initially focused on climate change, but came to see such events (like the, probably climate related, Plague of Justinian in the 6th Century) as being a trigger for a course of events that were already in trail.
There have been thinkers who have considered these matters before.
In 1930, the Spanish philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, published a book called The Revolt of the Masses, which dealt with the “mass-ification” of society, which included “señorito satisfecho” (“Little Mr. Satisfied” or the bureaucrat).
In 1995, the late historian, Christopher Lasch, wrote a book called The Revolt of the Elites, which presciently predicted the perception on the part of many Americans that elites “‘dangerously isolated’ from the rest of the country” mind set and lacked a sense of “noblesse oblige.”
I am vastly less qualified than the people I have cited, but let me offer my own opinion.