Which classless western world do you live in?
Is there a class hierarchy still in existence in the UK? Yes
USA? yes, ...
If it is not permanent it's not class in the real sense.
Yes, current western societies have plenty of income and status differences, if probably less than most societies in history, but it's based on non-permanent factors such as fame and money. People move up and down the scales all the time.
In a class society class is basically fixed at birth.
I'm not american, but I vaguely believe the US still has remains left of the old class structures, e.g. in the right circles in New York old money families have higher status than new money?
History doesn't support your argument, there are plenty of examples of families moving up the social scale in only a generation or two, it can take a lot longer for a downward, but you are right in that it takes wealth to achieve the transition.
Yes, of course you can change class, but that is the rare exception, not the rule as it is today. Rates of social mobility changed a lot over time, even in feudal societies, but remained low.
Even in medieval Europe there were institutional exceptions, such as the Church, where you could make a class career and be recognised.
During the industrial revolution the easiest way to change your family was to marry into the tier you desired - many industrialists married their children off in order to to secure a higher position in society.
Theoretically only girls moved up in class, rich middle class men marrying genteel women might move up in status in the middle class, but did not enter the upper class.
Which is why I mentioned grandchildren; the surest way to for a rich middle class family to move upward was to marry a rich daughter to a poor well-born man: their children would have both a name and money.
Class is ingrained in the way you speak, behave, and dress.
Yup, and it is still prevalent in the western world.
Not even remotely like the 19th century. There is a reason french revolutionary parties were divided into e.g. culottes and sans-culottes. In Sweden the main parliamentary parties in the 16th century were called the Hats (hattarna) and the Caps (mössorna), with the Hats basically representing the upper classes.
Scandinavian countries that have never been feudal - which one?
Norway, Iceland, and Sweden hence Finland. Denmark was almost feudal, but nothing like the rest of Europe.
"Nobility" exists in Sweden and Norway, but has nothing to do with feudalism. Farmers have never been serfs. Nobles had no formal authority over anyone but the tenants on their land and had nothing to do with the legal, judiciary, or government systems. No land was held in fief to the state, but could be bought and sold as any other property. If a nobleman wanted to have land, he had to inherit or buy it, just like anyone else. Most farmers owned their own land and had no obligations to any noble.
The USA grew from a feudal Great Britain and class was still ingrained they just pretended their slave owning landed nobility were patricians rather than nobility. ...
Serfdom has never been practised in the US or Canada as far as I know.
Plantation owners were not a formal noble class, just rich individuals who owned a lot of land.
In a feudal system the state formally owns all the land and the nobles administrates a district in hereditary fealty, and the peasants belong to the land (serfdom).
If you have to worry about losing your job and house you are not upper class... it's why I split my analysis of Soc into three parts - wealth status and influence.
Agreed, but the difference between, say, SOC 5 and SOC 9 is to a large part your income or job, I suspect more in the US than in Europe.
The rich play by their own rules, but they can still go broke, and many new fortunes are created continually. The difference between, say, SOC 12 and SOC 14 is just relative money and can change.
I agree we can get better results by dividing the characteristics into sub-characteristics, but it becomes too much bother for a game, in my opinion.