Over at Tor.com, Steven Padnick wrote an essay called Superman vs. the Myth of Aristocracy. Not a bad little essay, one which can be summed up nicely with the passage
Thus, by action and by example, Superman embodies a populist ideal,
that it doesn’t matter who one’s parents are, no one can impose their
will on the world. And it doesn’t matter how powerful one is, it matters
how one chooses to use that power. Superman is great because he
believes that everyone is worthy of respect, and everyone is worthy of
aid. Everyone has some power to help change the world, and everyone is
in this together.
I'm reminded of David Brin's article in Salon.com about the very same myth, though Brin is writing about Star Wars and the myth of the hero described by Joseph Campbell. He is very critical of the despotic myth. In Star Wars on Trial, Brin groups Superman in with the despots of myth. Padnick asserts that Superman is in a different category.
I actually write a lot about this in chapter 6 of the book that this blog supports, "Superman in Myth and Folklore." In fact, it's that very chapter that's giving me a lot of trouble. Stupid chapter 6.