Los Peones Y Las Haciendas

     In his book The Bell Curve, co-authored with the late Richard Herrnstein, Charles Murray reminded his readers that there’s more than one kind of “conservatism.” The American version, which emphasizes individual liberty and responsibility, contrasts sharply with the Latin American version, in which a heavily privileged, propertied class holds itself above and aloof from the rest. The political, social, and economic separations between the elite and the rest are huge and well guarded, usually by armed guards. Those outside that privileged elite seldom even see one of their “betters,” except from a distance. Murray used the image of “the hacienda on the hill” as its signifier.

     John Ringo illustrates the attitude of the privileged elite in his novel The Hot Gate. A sample passage:

     “So you intend to be a career NCO?” Palencia asked, frowning in turn.
     “Career?” Dana said, shrugging. “Current enlistment is for the duration and the duration looks to be a long time. Do I want to be an officer? Not really. So I guess, yes.”
     “Ah,” Palencia said, nodding.
     “I just missed something cultural, didn’t I?” Dana asked.
     “I am trying to think how to phrase it,” Palencia said. “And yes, it is cultural. Americans simply do not understand what the word ‘class’ means. It translates as one word but it has a thousand meanings. Americans do not have class. They have different economic levels but they do not have class. Class is something you are born to. No, I take that back. Some of them have class but they try very hard to hide it. You would not even know the names of Americans with class.
     “Every member of this squadron, even Velasquez, is of the officer class. None of us should be turning a wrench or even flying a shuttle, given that that is the job of enlisted men. Women, in your case. We are here because our countries are spending a simply ruinous amount of their treasury on these boats and thus they send their best. We are all of the better class.
“Career NCOs…” Palencia said, and then shrugged. “They are not of the better class. Not of the worst but certainly not of the better. It was assumed that you, too, intend to be an officer and for some reason simply are biding your time as a…”
     “Wrench turner,” Dana said. So…what you are saying is that I’m now too low class.”
     “When you told me you intended not to be an officer I had to quell my immediate reaction to, therefore, treat you as your class,” Palencia said. “You…”
     “Should be holding your horse?” Dana asked.
     “I wouldn’t put it that way,” Palencia said.
     “Not upset by it,” Dana said. “Just trying to assimilate it.”
     “I would suggest that it remain between us,” Palencia said.”
     “So…” Dana said. “You guys probably have some problems, at a certain level, with people like Megdanoff.”
     “We understand that there are cultural differences. But that is at an intellectual level. So, yes, we have problems with taking direction from someone who is not our better.”

     The maintenance of a class order demands the separations we see in Latin cultures. Proximity would endanger the order. The elite sometimes embrace measures that strengthen those separations, both for themselves and to “rub the peasants’ noses in it.” For one of the reasons a class order arises is the determination of the “betters” to feel superior – and that requires that the “lowers” be made to feel inferior.

     Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is. But hearken ye to this bit of unpleasantness: Class orders are more natural than classless ones. Humans tend to erect class structures as soon as differences in social or economic status arise among them. The maintenance of a classless order requires constant attention, in particular to what Americans have traditionally called the rule of law.

     That brings us to today’s outrage:

     World leaders and officials attending the United Nations COP27 climate conference can spend up to $100 per entree to eat red meat, seafood and other gourmet menu items. However, the U.N. has previously discouraged red meat consumption due to the carbon emissions that beef farming creates.

     Delegates who arrive at Egypt’s beachside resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh to discuss ways to mitigate the “climate crisis” are able to enjoy COPGourmet’s $100 Angus beef medallion which is served with mushroom sauce and sauteed potatoes, according to screenshots obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. However, the U.N. aims to “minimize emissions per calorie” and to reduce meat consumption in order to prevent the planet from overheating, according to a COP27 food security document.

     Environmental activist Nathan McGovern, who almost certainly agrees with the greater part of the Agenda being pushed by COP27, calls this a “staggering disconnect.” If McGovern had anything to say about the hundreds of private jets that ferried the delegates to Cairo, it has not been recorded. It’s a good bet that he does not grasp the purpose of such a display of indulgence.

     Note that the COP27 delegates made no attempt to conceal their ultra-self-indulgent behavior. They wanted the world to see them at it. It expresses the class distinction they mean to establish and maintain between themselves, the elite of the world, and us of the hoi polloi. What they mean to forbid to us, they intend to reserve to their class. They want us to get used to it — to resign ourselves to it as “just the way things are” — and what better way to grind it into us than to display it openly and repeatedly?

     Does anyone else remember John Kerry’s conduct on the campaign trail in 2004? Compare it to what’s on display above. (Yes, Kerry is present at the Cairo conference.)

     Here there be tygers that could bite the elitists quite as savagely as us. For we the unwashed might self-subjugate to the elitists, but we might also rise in fury. At this time, I’d put the odds at even money.

     I could go on about this. There’s plenty of room. But it’s enough, I think, to draw my Gentle Readers’ attention to it. Please consider spreading it around. The more of us peones become properly outraged, the more likely it is that we’ll storm the haciendas and take their owners down.


    • Danny Pifer on November 17, 2022 at 8:48 AM

    Were there no bugs on the menu?

    1. Not a one, as I imagine you could have guessed. 😢

    • Daniel K Day on November 17, 2022 at 2:04 PM

    Your discussion of class reminded me of this scene. Skip to 1:00, but Gene Hackman’s character’s summary of his father’s perception of class comes at 2:26.

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