Tuesday, May 08, 2018

When BeeDeeism Hoists Itself By Its Own Little Petard...,

theburningplatform |  A famous line from the movie The Usual Suspects is “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Even after all these years, it turns up in comment sections and social media. It is a good line to have in mind when thinking about who is actually ruling over us. In America, our elites have spent a very long time convincing us that there are no elites. The fact is though, every society has an elite and it is usually a stable, semi-permanent one. The people in charge tend to stay in charge.

Here’s an interesting bit of data that underscores the stability of a nation’s elites. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquered the area that is now Guatemala. The Spanish were not settlers like the English, so a local Spanish elite came into rule over the conquered people, who were often used as slaves in mining and agriculture. Since 1531, 22 families have controlled Guatemala’s economy, politics and culture. Another 26 families have served as a secondary elite, often marrying into the core elite.

The result is one percent of the population, descendants of the Conquistadors, has controlled the country for over 400 years. This dominance has been locked in by a set of marriage rules, that created a self-perpetuating marriage strategy. For example, both the bride and groom had to bring a certain amount of wealth into the marriage. The result was both families would negotiate marriages much in the same way it was done in medieval Europe. These rules have their roots in the Siete Partidas, that dates to the 13th century.

Of course, elite families marrying one another is not a new idea, but it is more than just wealthy families using marriage to solidify alliances. There is a biological factor to it. The people in the elite got there originally by having elite cognitive skills. Modern elites like to throw around the term meritocracy, but they know biology counts for a lot. It’s why you don’t often see a member of the elite marrying one of the servants. Arnold learned that lesson. The one on the left is from the maid, while those on the right are with a Kennedy.