Monday, October 17, 2011

Blaming the Victim

Jorge Zepeda Patterson's column included an interesting factoid yesterday: the Tec de Monterrey's flagship campus has lost almost 5,000 students, out of an initial total of 17,000, in the past year and a half. Then he engages in a prolonged bout of what looks like schadenfreude with regard to Monterrey's travails, pointing out what he perceives as the region's character flaws in the most general of terms:
When one would travel to Monterrey he would find regiomontanos exuded a sense of pride earned the hard way, although at times it bordered on arrogance. The success of their businessmen, the ability of their elites to generate wealth was such that the could demonstrate a sense of disdain for those who had the least. I frequently heard it said that the poor continued to be so because of laziness. The achievements of their businessmen had generated among the society a false notion of merit as the only factor in social mobility. As though the inability of a laborer to advance up the social pyramid was owing to laziness or a lack of will, despite working 10 or 12 hours a day his entire life.

The social and economic life in Monterrey seems to depend on a courtesan culture that revolves around 15 or 20 significant last names. Every inhabitant in the city defines his social stratus according to the degrees of distance that separates them from these last names and their businesses.

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