What Does The Research Mean For You and I?
What is the implication for you and I? Well, if you track back your genealogy and see that your forebears for the past 5 generations were ALL of low socio-economic status, then it really doesn't matter how much tuition you give your child. The said child may make it somewhat up the socio-economic levels, but eventually, the status will still be lost as another generation takes over from your next. If, however you track back your ancestry and find that one of your ancestors was Chua Wu Neng, the royal astronomer to the Emperor Shen Zong, then well, you get progeny like Tiger Sophia and Lulu Chua-Rubenfeld despite doing everything American psychologists tell you NOT to do.
Some people may decide that it is no point trying to improve social mobility after all. Why not just go with nature and define a caste system or allow the inevitable caste system to slowly take shape? Within each caste, people would practise endogamy (i.e., marry only people within their own caste) and each caste would then have its own role in society, and each caste would need to fulfil its obligations to the other castes.
Japanese society used to be structured thus. Indian society is still caste based at present.
If We Knew WHY Elite Families Stay Elite, Could We Perhaps Use That Knowledge To Help The Deserving Poor?
As a matter of intellectual exploration, what if we theorise WHY elite families can stay elite through 600 years and despite concerted attempts throughout history and in every culture, to periodically divest the elites of their wealth and status?
For both the plebeians and the elites, it appears to be a Sisyphean task. The elites attain wealth and status only to have it all taken away when the plebeians consider it unfair. They have to start again with nothing. The plebeians are given wealth and status only to whittle both away across generations. Across the time frame of multiple generations and hundreds of years, the elite get back their elite positions and the poor drop back into poverty.
What if we knew enough of this phenomenon to teach the lower socio-economic levels some things practised by elite families across generations?
Would that help?
Further questions that come to mind are... IF all poor families learnt the tricks of elite families, then what would society on the whole look like? Would that be an ideal society?
The closest thing I can think of is how LKY taught us to be Singaporeans. The values that LKY held dear to his heart must have come through to him via his family. It is these values that he taught Singaporeans - discipline, work ethic, integrity, a drive to better one's lot in life. Some Singaporeans learnt better than others (or perhaps these were Singaporeans whose families were similar in some ways to LKY's? LKY raised up the potential of Singaporeans by teaching us what his family taught him?
In the next post, I shall venture further to theorise HOW families might ensure that they stay elite through hundreds of years and through turmoil.
Gee... these meandering posts full of questions without answers are such fun to write. I am not sure they are fun to read however.