PERSPECTIVErnBad Eggsrnby Thomas FlemingrnThe rich ye shall always have with you is a truth our Savior inrnhis mercy never deelared to us. That the poor should be arnpermanent fact of human society is discouraging enough, especiallyrnfor modern Americans convinced there is no problemrnthat cannot be fixed, no sin that is without a cure. Even morernoffensive to our sensibilities, however, is the intractable problemrnof the rich and powerful.rnConfronted by the reality of entrenched wealth and power,rnAmericans experience violent mood swings, alternating betweenrnegalitarian denial and populist outrage. We are capablernof saying, if not quite in the same breath, that “America is arnclassless society,” and that David Rockefeller or the Council onrnForeign Relations are behind everything from presidential electionsrnto mortgage rates to African coups. The foundation forrnboth of these contradictory views is the conviction that eliternclasses are unnecessary, at least in the New World. The upperrnclasses, viewed from down on the farm or from the suburbanrndevelopment built on its ruins, are either self-seeking parasitesrnthat contribute nothing to society or, at best, the decorativernwindow dummies that adorned the courts of the later Bourbons.rnThis is a dangerous delusion—the Devil likes nothing betterrnthan to have his existence doubted. When elite classes outliverntheir usefulness, as they do inevitably, the disparity betweenrntheir privileges and their utility is the source of social discontentrnand of a revolution that leads to the establishment of a newrnelite. It is foolish to speak of “betraying” the revolution, sincernthe ultimate point of any revolution is the succession to powerrnof the revolutionary leaders. When the late Donald Warren’srnMiddle American rebels succeed in overthrowing the presentrnregime, they will gain more sympathetic masters, perhaps, butrnmasters they will have. From the populist perspective, the greatrnobjectives should be the destruction of an arrogant and alienrnruling class and its replacement by an authentic, homegrownrnaristocracy that reflects the character and aspirations of thernpeople.rnMankind without leadership is a mere mob, and there hasrnnever been a time (pace Augustine) that some of us did notrncommand and others obey, and “when people have to obeyrnother people’s orders, equality is out of the question.” JohnrnLocke, that ideologue of Middle American terrorists, wasrnwrong. There could never have been, even in the theoreticalrnsense given by John Rawls, an “original contract,” because wivesrnand children have always been subject to husbands and fathers.rnThe natural rights and human rights that supposedly derivernfrom a state of nature are mere will-o’-the-wisps leading us torndestruction.rnThe idle rich and the frivolous aristocrat are almost universalrnstereotypes. The Roman plebs was so convinced of patricianrndispensability that at a time when Rome’s very existence wasrnthreatened, the lower order seceded to an armed camp. MeneniusrnAgrippa, who was sent to deal with the rebels, told the storyrnof the members of the body that revolted against the gluttonousrnand idle belly, whom they had previously served. Thernhands carried no food to the mouth, the mouth accepted nothingrnthat was given, the teeth refused to chew. But, in starvingrn10/CHRONICLESrnrnrn