Jorge Moruno is one of those people who is dedicated to thinking and explaining what he thinks, and how he thinks well and explains it better, it is a joy to read it. I discovered him through his book “The factory of the entrepreneur, work and politics in the company-world”. Then came “I don’t have time. Geographies of precariousness” and, in between, a handful of articles. Now he has put his thoughts and his reflections as a sociologist at public service, as a deputy in the Madrid assembly, in the ranks of Más Madrid.
As he deals with topics that interest me, for reasons of office, and academic training, I follow him on networks and read some of his contributions in the press. This week he published an article titled In defense of the caviar left. The title made me smile and personally led me to think of one that I published years ago that was called ‘In Praise of Mediocrity’, not so much because the content resembles (perhaps in some deep line as well) but because I believe I identify a will to break up with him mainstream that is imposed or that some try to impose.
Making a most clumsy summary, I will say that Moruno praises an ideology, his, mine, that seeks that everyone who wants to eat caviar, can. And he patiently and forcefully dismounts this accusation that falls on us, of being hypocrites, for criticizing some attitudes of the richest, and then eating shrimp from time to time.
Of course some would like us to continue having a snack of bread with oil and salt, but listen, if I pay it with my salary, I have the right to put good ham. And that’s what our policy is about, that wages are fair, and that they allow people to buy ham. That not only Bertín and his friends eat it in that TV program that is a sad and decontextualized copy of the disturbing film Freaks, directed in 1932 by Tod Browning, and that although it is broadcast in the afternoons, wants to represent ‘the Spain that gets up early’. They want us in ‘the Spain that begs. Or that crust.
They want us nibbling on a crust. The unenlightened right, which is the majority (and this does not mean that the entire left is widely read, that you also see everything …), insists on the idea that we are against wealth. Could not be farther from the truth. We discuss how this wealth is distributed. Or better yet, how they distribute it. What we discuss and fight is structural inequality, and the policies of the right wing that call themselves liberal and are deeply conservative, which seek to consolidate and widen this social gap between rich and poor, because they know that there is little caviar, and they want everything .
To me this caviar left has brought to mind the idea of ’Phoskitos right’. They are the people who have breakfast with a brand tracksuit, some toast of turkey breast and quail eggs, with soy milk and South African orange juice, or an Açai bowl, but who like to remember that one day the tata, al take them to school in uniform, he bought them a Phoskitos because at home they had run out of kefir.
These are the people who say that they have worked to pay for their degree, when in reality what they did was to be a waitress one summer, in a joint with chill out on the fashionable beach, without knowing very well if the whiskey is put or not a lemon wedge, or if the Ginger ale also has a green zone like the more in Gin Tonic. That is fine, that you worked a few hours that summer, but your parents paid for your degree at the Catholic University, and you bought the Master’s degree at the Matalascabrillas del Duque branch of the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ETH Zürich. And lest the devil laugh, we will remember that another summer you were an au pair with a good family from British Columbia.
No. Phoskitos, or any other industrial crap, with saturated fats that will accompany you all your life, is what the children of families who had no father, who had no time or money to make influencer breakfasts, had to eat for breakfast, and you they sent to school as best they could, before the father and mother left to earn the carob beans.
‘I worked to help pay for my degree’ is something that we will never hear from people who have paid for the degrees by working. Working no less than 40 hours a week, and studying at night. Always at night, while the ‘right Phoskitos’ went to a concert, paddle tennis or Latin dance classes. That Latinos to dance, are cool.
That I understand them! Life has treated them well, because it is theirs who have set the rules of life, and it bothers them that we eat ham, or slices of bread with aubergine hummus with tahine, since we have been late to goji berries. But I can’t stand this victimhood of ‘I also ate Phoskitos’, because those of us who had to eat them now have cholesterol and they have gout.