Saya lagi baca buku “Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There”. Bukunya seru banget, tentang generasi baru Amerika Serikat yang naik kelas sosial berdasarkan meritokrasi, bukan dari garis keturunan bangsawan. Di salah satu halaman buku ini, ada kutipan dari Edmund Burke, politisi dan negarawan Irlandia, dari buku “An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs“. Kutipannya itu tentang code of conduct dari para aristokrat Irlandia jaman dulu. Ini kutipan itu:
To be bred in a place of estimation;
to see nothing low and sordid from one’s infancy;
to be taught to respect one’s self;
to be habituated to the censorial inspection of the public eye;
to look early to public opinion;
to stand upon such elevated ground as to be enabled to take a large view of the widespread and infinitely diversified combinations of men and affairs in a large society;
to have leisure to read, to reflect, to converse;
to be enabled to draw the court and attention of the wise and learned, wherever they are to be found;
to be habituated in armies to command and to obey;
to be taught to despise danger in the pursuit of honor and duty;
to be formed to the greatest degree of vigilance, foresight, and circumspection, in a state of things in which no fault is committed with impunity and the slightest mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequences;
to be led to a guarded and regulated conduct, from a sense that you are considered as an instructor of your fellow citizens in their highest concerns, and that you act as a reconciler between God and man;
to be employed as an administrator of law and justice, and to thereby among the first benefactors to mankind;
to be a professor of high science, or of liberal and ingenuous art;
to be amongst rich traders, who from their success are presumed to have sharp and vigorous understandings, and to possess the virtues of diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commutative justice:
these are the circumstances of men that form what I should call a natural aristocracy, without which there is no nation.
Setelah membaca ini, saya jadi ingat tentang golongan darah biru di Indonesia. Sejauh mana para bangsawan, sultan, raden, raja, pangeran, atau apapun itu gelar kebangsawanan mereka, terdapat sejenis code of conduct, atau batasan-batasan kualitas tentang mengapa, dan untuk apa keberadaan seorang bangsawan?
Jujur aja, saya iri sama Irlandia yang punya aristocratic code sehebat ini.