Viva Mexico! or a Bad Word

Alfredo Fernandez 

Porfirio Diaz. photo:

The power of decision making for a social group is held either by an aristocrat, a dictator, the people, the middle class, the populace, the rich or by a priest.   We can speak of aristocracy, autocracy, democracy, mesocratic, ochlocracy, plutocracy or theocracy.

However, if the government is made up of by a group of old men incapable of going into retirement, then we speak of gerontocracy.

The word comes from the Greek “geron,” which means “old man.”  Such was the case of the government in Mexico that was led by President Porfirio Diaz, who was still in the power at the age of 81.

He, like many in his cabinet, was ultimately booted out of his position when he became recognized as a poorly functioning great-grandfather of the nation.

With Mexico having just marked 201 years of independence, for many of its inhabitants gerontocracy is a bad word.