Gregory Clark

[T]he case of Chile seems to underscore a theme of earlier chapters: social and political movements have a surprisingly modest effect on the rate of social mobility. Events that at the time seem crucial, powerful, and critical determinants of the fate of societies leave astonishingly little imprint in the objective records of social mobility rates. Allende tried to remake Chilean society and died bravely when the military intervened to destroy his dream. Thousands were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered under Pinochet’s brutal military regime. But if social mobility rates were the only record of the history of Chile in the past hundred years, we would detect no trace of these events. Despite the cries, the suffering, the outrage, and the struggle, social mobility continued its slow shuffle toward the mean, indifferent to the events that so profoundly affected the lives of individual Chileans.

Gregory Clark, The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, Princeton, New Jersey, 2014, p. 211