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Glenn Reynolds: The Crisis of Meritocracy

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 1:05
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I thought this was a funny and accurate analogy:

“In fact, while America was losing wars abroad and jobs at home, elites seemed focused on things that were, well, faintly ridiculous. As Richard Fernandez tweeted: “The elites lost their mojo by becoming absurd. It happened on the road between cultural appropriation and transgender bathrooms.” It was fatal: “People believe from instinct. The Roman gods became ridiculous when the Roman emperors did. PC is the equivalent of Caligula’s horse.”

I could carry forth for hours on the problems with meritocracy:

“Well, now they’ve heard it, and they’ve also heard that a lot of Americans resent the meritocrats’ insulation from what’s happening elsewhere, especially as America’s unfortunate record over the past couple of decades, whether in economics, in politics, or in foreign policy, doesn’t suggest that the “meritocracy” is overflowing with, you know, actual merit. …”

The biggest problem with meritocracy is that it empowers a hostile elite that has no sense of loyalty to the people it rules. We’re now dealing with the long term consequences of that social experiment. We have produced an incoherent elite that doesn’t identify with and is unable to relate to the hoi polloi on the basis of race, ethnicity, culture, religion or ideology.

What do we share with our cosmopolitan elite? A common identity? A common tradition? A common culture? Oftentimes, these people live hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from us. They are aliens staring back at us through our television screens.

The products of meritocracy all believe they have the right to rule. They are the ones who made it to their current position. They owe the rest of us nothing. They virtue signal at us in order to display their status and lack of interest in our concerns.


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