Found in 4 comments on Hacker News
acjohnson55 · 2017-05-21 · Original thread
Most people would probably call my views "liberal", and I think that's a funny way of characterizing the liberal viewpoint. I, for one, am deeply distrustful of what we call meritocracy in this country.

For one thing, we project the merit of parents (or lack thereof) onto their children. We do this in how we allow massive intergenerational transfers of wealth. But also, as you point out, the schools a child can attend are very dependent on who their parents are.

In Chris Hayes' excellent book, Twilight of the Elites [1], he rejects meritocracy. Not only does he reject it in practice, for reasons like those I presented, but he also rejects it even in theory. He suggests that the idea of showering people with resources that show promise is an affront to the concept that every human being has fundamental value and that all should be invested in.

Liberals, broadly speaking, do love schools. But I don't think that's for lack of concern about other issues of social justice! Perhaps you mean economic liberals (e.g. classical liberals and neoliberals)?


x0x0 · 2015-12-08 · Original thread
If you liked this, you may also like _Twilight of the Elites_ by Chris Hayes. It discusses the disillusionment many of us feel when we discover what our leaders and elites have gotten up to.

x0x0 · 2014-09-18 · Original thread
You may really like a book named _Twilight of the Elites_ by Chris Hayes [1]. It touches on much of what you are disappointed with.

The short summary on amazon is pretty good:

   Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one 
   institution after another—from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church 
   to Major League Baseball—imploded under the weight of corruption and 
   incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, the social contract between 
   ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters.  
I think this touches on many of the things you find disturbing about recently authored scifi. But when you discover that the holier-than-thou Catholic church is, practically speaking, a kiddie raping ring with knowledge up and down the hierarchy including the current pope (who hid a priest who molested TWO HUNDRED children in northern wisconsin and provided him with further access to children, with not one peep to law enforcement or the communities he hid his rapist in); or you discover wall street was issuing no-doc loans to anyone with a pulse, selling them, then betting against them; or that the cia was at minimum complicit but more likely actively aided in selling crack cocaine in our inner cities to fund their war-crimes committing guerrilla wars in Nicaragua after specifically being forbidden by congress from aiding them (read about operation dark star); or read about what Nixon got up to... it definitely shatters belief and trust in our institutions. How does a society recover from that? I'm really not sure.


acjohnson55 · 2014-03-04 · Original thread
Also, she says, "No one pretended tech was a meritocracy". The thing is, tech is a meritocracy, and that's part of the politics of tech. Meritocracy, of course, is a joke. It is not a desirable state of affairs, because it should be obvious that "merit" is a false currency used to justify what is, rather than work toward what should be. It is the quintessential naturalistic fallacy.

I wish I could upvote this so many more times.

It honestly had never occurred to me that meritocracy could be a bad thing until I read Twilight of the Elites by Chris Hayes (yep, the same MSNBC host guy) [1], recommended to me by a friend. But after reading that book, which is one of the best written and edited books on econ/policy I've ever read, I'm fairly well convinced. He builds very much upon Michael Young's work, which he mentions many times, applying it to all sorts of examples of meritocratic failure in the modern day.


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