The observant won’t learn anything that he didn’t know before… but it’s nice to get a bit of outside confirmation.
Stewart writes about the various forms of affirmative action for rich people, like legacy admissions and athletic scholarships at prestigious universities, which can help perpetuate a hereditary aristocracy. Recently though, progressive belief systems have been adopted by a majority of people at elite institutions of education, journalism, and entertainment, and have become a kind of social code that privileges the children of that same elite.
We start selecting for this class at a young age. Unpaid undergraduate internships, study abroad, and Ivy League admittance are practically pre-requisites for the top 9.9%, but those are better metrics of one’s geographic ties to progressivism than they are of actual merit. When I was in law school, career counselors told everyone to include “study abroad” and unpaid undergraduate summer internships on their resumes. As a relatively modest Midwesterner, I didn’t have an opportunity to study in another country or to not work during my college summers and the counselors told me, on the other hand, “I don’t want to see restaurants on your professional resume ever again.” My employment prospects, like my resume, turned out largely empty. Presumably, if I had grown up in wealthy and 95% Clinton-supporting, Washington DC, I would not only have had the right political views, but my resume would also have included the experiences that people with those political views typically have.
Apparently you can get into Stanford with a personal essay that only repeats “Black Lives Matter” a hundred times, but what are the odds a Catholic applicant could gain admission by sending in the Nicene Creed?
Like a lot of concerned liberals, Stewart sees that the social codes of the aristocracy are a mechanism for self-perpetuation, but still can’t connect those codes with his own automatic critiques of Donald Trump’s “flagrant racism.” The people who voted for Trump were responding not just to their own alienation, but also were rejecting the aristocratic manners that require particular public expressions of aristocratic morality, i.e. progressivism. If progressivism is the moral code of the elite, it makes as much sense to reject that code as it does legacy admissions at Harvard. It might make more sense, because the manners of the gentility were always the last line of defense against the nouveau riche, the bourgeoisie & the alt-right.
Each instance of this political type of selection favors the New Aristocracy and blocks rising stars coming from the deplorable underclass. Hillary Clinton was happy to equate wealth with moral value in a recent speech in India. Whether they realize it or not, most of our elite institutions agree with her. Broad tolerance of a wide range of political views, especially in industries or institutions that aren’t expressly political, is the best way to return to merit and reject the New Aristocracy.Class Consciousness and a New Aristocracy by Jay Rodriguez
I like this bit the most: “the manners of the gentility were always the last line of defense against the nouveau riche, the bourgeoisie & the alt-right.”
The last line of defense.
The coronavirus panic, the grasp at power, the forced shutdowns, and the wild deficit spending has something of a “last gasp” feel about them.
Like the Ancient Regime’s financial backing of the American Revolutionaries, or the final great killings of the White Supremacy folks, on World War II’s Eastern Front.
One last splurge before Le Deluge.