diana’s spring meadow wallpaper, merit got mugged by the plutocrats, tambourine man design

diana's spring meadow wallpaper, landscape, fence, country

diana’s spring meadow wallpaper

Diana was the Roman goddess of the moon and nature.

This article is about a speech given recently by an Indian political psychologist and social theorist named Ashis Nandy. Because of my personal experience on this blog I know that I am capable of mangling language beyond what was intended so I can understand why what he said was misinterpreted. he did not mean to imply that one should accept the entirety of corruption in India, because it benefited some people. Only that the very low-level corruption of the lower economic classes was relatively benign compared to the insane and rampant corruption of the wealthy and connected. In reading the article I found this passage. The U.S. and India have some things in common besides being two of the world’s largest democracies, Justly Unequal – The unlikely history of our greatest delusion

To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential for the people to come to regard them as their own ends. Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individuals as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants.

Of course, Hayek was invoking the force of total belief to criticise his favourite bugbear, the cult of collectivism. But as Young discovered early and independently, and as history bore out in the final quarter of the 20th century, towards the end of Hayek’s life, a self-affirming belief that reinforces the cult of the individual, and what’s more glosses it with the sheen of fairness, can be a far more compelling social force than anything socialism is capable of dreaming up—especially since its fan base consists of people who already run the world. Aristocracy renders its subjects unjustly unequal; meritocracy promises to render them justly unequal, and the enduring genius of the concept is that it makes the resulting inequality appear like justice.

Despite their tremendous influence, Hayek’s appeal is somewhat limited to adherents of neoclassical economics, and Rand is regarded as something of a joke. And yet the concept that could well have been of their coining has journeyed far beyond their reach, first from satire to libertarian theory, and then from the right-wing to every wing.

This perverted concept of meritocracy is part of why you have some guy who makes $10 an hour supports the Koch brothers, Paul Ryan (R-WI), Rand Paul ( and other wacky denizens of that strange twisted world where conservatism and libertarianism meet. These working class Americans really believe that our culture and economy is how is it is and people are where they are in life solely based on merit. They make no account for where that meritorious person’s great grandparents made their money in the 18th century through what amonuted to a fire sale by the government of western land. Many of these working class high school educated people voted for Romney, because instead of seeing him as a desk jockey who used money, power and government subsidized incentives to get ahead, they saw him as the quintessential self-made man. There is a kind of foggy perspective involved. The con-terians cannot see how things work from where they are and there are plenty of sources to tell them it is women, or the poor, taxes, or minorities that are cheating them out of their opportunities to get ahead.

One of the biggest influences on western democracy and economics was and still is, British sociologist Michael Young  book called The Rise of the Meritocracy. The frustrating thing about its influence and the way it has seeped into our culture is that getting ahead on merit is a great concept in its general notion. It is how the concept is applied and interpreted that gets lost in the national conversation. The U.S. is not as much a meritocracy – at least for many people – as much as it has become a plutocracy.

One of the ways the twisted sense of meritocracy is playing out right now is in the discussion of entitlements (insurance programs). Entitlements is not bad word. They are programs like Social Security that Americans pay into and are thus entitled to those benefits. This is a recent and good example of how the plutocrats and their sympathizers are framing the debate, The five biggest lies about entitlement programs – Social Security and Medicare are big issues, and not everyone is telling the truth about them.

 

Blowing in the Mind/Mister Tambourine Man,1968. Design and Image of Bob Dylan by Matin Sharp.

Blowing in the Mind/Mister Tambourine Man,1968. Design and Image of Bob Dylan by Martin Sharp.

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