17.5.16

WHY THERE'S A TRAGIC VISION.

Ross Douthat (via Betsy's Page.)  "If bigots are for it, we’re against it. It’s a powerful credo. But there’s always a danger that by following it too far, you end up being against reality itself."  Freddie DeBoer extends.
I think conservatives have won a major victory, one not understood by them or their antagonists: they have written the notion that dignity, respect, and material security must be earned into the progressive imagination. They have made the notion of a moral meritocracy inescapable in American civic life. The terms by which one comes to deserve the good life are different, but the basic logic of meritocracy has been preserved. One can imagine a new America where the ranks of human hierarchy have been jumbled but the existence of hierarchy has been preserved. This is not a future worth pursuing. I didn’t get interested in politics to become a member of an elect, or to decide who deserves to be within the elect, but to help tear down the very notion of an elect. Nor did I get interested in politics for the righteous thrill of lording it over the wrong.
Oh, but there is a status hierarchy.  Calling the Benighted "bigots" is part of it.  Whether that status hierarchy is evolutionary stable or not is, however, more important.  Deconstruct that at your peril.

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