Meritocracy, Whining and Politics

Theorising by Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution about left-wing and right-wing political ideology, which he identifies as a “subconsciously held desire that a certain group of people should not be allowed to rise in relative status.”

For some right-wingers (using his terminology), those people who must not achieve more status are whiners.

Some left-wingers, on the other hand, “favor a kind of meritocracy. They feel it is unfair that money so determines access in capitalist society and they do not want the monied class to rise in relative status, certainly not above the status of the smart people and the virtuous people. … Egalitarianism is the rhetoric of the day, and readjusting the status of other Americans to the status of this monied class often receives more attention than elevating the very poorest in the world to a higher absolute level.”

More at MR.

For me, this discussion is helpfully informed by de Botton’s discussion of meritocracy in Status Anxiety.


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