Another day, another must-read book from the sounds of it.
The most encouraging two paragraphs you’ll read today.
I’m not sure about his use of the word “meritocracy”, however — at least in Canada, the “elites” represent the “mediocrity”; few of them are of more than average intelligence or very creative or original or brave — on the contrary they are adept mostly at digesting group think and received liberal wisdom. And of course it is essential that you have the correct surname and predigree.
The policing of tolerance had no inbuilt limits and no obvious logic. Why was ‘‘ethnic pride’’ a virtue and ‘‘nationalism’’ a sickness?
Why had it suddenly become criminal to ask questions today that it was considered a citizen’s duty to ask ten years ago?
Erudite philosophers of tolerance (…) left the person of average intellect and social status feeling confused and disempowered. (…)
The virtues of the multicultural era were elite virtues. The British sociologist Geoff Dench suspected, with good reason, that favouring elites was a large part of the point of multiculturalism. Conﬂicts in a striving meritocracy, he noted “can probably be managed more easily where there are groups whose membership of the nation is ambiguous, who are very dependent on elite sponsorship, and whose presence ﬂushes out ethnocentric responses among the masses which can then be held against them. A society tied to the notion of meritocracy may therefore have a particular need for minorities.”
What he said.