January 24, 2013

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Futuristic Blues. “The economic vision of the meritocrats nicely complements this view that the revolutionary and leveling phase of the liberal experiment has come to an end. An economy in which the talented minority generates wealth that, in its wisdom and compassion, it then shares with the passive majority becomes a society destined to be ruled in perpetuity by that talented minority. The titans of Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood, advised by the professors of the great universities and the high civil servants, can perpetuate their social privilege and power forever as long as careers are open to talent. . . . The economy is making us more unequal, but a wise elite can mitigate the harm—if only we are willing to live under their tutelage. That is what liberalism 4.0 offers today; from an ideology of populism and reform it has mutated into a defense of the status quo.”