Michael Young Speaks Truth To Power In the New Introduciton To His “The Rise Of The Meritocracy”

Diane Ravitch’s critique of Common Core is a week old now. That’s about a century in internet time. But it was really helpful to me despite her pro-union and other beliefs. The reason I’m linking it here is because she quotes from the relatively new introduction by Michael Young in his 1958 book, The Rise of the Meritocracy.

I thought the excerpt was really encouraging. Among others, parents struggling to homeschool their children or Republicans getting bashed for not believing in “science” might find help in his words.

If the rich and powerful were encouraged by the general culture to believe that they fully deserved all they had, how arrogant they could become, and if they were convinced it was all for the common good, how ruthless in pursuing their own advantage. Power corrupts, and therefore one of the secrets of a good society is that power should always be open to criticism. A good society should provide sinew for revolt as well as for power.

But authority cannot be humbled unless ordinary people, however much they have been rejected by the educational system, have the confidence to assert themselves against the mighty. If they think themselves inferior, if they think they deserve on merit to have less worldly goods and less worldly power than a select minority, they can be damaged in their own self-esteem, and generally demoralized.

Even if it could be demonstrated that ordinary people had less native ability than those selected for high position, that would not mean that they deserved to get less. Being a member of the “lucky sperm club” confers no moral right or advantage. What one is born with, or without, is not of one’s own doing.

If Young had some ideal of property redistribution or “spread the wealth” in his concern that no one “get less,” I obviously disagree with him. But when it comes to power… when it comes to being told to trust the Federal Reserve as they create billions of new currency every month, or that the only way to help the economy is to borrow massive amounts of more money and spend it on Liberal causes, it is time to say, “we don’t believe you and your Ivy League ‘education’ doesn’t give the right to impose your stupid self-serving fantasies on us.”

Fight hard. You merit every bit as much as our self-imposed overlords.