David Brooks makes my face hurt. In his column he pines for the good-old common sense of oligarchy, using increased criticism as evidence of poor performance. Never once will it occur to him that more criticism might mean people are finally brave enough to speak out. Idiot.
One of the great achievements of modern times is that we have made society more fair.I agree, but this work is hardly over.
Yet here’s the funny thing. As we’ve made our institutions more meritocratic, their public standing has plummeted.This is the whole point of his essay. But, is it even true? People have always lacked trust in those who are in power-- I would argue that what we see today is more vocal, open criticism of powerful people and institutions. I would imagine that their actual standing in the minds of the general public has remained much the same-- it's just that my grand parents would never criticize, the justice system, for example, since they were well known for locking people up simply for being critical. Now there is more criticism of the justice system, but it is without a doubt, a more fair system that it was 40 years ago. Far from perfect, but better. There are many other examples like this one. ( Collapse )