"Is it possible for me to have more objections to a paragraph than there are words in it?"This in response to an Obsidian Wings post in which it is posited that America is a "Utopian Society," on its way upward and onward, foreward and farther toward "a middle-class egalitarian meritocratic democracy." And yea, the lion shall lay down with the lamb. How one squares "egalitarian" with "meritocratic" is wholly beyond me; the very notion of merit, let alone of a meritocracy, implies a neat ordering of human beings by innate ability and willingness to strive. I understand that modern liberalism is basically crackpot Rawlsianism, that what is meant by "egalitarian" has mostly to do with giving every boy and girl a fair shake at a college scholarship, but still, those words sit together as uncomfortably as military intelligence, or Christian charity. (And let's not even dip into how the technocratic-scientific rubrics of merit measurement conflict with small-d democracy. We haven't got all day.) Even assuming it were possible, and possible in these here United States, a society of universal Bachelors of the Arts, paid maternity leave, and third-rail social security hardly represents an "achievable perfection." It suggests a modestly preferable alternative to the Congo, perhaps, but hardly the Kingdom come.
-Ethan at 6th or 7th