Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy. Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another – from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate... show more
A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy. Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another – from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball – imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters. How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite--one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it. Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Twilight of the Elites describes how the society we have come to inhabit – utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom – produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives. Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. Twilight of the Elites is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.
Publish date: June 12th 2012
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
I won Twilight of the Elites from Goodreads Giveaways. In essence, what Hayes argues is that the current political, social, & business structure in America, that he identifies as Meritocracy, which is in theory based entirely on merits or intellectual prowess, is overestimated and not working proper...
Well worth reading, but nothing really new or earth shattering. Hayes writes well and very clearly describes the problems with our current politics and economy. According to him the biggest problem is inequality, the concentration of wealth and power among a small number of "elites" and the corres...
This book examines the problems with meritocracy. In this country we've decided we don't care about equality of outcome as long as we have equality of opportunity. However, as Hayes makes clear, you can ignore inequality of outcome only so long before it starts to make equality of opportunity impo...
My knee-jerk reaction is that we've never had a meritocracy, or else how to explain George Bush? I'd say that the natural order of things is rule by kleptocracy, and that only a vigorous effort to keep things untainted holds that tendency back. I'm also not convinced that the current rulers are any ...