Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The rise of the poorly-educated

Trump’s celebration of the ‘poorly-educated’ as the smartest demographic in the land takes us right to the heart of the problem in modern society. 

Elite status didn’t used to be such a clear cognate of extreme wealth, even in the US. Social hierarchies used to support cultural hierarchies and these, unlike the former, surely have some innate value.

The elites of birth and power - political and economic - were heretofore more obviously complemented by a cultural elite which acted as a conduit between various areas of knowledge and achievement, permitting them to communicate between themselves and thus allowing society as a whole to benefit from the ideas which could only emerge as a result of this associative process. 

This predominantly talented and educated group effectively determined how much intellectual and aesthetic value ought to be dictated by money alone, but like other forms of regulation, it has since been largely overrun by ‘rational’ market forces and standards and priorities have thus started to drift all over the place.

It should hardly surprise us that former Mexican president Vicente Fox was today recoiling before the billionaire candidate’s ‘poverty of ideas’, when simply pursuing your own baser instincts now counts as some sort of grand intellectual journey. 

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