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In Defense of Elitism av William A. Henry,…
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In Defense of Elitism (urspr publ 1994; utgåvan 1995)

av William A. Henry, III (Författare)

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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning culture criticnbsp;nbsp;for Time magazine comes thenbsp;nbsp;tremendously controversial, yet highly persuasive,nbsp;nbsp;argument that our devotion to the largelynbsp;nbsp;unexamined myth of egalitarianism lies at the heart of thenbsp;nbsp;ongoing "dumbing of America." Americans have always stubbornly clung to thenbsp;nbsp;myth of egalitarianism, of the supremacy of thenbsp;nbsp;individual average man. But here, at long last,nbsp;nbsp;Pulitzer Prize-winning critic William A. Henry IIInbsp;nbsp;takes on, and debunks, some basic, fundamentallynbsp;nbsp;ingrained ideas: that everyone is pretty much alikenbsp;nbsp;(and should be); that self-fulfillment is morenbsp;nbsp;imortant thant objective achievement; that everyonenbsp;nbsp;has something significant to contribute; that allnbsp;nbsp;cultures offer something equally worthwhile; thatnbsp;nbsp;a truly just society would automatically producenbsp;nbsp;equal success results across lines of race,nbsp;nbsp;class, and gender; and that the common man is almostnbsp;nbsp;always right. Henry makes clear, in a book full ofnbsp;nbsp;vivid examples and unflinching opinions, thatnbsp;nbsp;while these notions are seductively democratic theynbsp;nbsp;are also hopelessly wrong.… (mer)
Medlem:Xenalyte
Titel:In Defense of Elitism
Författare:William A. Henry, III (Författare)
Info:Anchor (1995), 212 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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In Defense of Elitism av William A. Henry III (1994)

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The author purports to be a liberal Democrat before he launches into the sort of diatribe you might expect from a conservative with an obsessive dislike for affirmative action and feminism. It's only about elitism in that he asserts that every successful country is basically run by an elite, i.e. a meritocracy. And so he sets out to argue that so-called remedies for perceived past wrongs to minorities and women undermine the efficient running of the meritocracy, which at their worst shoves more deserving humans to the side; these folks just happen to be who's left -- white males.

I would agree that having competent folks in business, education, and government is highly desirable, and that these folks are indeed the elite of the society. I would also agree that demagogues and minorities with resentment for (real or imagined) wrongs have successfully made "elite" a pejorative term.

But this guy lives in some sort of dream world, where there is really no excuse for not making it to the top unless you haven't got what it takes. Forget about the many reasons why someone who's smart and talented might not be able to attain that success.

In the nearly 25 years since this book was written, we have seen income inequality reach proportions that threaten the survival of democracy. And this has happened, why? Because some portion of that elite have used their meritorious skills to enact laws or remove laws that enable them to concentrate their wealth and lower it for everyone else. It is these consequences of an unrestrained "elite" that negate every argument this book puts forth. It might have had a shelf life for a few years with some misguided critics of quotas or political correctness, but those things haven't led to the demise of a level playing field -- it's the triumph of an unrestrained global elite that did that. ( )
  nog | Jan 20, 2018 |
For someone who doesn't think he is a racist, let's just say his views on minority groups are complicated. He is most definitely ethnocentric: he believes some cultures are better (not simply different) than others, and much of that rating has to do with the ability to conquer the "inferior ones," who show their inferiority by losing. For him, might most definitely makes right.

When he's not trumpeting his low opinions on non-White Anglo-Saxon male Protestants (he refuses to refer to Native Americans as "Native," but views them as immigrant Asians, and thus no more entitled to the Americas than the equally immigrant Europeans, and women should especially approach this book with caution: the reason, for example, that we study so little about women in school is that they weren't really doing anything worth commenting on), he does score some saner observations on the trends in education. But frankly, by that time his voice in my head sounds so disparaging of everyone less privileged, it was difficult to ignore the barely-hidden subtext.

Not recommended. ( )
  dono421846 | Jul 25, 2012 |
Hey Antimuzak, way to plagiarize the fly leaves! ( )
1 rösta mwilson.ccpl | Dec 23, 2009 |
There is something that offends both in the title and text of this book, but in this era, when the US is falling far behind in culture, science, research, and education there could be a case made that since it seems impossible for parents to as Obama explains it 'turn off the TV, the video games, parents", he is really speaking to a "dumbing down' that is going on in US society that public education seems unable to address because the nonelites do not find school relevant. Hence it may be better to admit this up front, admit that some will be "left behind" and get on with identifying and improving the nations elites to compete with the world's other elites. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Jul 20, 2009 |
I enjoyed parts of what Henry had to say, but other parts were twinged with bias of his privileged white upper-class status. A good read if you're interested in public affairs and public policy, nonetheless. ( )
  Lenachka | May 25, 2009 |
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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning culture criticnbsp;nbsp;for Time magazine comes thenbsp;nbsp;tremendously controversial, yet highly persuasive,nbsp;nbsp;argument that our devotion to the largelynbsp;nbsp;unexamined myth of egalitarianism lies at the heart of thenbsp;nbsp;ongoing "dumbing of America." Americans have always stubbornly clung to thenbsp;nbsp;myth of egalitarianism, of the supremacy of thenbsp;nbsp;individual average man. But here, at long last,nbsp;nbsp;Pulitzer Prize-winning critic William A. Henry IIInbsp;nbsp;takes on, and debunks, some basic, fundamentallynbsp;nbsp;ingrained ideas: that everyone is pretty much alikenbsp;nbsp;(and should be); that self-fulfillment is morenbsp;nbsp;imortant thant objective achievement; that everyonenbsp;nbsp;has something significant to contribute; that allnbsp;nbsp;cultures offer something equally worthwhile; thatnbsp;nbsp;a truly just society would automatically producenbsp;nbsp;equal success results across lines of race,nbsp;nbsp;class, and gender; and that the common man is almostnbsp;nbsp;always right. Henry makes clear, in a book full ofnbsp;nbsp;vivid examples and unflinching opinions, thatnbsp;nbsp;while these notions are seductively democratic theynbsp;nbsp;are also hopelessly wrong.

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