Conor Friedersdorf: Review of Twilight of the Elites

A cautionary tale. of meritocracy failure.

The elites who run things, having advanced to the top of various hierarchies, are performing miserably, Hayes argues, citing failures as varied as Enron, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the Catholic Church molestation scandal, the financial crisis, and the steroid scandal in Major League Baseball. A striking quote from a man named Thomas Day is marshaled to dramatize the parade of failures that helped to inspire the book. “I’m 31, an Iraq War veteran, a Penn State graduate, a native of State College, acquaintance of Sandusky’s, and a product of his Second Mile Foundation,” Day wrote after Joe Paterno’s firing. “And I have fully lost faith in the leadership of my parents’ generation.”

Conclusion of the review:

 Solving the problem is harder than diagnosing it.

From a comment highlighted by Instapundit:

“It has much less to do with the identification and nurturing of native intelligence than it does with the perpetuation of status.”

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