Best Analysis: The American Dream in The Great Gatsby
The Myth of American Meritocracy | The American …
On the economics, Heimbach’s narrative is not wrong. During a half-century of change in the American labor market—the rise of technology and trade, the decline of manual labor—nobody has been hit harder than low-skilled, poorly educated men. Between 1979 and 2013, pay for men without a college degree fell by twenty-one per cent in real terms; for women with similar credentials, pay rose by three per cent, thanks partly to job opportunities in health care and education. Like many ultraconservatives, Heimbach had largely given up on the Republican Party. He said, “We need to get the white community to actually start speaking for the white community, instead of letting a bunch of Republicans that hate us anyway, and don’t speak for our values, be the unofficial spokespeople.”
The Myth of American Meritocracy ..
And here we come to the connection between the religion of success and the religion of political correctness. Political correctness is a fig leaf for the competitive individualism of meritocratic neoliberalism, with its worship of success above all. It provides a moral cover beneath which undergraduates can prosecute their careerist projects undisturbed. Student existence may be understood as largely separated into two non-communicating realms: campus social life (including the classroom understood as a collective space), where the enforcement of political correctness is designed to create an emotionally unthreatening environment; and the individual pursuit of personal advancement, the real business going forward. The moral commitments of the first (which are often transient in any case) are safely isolated from the second.