“Appeals to merit” are merely “white supremacist dog-whistles”

“Appeals to merit” are merely “white supremacist dog-whistles”, by David Solway.

The idea of merit has fallen on evil times, as has its corollary concept, objectivity. These principles have now been breached by a consortium of the ideologically minded, who resemble a gang of robbers tunneling under a bank vault. …

As the professions, the educational institution, the political arena, and the scientific establishment engage in a process of diversification, accommodating claimants who trade on race and gender rather than ability and native endowment, merit is in the process of being replaced by outright mediocrity. …

For Zuckerberg, as for most of our cultural and political power brokers, “appeals to merit” are merely “white supremacist dog-whistles.” …

The Greek comic playwright Aristophanes foresaw all this in 392 BC

The results are as hilarious in context as they are predictable in the larger world, a society descending into mayhem, pagan ritual, lack of distinction and ruthless feuding for freebies, including sexual favors for unattractive hags at the expense of their more beautiful rivals — an apposite metaphor for the war between mediocrity and merit.

As scholar and translator Robert Mayhew summarizes, “Misery is not abolished, it is merely redistributed.”