Monday, July 19, 2010

The best thing you'll read this week (UPDATED...again)

(please scroll to bottom for update)

We feel duty-bound to draw your attention to a fantastic piece written by Angelo M. Codevilla for the The American Spectator titled, "America's Ruling Class - And the Perils of Revolution".

We've written before in these pages that in our lifetime, there has not been a greater rift between the ruling class and the rest of us which Codevilla terms "the country class" as there is at this very momemt. Codevilla takes his time in explaining why and how it is we got to this point and what is to come.

It's a tremedously well-written essay that brought to mind some of our favorite contemporary writers as it contained the sage probity of Victor Davis Hanson, the historical context of George Will, the humorous contempt of P.J. O'Rourke and the unshakeable faith in American exceptionalism of Tom Wolfe.

It's a long read but well worth the time. As such, we're debating excerpting portions of it but one thing did catch our eye as it related to another item we saw over the weekend.

From Codevilla's pseudo-manifesto:

Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.

And this from Russell K. Nieli:

Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student's chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. "Being an officer or winning awards" for such career-oriented activities as junior ROTC, 4-H, or Future Farmers of America, say Espenshade and Radford, "has a significantly negative association with admission outcomes at highly selective institutions." Excelling in these activities "is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission."

Exit question: How are all those Ivy League educations littered throughout Wall Street, Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. working out for America?

(UPDATE #1): Codevilla's essay is absolutely blowing up around the internet and on the airwaves. Wanted to link you to The Liberator Today and B-Daddy's thoughts here as well as Left Coast Rebel who has the entire essay posted at his site (that's totally cheating, Tim ;)).

(UPDATE #2): The conservative equivalent of the cover of The Rolling Stone chimes in on Codevilla's essay here describing the situation as due to what we like to refer to as the West Potomac virus.

1 comment:

SarahB said...

Huh...I'd never heard the 4-H/ROTC data before...interesting and disturbing. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm waiting for homeschooling to hurt instead of help admissions also, as most of those families are conservative too.