Jonah Goldberg? Why Bother?

Without going on hiatus, exactly, it looks like things will be slow around Quick Study for a week or two. I've got a backload of work, some of it now seriously overdue.

And in any case, the topics of the day of late seem to be Clinton v. Obama or Liberal Fascism. People are scrutinizing the latter and finding that it's by no means well-argued or deeply informed. Which is sort of like slicing open a cantaloupe and discovering that it is not, in fact, made out of cheese. Just how many demonstrations of this are really necessary?

The quoted excerpts show that the book is written in the same slobbish prose used for Goldberg's online performances. That much, at least, I find shocking. So much the worse for the thesis of his editor Adam Bellow that family inheritances of cultural capital bring huge advantages.

On Goldberg's background as nepotistic beneficiary, see this item. As for Bellow's argument, nothing new comes to mind beyond these earlier thoughts:

The image of a silver spoon on the cover of In Praise of Nepotism is an awfully cute touch, but to someone born without one, it looks like a weapon.

The premise and the consequences are ultimately not so distinct from the logic of The Bell Curve, the volume that Bellow edited at the pinnacle (or nadir) of his career until now. In short: Equality is an illusion and an impossibility. The very idea is pernicious. It saps the vital force of all that is good and necessary in the world. We need to square our meritocratic values with a realization that some people really do deserve the manor to which they are born. Or plantation, as the case may be.

The rest is here.

January 14, 2008 10:53 AM | | Comments (4)



In an 18-month period, I've been the recipient of *two* metaphysical lectures from newly rich friends on the matter of how the "poor" are poor as a result of "poor thoughts"; two years ago, both friends (unacquainted) would have punched anyone expressing such theories. The human mind can adapt to anything, eh?

That "attitude of gratitude" is so important, you know.

Steven, did those vicious lectures come from adherents of The Secret?

I wouldn't rule it out; I'm only sure that neither friend (both native Berliners) would have read such a book until *after* stumbling into success... seeking a rationalization for the good luck. Good luck is considered a spurious thing among Germans of a certain class and generation (under 50s), for complex (or not so complex? laugh) reasons... which is also why discussions about Karma (upon logical reflection, a pernicious doctrine) are surprisingly popular here.

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This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on January 14, 2008 10:53 AM.

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