Thomas Frank

“There is no solidarity in a meritocracy. The very idea contradicts the ideology of the well-graduated technocrats who rule us. As we shall see, leading members of the professional class show enormous respect for one another -- what I will call "professional courtesy" -- but they feel precious little sympathy for the less fortunate members of their own cohort -- for the adjuncts frozen out of the academic market for tenure, for colleagues who got fired, or even for the kids who don't get into "good" colleges. That life doesn't shower its blessings on people who can't make the grade isn't a shock or an injustice; it's the way things ought to be.

This has all sorts of important consequences for liberalism, but let us here take note of just one before proceeding: professionals do not hold that other Democratic constituency, organized labor, in particularly high regard. This attitude is documented in study after study of professional-class life. One reason for this is because solidarity, the core value of unions, stands in stark contradiction to the doctrine of individual excellence that every profession embodies. The idea that someone should command good pay for doing a job that doesn't require specialized training seems to professionals to be an obvious fallacy.”


Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People
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Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People by Thomas Frank
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