Thursday, January 18, 2024

In Praise Of Merit


Politics is the art of achieving prestige and power without merit.”—P.J. O’Rourke

And we’ve all seen how that has worked out. For all of us. Around the world.

If it wasn't for merit, we wouldn't have the music of Beethoven and Bach, or, for that matter, of Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones. If it wasn't for merit, participating in or watching sports would be an exercise in…watching people exercise. An exercise in futility. If it wasn't for merit, and the relentless pursuit of excellence, we would not have any of the great works of art……or any of the life-changing inventions of the 20th century. Electricity, the light bulb, indoor plumbing and flush toilets. Radio, television, the internet, smart phones. Were it not for merit, we may still be having our teeth pulled while chomping on a towel after imbibing several ounces of whiskey. Were it not for merit, our bridges and skyscrapers wouldn't stand, our trains would derail, our planes fall from the sky.

If not for merit, there would be no light... and no hope.

The emphasis on DEI and equity over competence, merit, and excellence is an existential danger to society. That is not hyperbole.

In summation, the respect for merit is vital to the human condition. Worshipping sloth-- or even mediocrity--and valuing equity above all would be the death knell of civilization.

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