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Chris Hayes on the Twilight of the Elites and the End of Meritocracy | Julian Brookes, Rolling Stone

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In an excellent new book, Twilight of the Elites, journalist Chris Hayes argues that what happened is this: Our ruling class failed us. Behind the seemingly haphazard pile-up of recent calamities he sees a pattern: In each case, a cadre of Very Important People succumbed to some combination of blinkered groupthink, deception, self-dealing, fraud, smugness, and self-delusion. And in virtually every case, they escaped accountability. Or, as Hayes puts it: "All the smart people fucked up, and no one seems willing to take responsibility."But why did the smart people fuck up, again and again? Because, Hayes argues, America's mechanism for sorting the gifted and talented from the rest of us – what we proudly call our meritocracy – has broken down, to the point where it "isn't very meritocratic at all." And the consequence is that we're "led" by a grasping, status-obsessed elite class that's increasingly socially and economically distant and prone to rigging the game for its own benefit, the public good be damned.

Rigged by money? Or rigged by something else?

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