An op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal last Saturday written by Joseph Epstein bemoans the death of the ruling class he calls the “WASPocracy,” the ruling class of America comprised of legacy wealth, social status and education.
Epstein waxes poetic about the end of the control of WASP elites like the Bush family (East Coast WASPs through and through, involved in Wall Street banking for several generations) because of changing attitudes toward elitism in the 60’s and 70’s, especially during the Vietnam Era. WASPs became known as “The Establishment” and were held responsible for dragging the country into the war.
Now the country, Epstein argues, is ruled by the meritocracy, people who have climbed the ladder of higher education based on the ability to be good at school. He laments they are nothing more than good students, and have no further remarkable skills making them deserving to be leaders.
Especially onerous is Epstein’s insinuation that somehow having been born into power makes the WASPs persons of high moral character with the ability to put the needs of the nation above their own. He goes on to insinuate that the economic collapse of 2007 was in fact the fault of ‘greedy pigs’ of the meritocracy; people who are more concerned with personal wealth than the wealth of their clients or country.
If the reader did not know any better, one would be led to believe that the elitist upper class of WASPs took a bigger financial hit than our average Joe, and now make up the majority of the residents of Slab City.
h/t: Think Progress