Monday, February 22, 2010

I should probably stop writing about markets and meritocracy

... lest I bore all five of my readers to death. But see Sandy Levinson, a generally smart and thoughtful guy who here lets his passions get the better of him:

We must recognize that all public servants are, in their own ways, "heroes." The Republican Party for the past generation has systematically viewed all public servants, save for the military, as chumps, who if they had any real talent, would be working in the private sector (perhaps in Goldman Sachs, etc.).

There's much about this particular post that is... overheated... in tone. Yeah, the progressivism as cancer comment probably was not Glenn Beck's finest moment; I'm no Beck fan either. But I strongly suspect that it was just a florid metaphor, and that Beck does not really harbor any desire to exterminate progressives. As I said above, though, some of Levinson's more, uh,
temperate stuff is interesting, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here. So I do find it telling that he would reach for a variation of the "contemporary conservatism is nothing more than warmed over Social Darwinism" trope in his moment of frustration with the right.

For the record, I proudly disclaim being a heroine in any way. (Does the grand term "public servant" apply to all government employees? Even to, say, the secretaries, janitors, and other people whose work is nearly identical to their private sector counterparts?)

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