Saturday, October 17, 2009

MSI Invokes The Big Assumption

She writes:
Alpheus: To be more specific then, the problem is that meritocracy presumes the abolition of noblesse oblige (so patronizing!), but what elite schools do is create a ruling class that delusionally believes it's made up of "just folks." The result is that this class thinks its problems and preferences are universal (it's obvious, for example, that everyone wants to go to Harvard) and can't imagine that anyone might have different problems or preferences, and if they do, there must be something wrong with them.

For those of you who are new here, The Big Assumption is The experiences that constitute my individual life are representative of the entire human condition.

Also, MSI, have you never read any works of Shakespeare?


Miss Self-Important said...

It's not so much an assumption as a kind of deliberate education in this case. I don't think it's impossible or even that difficult for someone of college age from a city to imagine that people from, say, farms, or the other side of the continent, have different lives than they. But the canard that elite schools are the smartest representative slice of America actually discourages their inclination.

My eyes have skimmed the words of Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, but their substance escapes me. Except, of course, the qualifyingly middlebrow famous lines.

FLG said...


Everybody knows that there are people who live differently. The issue is whose experiences more accurately reflect reality. Everybody assumes their lives do.

Withywindle said...

See the plays performed! See the plays performed!

Miss Self-Important said...

Withywindle: Watching them performed is even worse because I can't follow the dialogue and don't even know what's supposed to be happening from prior reading.

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