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1 People For The Ethical Treatment Of Sarah Palin  Tue, Dec 24, 2013 9:15:15pm

It’s actually a very good article. I don’t think he is bemoaning the end of “white” rule, so much as the end of the WASP character traits, of putting societies best interests above ones own personal ambitions.

A financier I know who grew up under the WASP standard not long ago told me that he thought that the subprime real estate collapse and the continuing hedge-fund scandals have been brought on directly by men and women who are little more than “greedy pigs” (his words) without a shred of character or concern for their clients or country. Naturally, he added, they all have master’s degrees from the putatively best business schools in the nation.

Thus far in their history, meritocrats, those earnest good students, appear to be about little more than getting on, getting ahead and (above all) getting their own. The WASP leadership, for all that may be said in criticism of it, was better than that.

2 freetoken  Tue, Dec 24, 2013 9:44:41pm
The acronym WASP derives, of course, from White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, but as acronyms go, this one is more deficient than most. Lots of people, including powerful figures and some presidents, have been white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant but were far from being WASPs. Neither Jimmy Carter nor Bill Clinton qualified.

The writer here is really just rambling on. In any historic meaning of “WASP”, both Carter and Clinton fit.

The author is doing his own form of hagiography, where his “saints” are some long gone more-often-than-not beneficent ruling class.

3 freetoken  Tue, Dec 24, 2013 9:51:20pm

The author looks to be searching for a wider audience for his upcoming book.

Given his past:

In 1970, Epstein wrote an article for Harper’s Magazine called “The Struggle for Sexual Identity,” that was widely criticized for its perceived homophobia, although Harper’s editor Midge Decter defended it as an “elegant and thoughtful account”. Among other things, Epstein wrote, “if I had the power to do so, I would wish homosexuality off the face of the earth, because I consider it a curse, in a literal sense.” He ended the article with

There is much that my four sons can do in their lives that might cause me anguish, that might outrage me, that might make [me] ashamed of them and of myself as their father. But nothing they could ever do would make me sadder than if any of them were to become homosexual.[3][4]

The response of gay writers and readers to Epstein’s piece, including a “sit-in” at Harper’s by members of the Gay Activists Alliance, has been identified as a significant turning point in the gay rights movement of the early 1970s.[5][6]

He sounds like a good fit for the Murdoch WSJ.

4 People For The Ethical Treatment Of Sarah Palin  Tue, Dec 24, 2013 10:21:28pm

re: #3 freetoken

Yeah, a real sweetheart.

5 Rocky-in-Connecticut  Wed, Dec 25, 2013 7:47:14am

The author’s use of “Meritocracy” as a description of today’s ruling class is too vague and ultimately fails in its comprehension of reality. The term traditionally described those who are most proficient at their job, leadership, or academic/work ethic.

However, today a significant portion of America can be described as an “Outrage-ocracy”, where whoever can give voice to and propagate the most emotional outrage (and gains money and power by doing so) leads. This is not a Meritocracy, which is based on reason and ethics. It is based on emotion and structural prejuidices that are not conducive to success on a global playing field. The entire right-wing in America has steadily evolved into an Outrage-ocracy- where classical concepts of Reason need not apply.

6 Romantic Heretic  Wed, Dec 25, 2013 7:57:07am

I’ve got to wonder at a man named Epstein hoping for a return of Wasps running everything. There’s something wrong with an individual who wishes to become a non-person.

I look askance at someone who believes earning your position through merit rather than an accident of birth as well.

7 Ace-o-aces  Wed, Dec 25, 2013 8:34:43am

The fact that Epstein is such a good writer disguises the fact that the piece is a rambling piece of racist BS.

8 ThatPirateGuy  Wed, Dec 25, 2013 10:17:08am

It is rare when I can use this quote!

You’re not the anti-Christ a Sage. You’re only a malcontent who knows how to spell.

Coulmier- Quills

9 goddamnedfrank  Wed, Dec 25, 2013 10:19:32am

re: #1 People For The Ethical Treatment Of Sarah Palin

It’s actually a very good article. I don’t think he is bemoaning the end of “white” rule, so much as the end of the WASP character traits, of putting societies best interests above ones own personal ambitions.

It’s insidious and he’s just lying, the “character traits’ he’s describing are pure bullshit, as are the purported lack of financial collapse and personal political scandal under WASP rule. He’s pretending that shit like the Great Depression and Teapot Dome never happened and weren’t caused by personal greed, that Jim Crow wasn’t just condoned but defended, that WASP government overreach didn’t produce the carnage of Prohibition. It’s all bullshit, personal ambition played a major role in all of that, the personal ambition of the Prohibition gangster, of the racist Southern governors, of the in establishment clique types protecting their own power at the expense of most Americans.

If we know, or at least can prove less about much of the personal scandals of the day it’s because the society was more, not less corrupt, and the same elites controlled much of the press. Throughout most of this entire era Hoover was running the FBI, abusing his power, blackmailing politicians, destroying innocent people’s lives and persecuting civil rights activists like Bayard Rustin, while living a closeted gay life himself.

It’s all about white male rule. The “meritocracy” he bemoans is just code for letting blacks, browns, women and gays into positions of power.

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