The Fall of the Meritocracy

The Covid-19 pandemic is so complex, so vast in scale, that I doubt any single future historian will be able to tell a unified story about the crisis and the global response to it. And any journalist or scholar attempting a synthesis today will find his work hampered by the fog of war that clouds many aspects of a still-“live” world-historical event. Yet if there’s one central thematic thread deserving urgent attention, surely it’s the question of meritocracy.

To wit: How did the West’s meritocratic elites, with all their scientific-technological prowess, end up driving their societies into a ditch of distrust, rancor, and division? What led the meritocracy to badly overplay its hand on lockdowns, masking, social distancing and, above all, vaccine mandates, triggering explosive...

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Feb 22nd 2022
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