New York Times columnist David Brooks has penned a controversial new article contending that selected dead white males must be dug up from American graveyards and cloned into a new educated ruling elite.
Back in the bad old days, he writes, “white male Protestants ruled the roost.”
“Then we smashed all that [and] replaced a system based on birth with a fairer system based on talent. We opened up the universities and the workplace to Jews, women and minorities … creating the most educated generation in history … socially conscious … and deeply committed to ending bigotry.”
Analysis: good, right, and true.
“You’d think all this would have made the U.S. the best governed nation in history,” Brooks continues. “Instead, inequality rose. Faith in institutions plummeted. Social trust declined. The federal government became dysfunctional and society bitterly divided … The new meritocratic aristocracy has come to look like every other aristocracy.”
Hmmm. Brooks thinks “a narrative is emerging.”
“The members of the educated class use their intellectual, financial and social advantages to pass down privilege to their children, creating a hereditary elite that is ever more insulated from the rest of society,” he writes.
If only someone, maybe even Thomas Jefferson – who was unfortunately on the “wrong side of history” – could have warned us that humankind “pays no attention to the improvement of his own race, but intermarries with the vicious, the ugly, or the old, for considerations of wealth or ambition” and that this “artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent it’s ascendancy.”
What to do? Brooks says we can’t bring back the “dimwitted, stuck-up blue bloods” of the 20th century even if they did have a civic consciousness we utterly lack.
Remember that “emerging narrative”? Does anyone really want – as Jefferson put it – the “artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents” when we could have a “natural aristocracy” of “worth and genius … sought out from every condition of life, and completely prepared by education for defeating the competition of wealth and birth for public trusts”?
That’s where the cloning comes in.
Because do you know of anyone alive today who’s capable of building – as Brooks calls it – “moral systems that create harmony within people, harmony between people and harmony between people and their ultimate purpose”?
Joe Biden? No.
We need those dead white male Founding Fathers.
We have the technology.