Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 14, 2014

‘Ordinary’ people must stand up to protect ‘We, the People’

— About a decade ago, Michael Young added a new introduction to his book, The Rise of the Meritocracy in which he warned that a meritocracy could be sad and fragile.

He wrote: If the rich and those assuming they have power were encouraged by the general culture to believe that they fully deserved all they had, how arrogant they could become, and if they were convinced it was all for the common good, how ruthless in pursuing their own advantage.

Power corrupts, and therefore one of the secrets of a good society is that power should always be open to criticism. But authority cannot be humbled unless ordinary people, however much they have been rejected by the educational system, have the confidence to assert themselves against the mighty.

If they think themselves inferior, if they think they deserve on merit to have less worldly goods and less worldly power than a select minority, they can be damaged in their own self-esteem, and generally demoralized.

In our own county I have seen the pompous power of the educational system flaunted by individuals representing “We, the People,” relying on the government rules and regulation to protect them and the “system” from the parents and children they are supposed to be representing. For the sake of the future of the children of this country we must be the “ordinary” people that stand up against those protecting the “system” rather than the children.

As stated by one of our finest Democratic Presidents, John F. Kennedy, “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.”

If you can relate to and believe that statement then you must realize we are not making progress but flailing in the mire of meritocracy.

Jim Hinebaugh

Maysville, W.Va.

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