In a new book, “The Tyranny of Merit,” Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel argues that Americans’ emphasis on success because of merit has poisoned what he calls “the common good.” Sandel continued Greater Boston to discuss his argument with Jim Braude.
Sandel attacks a key sentiment that he believes dominates center-left politics: the concept that working hard always correlates with success. Democrats, he says, are focusing on providing individual upward mobility, with an emphasis on higher education to level the playing field. income, wealth and power can only be corrected by encouraging people to get a better education, ”he said,“ then you will never be able to deal seriously with the structural inequalities reflected in this. that we see with the tax system, for example.
This strategy caused political problems for the left. “The Democratic Party has lost its credibility and has even alienated many working class voters,” Sandel said. “One of the most powerful sources of Donald Trump’s appeal – his authoritarian populist appeal – is the sense that elites despise those without a four-year degree. And the Democratic Party had better understand that. “
WATCH: Michael Sandel on Social Mobility in America