Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Vision of the Anointed*

The key to liberalism is the belief that if we would just improve services, all the children would be above average.

Keillor's use of this idea has an added meaning that makes it richer, I think, and not an example of the above.  It is not only that everyone favors their own children just a bit and sees even the average child as something better.  The opposite value is in play as well: don't be too full of yourself, don't put on airs.  You're not some genius, you're just above average.  When both ideas exist in tension, I don't think it's such a bad thing.

*Title stolen from Thomas Sowell.


Texan99 said...

What I always get from that joke is that, if you're going to compare people at all, someone has to be behind for every one that's ahead. You can make a case (not a good one, in my view) that there are no important distinctions between people. Or you can make a case that some outpace others in one characteristic or another. But you can't have both at once, and to try it is to make yourself ridiculous by insisting on the pleasure of praising an outstanding individual while preening in the virtue of egalitarianism.

james said...

Or you can try 1Cor12, though strictly speaking that's about gifts/roles in the church.