Junot Diaz and the Rot That is Bourgeois Culture

Personally, I find the status-consciousness of our culture repellent. It saturates the society, soaking every institution and even the public spaces between institutions, as in the value-judgments we constantly make (even half-consciously) about others’ clothing or looks or confidence. In a sense, status-consciousness fuels our world, determining our behavior through its implicit presence in social and institutional norms. (For if we act contrary to norms, we’ll have a lower status.) This is to say that anti-democracy fuels our world, for the principle of respecting status/authority/power is opposed to that of respecting the equality and potential rationality of all people. Moreover, as I just noted, the people we end up admiring are usually precisely those who don’tdeserve to be admired, given the qualities it takes to succeed in a capitalist world. To quote the historian Albert Prago, “in an amoral society, the amoral man is best qualified to succeed.”

via Junot Diaz and the Rot That is Bourgeois Culture