The idea of the meritocracy is a myth, a useful myth but a myth nonetheless. Attacking programs such as affirmative action or DEI in defense of the myth is misguided seeing that the purpose of those programs, though they may be flawed and they are, is to allow the meritocracy to better work for everyone.
While standing trial for impiety and corrupting the Athenian youth , Socrates famously defended himself stating that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. It’s a cliche phrase that’s found its way onto t-shirts and the coffee mugs of arm-chair philosophers the world over. Despite its overuse, it’s a phrase I like for two reasons. In seven words it stresses the importance of philosophical questioning as well as living our philosophical principles in the real world. It’s simple, succinct and easy to remember. But in spite of its simplicity, over the years Socrates’ words seem to have been forgotten and replaced with the variety of philosophy taught in dimly lit classrooms at Cornell and schools like it across the country.