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If you look at the Wikipedia entry you will find there are two, one for Horatio Alger the person and the other entitled "Horatio Alger Myth".

The myth has a life of its own. The myth is that hard work leads to rewards in life, that's why I coupled it with the studies which show that inter-class mobility has decreased in the past few decades.

If you want to discuss the fact that the myth is, well, a myth that's fine, but this is irrelevant to the main point.

Mobility has declined and my thesis is that it is not due to an increase in wealth disparity, but that wealth disparity is yet another symptom of the power disparity in the US.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sun Feb 15th, 2009 at 10:07:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry rdf, I was not attempting to derail your main point -- w/which I agree, obviously -- but fascinated by the fact that the myth to which the conservatives cling is itself a myth, i.e. that Horatio Alger, mythwright, did not even say what they say he said.  this is actually pretty typical -- much of the praxis and dogma of the "Christian" established church has precious little to do with the text of the NT, let alone any remote, irrecoverable historical Jesus;  Marx was not a Marxist;  Darwin never uttered the simplistic tropes repeated by crypto-Darwinists;  Adam Smith was in fact skeptical and mistrustful of sharp practises on the part of business owners, and so on.

this is all a sideshow -- of sorts -- to the main drama of dispossession, Enclosure and immiseration aka the Story of Capitalism, whose endgame is playing out in our time.  and yet, if we understood a little better the tenacity of these myths, or our preference (as individuals and a culture) for an invented history or dogma over the complicated texture of fact, we might get a better handle on the possibilities for social change?  (I am not becoming a Straussian, btw -- I don't to say that we should learn to manipulate this human frailty, but somehow compensate for it...)

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Mon Feb 16th, 2009 at 12:50:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whose endgame is playing out in our time.

That's been said before.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2009 at 01:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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