2008 and The Culture of Merit

Reproduced below is a post I published in the first week of Jan 2009.

The great recession of 2008 was raging.

Amidst which Obama was elected US President and despite the doom and the gloom I felt a great sense of optimism.

As a result I wrote this post which predicted a world that would change for the better.

And by some measures it did and in many others it did not.

Then came the age of Trump climaxing in the continuing horror that is 2020.

Will my optimism about the future return if the Biden/Harris ticket wins?

I am not sure either way. It is now a much more complex world than it was in 2009.

But the one thing I am sure of is that I will be despondent if Trump gets another four years.

2008 and The Culture of Merit

I am 2008.

I believe I did a lot of good to the world.

But as is the case always when you do good unbidden what you get is blame. So while the cheers that greeted my departure still resonate let me reason with you a bit.

Is the fact that a world gone mad with greed has been restored to fiscal sanity good or bad?

There is pain now but the fact is that the so-called economic meltdown is bringing back the culture of merit to the world of business and economics.

No longer will the brilliant engineer cracking the next breakthrough in fuel cells feel belittled by the money and adulation showered on some ethics-challenged sharpie at Lehman Brothers. Is that good or bad?

The culture of merit has been a long time coming but it finally arrived with me. It is no accident of history that I saw Obama become the most powerful man in the world. Bush Jr. was perhaps the epitome of a world bowing to the ever so common marriage of privileged sperm and bad but stubborn DNA.

On the other hand, Obama symbolizes the return of merit to organized human effort. As for the continuing scourge of hunger, poverty, terrorism, corruption, war and worsening climate I had my fair share of all. But let me make a prediction.

A decade from now the golden age of a new flowering of civilization will be traced back to the return of the culture of merit in 2008. It will be the power of merit that will put away the despots in Africa and across the world. It will be merit empowered expertise that will finally get control of hunger, poverty and get humanity on the road to reining in global warming. And it will be merit-promoted understanding that will kill terrorism not at the hand of those who sought to wipe it out through military power but from within, by the very people who used to shelter it.

And it will be the culture of merit that will make corruption untenable. So while you look forward to relief with 2009 remember the pain that I gave you was the kind of pain that is a harbinger of great gain.

I see myself as a pursuer of the truth that within and without

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