American meritocracy = myth:
Having the right name opens doors and gives access irrespective (and sometimes in spite of) merit and qualification. This is not exactly something new. It is classical social reproduction of class position and privileges. But, as I have mentioned before, the American society does not have a discourse of class except to reject the very notion in the name of a mythological meritocracy. Anyone who dares to bring up the issue is quickly accused of fomenting class warfare from the privileged (whoc have a clear interest in keeping the illusion of classlessness alive and kicking).
But as Chris Floyd demonstrates, lack of class analysis and awareness is something found on the liberal and progressive side of the spectrum as well, using an article from Walter Benn Michaels as support for his argument. Says WBM:
In other words, the switch from class analysis to identity politics as basis for progressive policy reveals something equally well-known: the New Left was never left at all. It was always the nice and cool side of neo-liberalism. Greater tolerance (and some legal rights) may give the illusion of greater social justice while discreetly (or not so discreetly) eating away at class conditions. It is a distraction from economic hegemony. Indeed, WBM uses the arrest of Henry Louis Gates as an example of how class analysis is absent in the accounts of the incident. Race is the almost exclusive focus of any narrative.
And in case one still does not think class matters, guess who is not really been hurt by the massive recession? The Transnational Capitalist Class and the representative of the Transnational State.
Actually, it has given them more vacation time.