Amy Chua: Equality, Elitism, Ethics and the New American Elite

*In a June 13, 2019 article in the Financial Times (headquartered in London, England) journalist Edward Luce reported on Amy Chua’s “shrewd string-pulling” to get her daughter a position as a clerk for recently-appointed Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh. To quote Mr. Luce: “This week Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, Ms. Chua’s daughter, was hired as a Supreme Court clerk by Brett Kavanaugh — the judge for whom her mother vouched during his stormy Senate hearings last autumn. Ms. Chua is a shrewd string-puller. A Supreme Court clerkship sets up a young lawyer for life. Whether she is enjoying the publicity is another matter. Overnight the Chuas have turned into emblems of what Americans distrust about their meritocracy.”Was what Ms. Chua did a “quid quo pro?” And if so, how many quid quo pros are out there? The reality is that many myths and legends exceed their grandiose depictions.There are plenty of people for whom the American Way has worked quite well, and for obvious reasons, those stories get the most airplay and media attention.

Amy Chua is one of the new elites.  Amy Chua isn’t a white male Protestant of European descent, or the scion of the elite class in America, those who exercise their disproportionate influence by pulling their economic and political strings and guarding their power, passing it on to their progeny with alarming regularity. To go further, the elites aren’t pestered by market crashes and recessions. Where recessions and financial crises have a profound impact upon regular working class Americans, the elites see them as only speed bumps on their road to ascendancy.

If education has anything to do with success in America, consider this fact noted by Mr. Luce: “Children from the wealthiest 1 per cent take more Ivy League places than the bottom 60 per cent combined. Being born under a roof like Ms. Chua’s —with two high-achieving parents obsessed with your success — is almost impossible to match.”

Ms. Chua is rationalizing that the behavior attributed to the white male Protestants of Europeans descent as normal, and that anyone would do it. Congratulations, Ms. Chua, you’ve now, by your behavior, exonerated all of the white male Protestants of European descent, who can now dispense with their infamy and carry on with their lives as a now guiltless ruling class.

It’s nice to see America moving ahead.

Ms. Chua, you’ve now, by your behavior, exonerated all of the white male Protestants of European descent… It’s nice to see America moving ahead.”

Ms. Chua’s pulling strings have been instrumental in getting her fresh Harvard-graduated daughter a position that will boost the rest of her career into orbit better than a Saturn V. Chua is the same woman who writes that after 911, many people of the world didn’t feel sorry for the U.S., as it was a bastion of white males, exploiting the rest of the world, sitting back letting everyone else do the grunt work while they enjoyed the “good life.”

The U.S. has been seen as not the land of opportunity, but the land of a scheme of opportunity trying to get foreigners to go there so they could be exploited by the Protestant white males of European descent who had ran things for centuries. Minorities stood little chance to make it into the upper echelons in America, because the ranks were being filled with the progeny of the Protestant white males of European descent.  Ms. Chua is evidence of the backroom, underhanded deals made by the elites of American society, and it’s nice to see that you don’t have to be a Protestant white male of European descent to influence events so that they favor your brood anymore.

Chua, in her book “World on Fire” argued that ethnic conflicts as well as conflicts between elites who hold wealth and power reach back centuries, and that is certainly true in many countries around the world; it has just been less noticeable in the U.S. For better or worse, most of the dynasties of wealth and power in the U.S. are depleted within two generations. Have you seen any names such as Kennedy, Roosevelt, Harrison, or Adams on a ballot lately?

Except that apparently the predominance of the progeny of the Protestant white males of European descent  isn’t happening as much, since now the Asian females are pulling the strings and getting their progeny into the halls of power, where the elites rule and make the important decisions for the rest of the citizens.  Isn’t it good to know that the people being groomed for these positions worked hard and rose through the ranks, er, ah, excuse me, got there because they had wealthy parents that got them into an Ivy-League university, and because of family associations, not in every instance because of what they knew or how hard they worked.

Praise God for the American meritocracy, and for all of the egalitarians who believe that everyone has an equal chance, for all those who worked their way up, having to fight the “good old boy” network tooth and nail.

Chua has written several books about the American way of life, and the problems with exporting it. In fact, Chua’s “American way of life” is another myth. America doesn’t need to export elitism, we have plenty to go around. The elites praise the “American Way” and the supposedly inherent meritocracy, for whatever it is worth, all the while ignoring it. “American exceptionalism” (which, incidentally, was coined by none other than Joseph Stalin) is defined as a republic founded on egalitarian ideals, rather than common heritage, ethnicity, or ruling elite.

“American exceptionalism” is a great concept, but every concept, including our exceptionalism, and our believed meritocracy, has exclusions and omissions. Anyone can work their way up the ladder of success in America, and it seems, as soon as they do, they behave the same way the people whose behavior has been condemned as elitist, exclusionary and not in the best interests of our nation. Entry into the halls of power certainly requires some intelligence, but events such as Ms. Chua’s string pulling makes some of us wonder if we have the best and brightest representing our interests, or just a ruling class looking out for themselves and their offspring.

Jeffrey Neil Jackson

Jeffrey Neil Jackson is an
Educator & Literary Mercenary

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