Battleground with Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir


The Tyranny of Merit with Michael Sandel

Season 1, Ep. 47

The American dream disappeared generations ago, but we still operate under the myth that ascending the socio-economic ladder is simply a matter of hard work. In reality, America has become a caste system, where those born into privilege will likely stay privileged, while those born into poverty get stuck at the bottom. What’s worse, according to political philosopher Michael Sandel, are the attitudes accompanying this system. Many of those at the top truly believe they’ve ‘earned’ their place, a type of ‘winners and losers’ messaging that gets carried into politics. And to no one's surprise, Republicans are making it work to their political advantage.

Professor Sandel joins Faiz on Battleground this week to discuss what he calls the “rhetoric of rising”; how dividing society into winners and losers cost Democrats the working-class vote; and what they can do to break the meritocratic spell that’s driving our country into the ground. Hint: electing more working-class people to office is a good start.

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