…lass but merely an ever-changing, kaleidoscopic aggregate of talented and hard-working individuals. Meritocratic capitalism is threatened from within by a “new class” consisting of progressive intellectuals — professors, journalists, and nonprofit activists — who are said to be vastly more powerful than CEOs and investment bankers.
… class war, because all of them pretend that persisting social classes no longer exist in the West. Neoliberalism — the hegemonic ideology of the transatlantic elite — pretends that class has disappeared in societies that are purely meritocratic, with the exception of barriers to individual upward mobility that still exist because of racism, misogyny, and homophobia. Unable to acknowledge the existence of social class, much less to candidly discuss class conflicts, neoliberals can only attribute populism to bigotry or irrationality.
While people’s attraction to conspiracy theories might seem illogical, it stems from a very logical desire to make sense of the world. Assigning meaning to what happens has helped humans to thrive as a species, and conspiracy theories are internally cohesive stories that “help us to understand the unknown whenever things happen that are fearful or unexpected,” said Jan-Willem van Prooijen, a social psychologist at Vrije University in Amsterdam. For some believers, the sense of comfort and clarity such stories bring can override the question of their truth value.
…at indicates people feel worse after “passively consuming” information on it and platforms like it. Speaking for myself, scanning posts that celebrate just about anything—the birth of a child, a new job, a completed marathon—almost always, on a primal level, inflames some degree of envy.
…witter never asked how I felt about any of it, but it didn’t need to as long as I stayed logged in. Every day the site prompts me What’s happening? and I jump at the chance to be an objective witness to my own life. Today I am alive, I want to be, and I have over 20,000 pieces of evidence to prove it.