The morality play of democracy

We often use abstractions (models) as a normative leveling device, yet also we use them to inflate: we replace and conflate a singular achievement with other traits, in other realms.

ie. if you are rich, you must be smart; if you are smart, perhaps you are wise; therefore you should be in a role of power and authority.

We foist multiplicities of character upon these singular achievers, producing deferential hierarchies by claiming their difference as a worthy achievement. Contradictorily, in other arenas we diligently dispose of extra-normative behaviors.

ie. in sports we praise difference with dollars, yet in corporations or classrooms we squash dissent for conformity.

However, those lifted realize “the tall poppy is cut down” and enact a common-man buddy-status, eschewing the responsibility of authority while maintaining the benefits. Naturally, this commonality mask is an abstraction that falls away under tension to reveal the authentic hierarchy we play at ignoring.

All of that to say: we use abstractions (representative models we wish to be true, which are ridiculously ill-considered) to grant some people power, which they politely feign not to have, and we, in turn, pretend along so we can believe the morality play of democratic equality.

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