Long Live the Talented

Last week David Brooks wrote a brilliant op-ed piece published in The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, titled "The Dictatorship of Talent," describing the social-educational-political system that has evolved in China today.  It starts like this:

Let’s say you were born in China.  You’re an only child.  You have two parents and four grandparents doting on you.  Sometimes they even call you a spoiled little emperor. They instill in you the legacy of Confucianism, especially the
values of hierarchy and hard work. They send you off to school. You
learn that it takes phenomenal feats of memorization to learn the
Chinese characters. You become shaped by China’s intense human capital
policies.  You quickly understand what a visitor understands after dozens of
conversations: that today’s China is a society obsessed with talent,
and that the Chinese ruling elite recruits talent the way the NBA does
– rigorously, ruthless, in a completely elitist manner.

Please read the entire article.  It’s well worth your time.