WTF Happened in 1971? Or, the Failure of the Elites

Virtual Reading Group

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Something happened in 1971 that made the elites shift their focus to legitimacy over substance, interpretation over action, and control over creativity. Repeated recent failures -- the Iraq War, the Financial Crisis, Covid 19 -- have caused destabilizing fissures in the foundations of many elite institutions. Inadequately addressed social issues abound. In this workshop, we’ll explore this failure of the elites and how to consider the issue from multiple perspectives.

The What:

Main readings (Selections Noted in Syllabus):

The Tyranny of Merit by Michael Sandel

The Revolt of the Elites by Christopher Lasch

The Revolt of the Public by Martin Gurri

Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs

The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Supplementary (Helpful but Not Needed):

The Decadent Society by Ross Douthat

Last Best Hope: America in Crisis by George Packer

The Complacent Class by Tyler Cowen

Knowledge and Power by George Gilder

A Time to Build by Yuval Levin

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About 1517 Workshops

1517 Workshops are small, invite-only (you can request an invite here) Socratic-style roundtable conversations held a few times a year on a variety of topics. The goal of the workshops is to facilitate conversation and connection between participants who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to engage in depth on important topics. These workshops aim to the void left by universities in both liberal arts and the sciences.

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