There’s a very basic disagreement between progressives and those who judge by success and status, and endorse the status quo.
For those status people, individuals who have succeeded, be it in business or politics or sports or whatever, are by definition the good. They are the pillars of the community. They are on top because of innate superiority, hard work, warmth of heart or praiseworthy behavior. Winners can do no wrong. They should be looked up to and celebrated by lesser humans.
When one of these people ends up in jail, the “flock” is always stunned. It goes against their most basic understanding of how the world works. On the other hand, progressives are always suspicious of people on the top. They suspect that the causes of wealth are a combination of ruthlessness and good luck. Of course intelligence, hard work, creativity and good will may be involved, at least at first, but nobody gets rich just through hard work.
It is impossible to amass large amounts of money without extracting it from other people– or from the Earth. Some kind of exploitation is necessary. Progressives are never surprised when a CEO goes to jail. But they can still be shocked: to hear eulogies like those at Ken Delay’s funeral, praising the exploiter as Godly, generous, upright– a saint and martyr of Success.
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