Note: The Monday Taki post is up. Not related to the topic of the day, but a topic that is becoming more important every day. The Sunday podcast is up behind the green door and it is mostly about the struggles of Mumbly Joe and his crew.
Marilyn Mosby has been the State’s Attorney for Baltimore since 2015, despite the fact she has been under federal investigation for years. A federal grand jury indicted her last week on two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements on loan applications for two Florida vacation homes. Mosby applied for loans against her retirement account, exploiting a CARES Act provision for those hurt financially by the Covid-19 panic, despite never having been affected.
These may seem like petty charges, but as is often the case with public corruption investigations, this is the opening gambit in a broader investigation. Mosby’s husband has also been living under a dark cloud for years. He is the current President of the Baltimore City Council. The two of them owe the IRS over $45,000 in back taxes, despite making close to half a million a year from the city. Their lifestyle does not comport with what their financials indicate.
For her part, Mosby is promising to fight. She claims the charges are a plot by her political opponents and, of course, the invisible army of white supremacists that secretly control this racist society. The fact that Baltimore is 70% black and the political establishment in the city is 100% black does not matter. Mosby has been doing the rounds, claiming she is innocent and playing the race card. It is the usual theater of the absurd that has come to define city politics.
Public corruption is part of politics and it seems to be much more common in democratic politics. The salary for elected officials is low relative to the people who underwrite their political careers. Unlike all the other entertainment businesses, the stars of politics do not make the majority of the box office. It is the wealthy donors and lobbyists who benefit the most, so there is a natural resentment and a temptation to take a little more than what is allowed.
Compounding this arrangement is the fact that corruption is often permitted, if you are in the right part of the business. The Congressman who represents Mosby in Washington is allowed to trade on insider information, for example. He can take information known only to members of Congress, use it to front run the stock market. From the perspective of local politicians, this must seem terribly unfair, which only adds to the culture of corruption and the temptation to steal.
All that aside, Mosby is a good example of how the concept of a meritocracy does not hold up in a multicultural society. She is not in the job because of her sterling legal career or because she has done important things for the community. She was placed in the job because it looked good for her benefactors. In fact, this is the story of her life from grammar school to now. Mosby has been pushed along by the desire for salivation by members of the managerial elite.
Mosby was born and raised in Boston. Both of her parents were police officers and her grandfather was a policeman. He was one of the first black cops in the city, part of a program to boost the fortunes of black people in the city. She was sent to nice public schools as part of a program to boost the fortunes of black students. The METCO program is designed to get black students into college by placing them in predominantly white high schools outside the city.
Even though Boston has many colleges that love METCO students and New England is full of well-regarded liberal arts colleges, Mosby wound up at Tuskegee, a private historically black college in Alabama. Then by some miracle she wound up at Boston College Law. Despite graduating from one of the better law schools in the country, she could not find a paid position. Then by another miracle, she hooked on as Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore, a city with which she has no connections.
Mosby’s tenure as State’s Attorney for Baltimore, a position she has held since 2015, is charitably described as amusingly inept. During the Freddy Gray crisis, she often appeared disoriented at press conferences. She then declared jihad against the police department and over-charged the cops involved. The police department stopped arresting bad guys, crime shot up and the case against the cops collapsed. In time it may be seen as the peak of her political career.
The fact is Mosby should never have been put in this position. She is not qualified for the job and has no connection to the city. She was placed here because her sponsors thought she ticked certain boxes and she did not ask too many questions. Like Mortimer and Randolph from Trading Places, they thought they could make her a national political figure for reasons that had nothing to do with the public good. Merit had nothing to do with her getting placed in this position.
Defenders of this system will say that lots of white males benefit from connections and favors in their career. Private colleges, for example, give special consideration to legacy applicants, which is often affirmative for rich white people. Politics has always been a game of connections. You make the right friends who then help you along the way on the promise you will help them when the time comes. Mosby, some would argue, is just what is to be expected in a diverse democracy.
While true, it is not a defense of meritocracy or even diversity. In fact, it acknowledges that objective merit has no role in a liberal democracy. Instead, it is about the spring of democracy, which is morality. Those who champion the prevailing orthodoxy are rewarded while those who do not are excluded from the halls of power. Mosby was good for the new religion of diversity and inclusion, so she was handed the winning lottery ticket in the game of life.
In fairness, the ruling class of America does concede this. They are always going on about how success is the result of privilege. If you are born with the right characteristics, you get opportunities denied to others. The problem, of course, is this puts the lie to the foundation of managerialism. Rule by expert does not make any sense if the experts are just the product of random chance. If Mosby is the legal expert for the city, then what is the point of having rule by expert?
Mosby is just a minor figure in the provinces, but the entire political structure is built on this feeder system. Managerialism is supposed to select for and promote the very best, but instead it selects and promotes the most fashionable at the moment. Such a system cannot survive contact with reality for very long. When rule by expert becomes rule by bourgeoise social fashion, disaster is waiting to happen. It is why the future of managerialism is a city like Baltimore.
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