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The Brown Noser

All It Takes To Succeed In This Country Is Some Elbow Grease And A Few Centuries Of Systematic Advantage, By Preston Cavanaugh, Commodore Of The Barrington Yacht Club

Published Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Sit yourself down and let me tell you about the way things are. In this great country of ours all you need to do to be as successful as I am is some hard work and a couple hundred years of systematic advantage.

I’m not saying everyone can do it, certainly not! You’ve got to have drive! You’ve got to have backbone! And you’ve got to have been propped up for generations by policies and cultural attitudes that unduly benefit you over your peers.

I’ve made my way in this world, sure, but not without some serious roadblocks. My success comes from my sheer determination and the privilege I’ve enjoyed over my fellow men and women afforded me by my position as a straight, white male in a society in which that particular demographic profile is advantaged.

Was it easy? Yes. But did I ever, even for an instant, think of giving up? Certainly not!

Grit. Perseverance. Moxie. A culture that sees your race and gender as not only empirically but biologically more worthwhile. You keep these in mind, and you’ll make it. The economists can lecture all they want on job markets and career prospects, but if you put your mind, your money, and your socially constructed superiority towards it, you can get whatever you want. Those same economists were once just hard workers with a dream and a system that judges them not solely or even primarily on individual merit, but on a perceived cultural worth.

My great-grandfather worked hard to build this house with his bare hands, on lands he personally swindled out of the hands of Native Americans. He knew what it took to succeed in the great United States of America, and it’s a damn shame that the youth today don’t.

It’s not a free ride for anyone, and you can’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty, whether it’s toiling your day away in an entry-level position at an accounting firm, or using your father’s influence to grift your way into a seat on the board of directors.

Man up, and take advantage of all the benefits that furnishes.

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