Elitism in Rugby

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kend
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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by kend » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:41 am

Surely the point about ‘elitism’ is that it doesn’t reward talent. 'Elitism' isn’t the system, it is actually a negative externality of a system that enables the sustainability of power structures through wealth, influence and position. I might be talented enough (which could also be considered lucky enough to have inherited the right genes and be born in the right place at the right time) to be rich and powerful. But is it morally right that I can buy access for my family to maximise the likelihood of them receiving the same benefits? Because, make no mistake, that is exactly what the public school system sells.

The ethical question is about social justice.

John Rawls suggested any system that considers itself to be just should be ‘endowment insensitive but ambition sensitive’. It isn’t about equal outcomes, it is about equality of opportunity. There is nothing wrong with reward for talent and hard work (with some caveats about the social contract between the well resourced and the less fortunate).

Applying this to Genge’s point about rugby: does a kid at a state school in a poor area of Bristol with the same potential as a kid at Millfield have the same chance of progress? The rational answer, I think, is no. This makes for a dysfunctional system.

This might be of interest to posters on this thread (I think you have to register for the full article, but it is free). This article from the Economist (hardly a hotbed of political liberalism) from last year makes the same points about political leadership. https://www.economist.com/britain/2018/ ... hat-failed

h's dad
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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by h's dad » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:50 pm

kend wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:41 am
Surely the point about ‘elitism’ is that it doesn’t reward talent. 'Elitism' isn’t the system, it is actually a negative externality of a system that enables the sustainability of power structures through wealth, influence and position. I might be talented enough (which could also be considered lucky enough to have inherited the right genes and be born in the right place at the right time) to be rich and powerful. But is it morally right that I can buy access for my family to maximise the likelihood of them receiving the same benefits? Because, make no mistake, that is exactly what the public school system sells.

The ethical question is about social justice.

John Rawls suggested any system that considers itself to be just should be ‘endowment insensitive but ambition sensitive’. It isn’t about equal outcomes, it is about equality of opportunity. There is nothing wrong with reward for talent and hard work (with some caveats about the social contract between the well resourced and the less fortunate).

Applying this to Genge’s point about rugby: does a kid at a state school in a poor area of Bristol with the same potential as a kid at Millfield have the same chance of progress? The rational answer, I think, is no. This makes for a dysfunctional system.

This might be of interest to posters on this thread (I think you have to register for the full article, but it is free). This article from the Economist (hardly a hotbed of political liberalism) from last year makes the same points about political leadership. https://www.economist.com/britain/2018/ ... hat-failed
I don't think it's true to say that elitism doesn't reward talent. If it doesn't, whatever system is using it doesn't last. If anything, the complete opposite of elitism, 'buggin's turn, is the approach that doesn't reward talent.

If, as per your example, you're talented and successful enough to be able to decide to give your family opportunities that they have not earned per se I think it is your right to make that choice and do so. The beneficiary of your largess may be entirely undeserving but it is not their choice or decision. To say otherwise is akin to saying that a lottery winner has no right to decide how to spend their winnings.

With regard to your attachment, I've only read the taster and although I agree that we have a terrible crop in power I not sure they are the perpetual elite, particularly as the influence of the Clarendon schools is weaker than it has been for generations. Hopefully they are a one off bunch of chumps.

If anybody has read this far there is an illuminating piece on Kyle Sinckler in Rugby World with detail that should be of interest to all and could provide inspiration to some.
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