Reference no: EM131398914
"Go all the way back to Sumerian civilization," Bill Clinton instructed a crow of global jet-setters at the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, "and you'll see that every successful civilization builds institutions that work, that lift people up and reward people for their greatness. Then, if you look at every one of those civilization, all those institutions that benefited people get long in the tooth. They get creaky. The people ruling them become more interested in holding on to power than the purpose they were designed for. That's where we are now in the public and private sector" (qtd. in Twilight of the Elites 9)
Chris Hayes, in The Twilight of the Elites, examines what he calls the "near total failure of each pillar institution of our [American] society" (1). The book came out four years ago, in 2012, and looks at events in what he calls the "fail decade," from 2000-2010 and just beyond.
Here is a list of some of the major failures ofvarious institutions and their "elite" leaders since 2000:
• Jerry Sandusky scandal involving Penn State revealed in 2011
• 2007-8 global financial crisis
You may not know about any of these failures, if you don't follow the news or if you are not from this country. But you can see the failure of government leaders; local, state and federal governments; corporations; banks and other financial institutions; churches, educational institutions; local police and other law enforcement entities-what Hayes calls "the elites."
You will write a paper in two parts.
Part One: Write a 2-page single-spaced paper in which you explain Hayes's basic argument about what he calls the "near total failure of each pillar institution of our [American] society." Base your paper on the first two chapters of the book. Choose the key terms and examples from that will help you unpack his argument effectively. Pay attention to what Hayes sees as failure as well as what he identifies as the causes of the failures he cites.
Part Two: Then choose one major failure to investigate using Hayes's ideas. You can pick a case to study from the list above or use the list to bring to mind something that matters to you. You can also look at Hayes's bibliography to see what else might interest you.
This is the research portion of the paper. You will need to do some intensive research so that you know not only what happened and who was responsible, but why this case represents a failure of a "pillar institution" in the U.S. What impact did (and does) this failure have, beyond its impact on individual people? Does this particular failure fit into the larger pattern that Hayes is describing? Or is something else at work? This part of the paper should be two single-spaced pages.