2013 November 23 Saturday
Idiocy, Bad Government, Deluded Reform Movements

America is a problem that can not be solved. Parts of Europe are looking that way too. Theodore Dalrymple watches the Paris and London police ignore real crime while they enforce laws of little consequence against the well behaved.

The contrast between the authoritiesí alacrity on one hand in preventing innocent filming for a matter of a few minutes (the policeman said authorization was necessary because it might cause a disturbance, and, being kind, I refrained from laughing), and on the other their slow response to a nasty incident that might have ended in murder, was emblematic of the modern stateís capacity to get everything exactly the wrong way around, to ascribe importance to trivia and to ignore the important. There are, of course, many more employment opportunities in trivia, since there is much more that is trivial in the world than is important.

Also recommended: Fred Reed's Notes on the Pussification of America. Will this end at some point?

Also, Education Realist has an interesting essay about the 3 major mainstream positions of school reformers who battle each other. She ends on a very optimistic note.

Finally, this: eventually, all three reform positions will realize that they canít have what they want, that our schools arenít failing, that their expectations are ludicrous.

I do not share her optimism. My own version of an optimistic outcome: very sophisticated software will take over more teaching work and this will enable smarter people to get their kids educated at home regardless of what deluded reform movements the tabula rasa believers continue to spawn. Basically, do not expect the quality of governance to improve in America. The most important question: how to escape from the consequences of America's decay?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 November 23 09:31 AM 


Comments
Education Realist said at November 23, 2013 5:29 PM:

I don't feel like an optimist! I tweeted your essay but am not sure of your twitter id.

I don't know if what I predict will come true, but I sense that as the more likely option. I don't think Americans will allow the elites to delude themselves. But I've been wrong before.

Randall Parker said at November 23, 2013 8:02 PM:

Hi there teacher,

The amount of delusion peddled by the elites seems like it has gone up in my lifetime and so far shows no signs of abating. It is like the nation is in a very long run bull market in b.s. and the central bank of b.s. is expanding the b.s. supply.

Do you see any positive signs that the deluded are becoming less deluded? The Common Core seems like another doubling down on delusion.

Nick said at November 23, 2013 10:34 PM:

The late Dr. Sam Francis described this phenomenon as "anarcho-tyranny" http://www.vdare.com/articles/mass-immigration-feckless-feds-anarcho-tyranny

In practical terms, governments have gotten to the point where they've allowed unfettered, criminal immigration to continue for so long, that it would be a daunting task to actually enforce the law against the millions of criminals in our midst.

Education Realist said at November 24, 2013 12:02 AM:

Reform people will privately acknowledge that cognitive ability matters, although they will generally make headfakes towards poverty.

But I'm thinking more of the American intolerance for the lie. I don't know how long the elites are going to be able to win compliance as they spend billions for a non-achievable goal.

destructure said at November 24, 2013 10:17 AM:

Theodore Dalrymple watches the Paris and London police ignore real crime while they enforce laws of little consequence against the well behaved.

Dalrymple observation is easily understood when one acknowledges that police enforce the laws according to which 'crimes' their supervisors consider important and not according to which crimes are the most serious. If the police recieve real world consequences for being sloppy when it comes to preventing filming but no consequences when it comes to violent attacks which do yu think they're going to be more aggressive in pursuing?

Finally, this: eventually, all three reform positions will realize that they canít have what they want, that our schools arenít failing, that their expectations are ludicrous.

Once again, it's about consequences. If the 'feedback loop' is broken then there's no incentive for reformers to change. They'll continue to act in their own interests regardless of reality. Fortunately, we know that when the feedback loop is broken a process eventually ceases to function. I'm looking forward to watching the show.

Black Death said at November 25, 2013 8:50 AM:

The founder of the website Holland demission.fr (demission means resignation) was arrested and held for 16 hourst by French police for the heinous crime of "insulting the president." Sounds like a banana republic.

Randall Parker said at November 25, 2013 8:36 PM:

Hi teacher,

Have you read Coming Apart and American Exceptionalism by Charles Murray? They reinforce my belief that some of the virtues of the people which previously kept the elites in check are dying. We can't count on American intolerance for the lie.

Billions wasted on unachievable goals? The politicians will lie because they can get reelected by lying. I think the electorate is changing in ways that make it less likely to hold government accountable. More ethnic loyalty voting. More voting for glamour and fantasy. More voting for self interest.


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