Category Archives: education

Why politicians want to lower the voting age further

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Mila

Dalrymple notes that

the widening and lengthening of education has gone hand in hand with a decline in the civility of discourse.

Adolescence

is the age neither of good taste nor of wisdom, which no doubt is why some politicians want to lower the voting age even further. After all, what many politicians most value in voters is gullibility.

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Thirst for entertainment is a symptom of boredom

‘For that sovereign people that once gave away military command, consulships, legions, and every thing, now bridles its desires, and limits its anxious longings to two things only—bread, and the games of the circus!’ (Satire X)

Dalrymple points out that modern education

lays emphasis on the relevance of what is taught to children’s present lives rather than, as it should be, on its irrelevance.

It is partly to blame for

the very large numbers of people who cannot lose themselves, and are left to the vagaries of entertainment provided for them under our current régime of bread and circuses.

Entertainment

is one of the greatest causes of boredom, inasmuch as everyday reality can rarely compete in raw sensation with entertainment. But since dealing with everyday reality remains a necessity for most people, it results in boredom because it is compared with entertainment. Only a deeper engagement with the world can avoid or overcome this problem.

Job vacancy

Dalrymple notes that the Social Pædagogy Director job ‘comes with a salary and a pension, probably much larger than those of the poor teacher who teaches the little dears how to read and write and sit down when they’re told’.

Importance of failure

Dalrymple on education

Deary catalog of modern pieties

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Dalrymple asks: ‘Celebrating’ uniqueness: how is it to be done? By getting the little geniuses to chant ‘I am unique, you are unique, we are all unique, everyone is unique!’ while holding hands and dancing round a tree as the teacher beats the rhythm on a tambourine?

The British Zeitgeist

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 08.56.56It is one, writes Dalrymple, of

sentimental moralising combined with the utmost cynicism, where the government’s pretended concern for the public welfare coexists with the most elementary dereliction. There is an absence of any kind of idealism that is a necessary precondition of probity, so that bad faith prevails almost everywhere.

The British State

sees itself as an engineer of souls, concerning itself with what people think, feel, and say—as well as with trying to change their freely chosen habits—rather than with performing its inescapable duty: that of preserving the peace and ensuring that citizens may go about their lawful business in confidence and safety. It is more concerned that young men should not smoke cigarettes in prison or make silly jokes to policemen than that they should not attack and permanently maim their elders and betters.

One definition of decadence, he writes, is

the concentration on the gratifyingly imaginary to the disregard of the disconcertingly real.

No one who knows Britain, says Dalrymple, could doubt that it has very serious problems.

  • Its public services—which consume a vast proportion of the national wealth—are not only inefficient but beyond amelioration by the expenditure of yet more money
  • Its population is abysmally educated, to the extent that that there is not even a well-educated élite
  • An often criminally minded population has been indoctrinated with shallow and gimcrack notions—for example, about social justice—that render it unfit to compete in an increasingly competitive world

Dalrymple warns that such

unpleasant realities cannot be indefinitely disguised.

The British got wise to the EU

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 08.44.55Educated people, writes Dalrymple,

are not ipso facto always wiser than the uneducated, but they are usually surer of themselves.

He points out that education

and wisdom, let alone foresight, are not the same thing.

He cites

  • the Russian intelligentsia, not notable for their political prudence
  • the German professoriate, not notable for its resistance to Nazi ideas
  • the educated leaders of the Khmers rouges, not notable for their humanity
  • highly educated persons in Britain, not notable for voting to leave the EU

Demise of the cultivated doctor

А. П. Чехов

А. П. Чехов

If no one, writes Dalrymple, is broadly educated or cultivated,

that is the end of broad education and cultivation itself. We will be reduced to a society of technocrats, each absorbed in his own narrow specialism.

It is not, he says, a society

to which I look forward. Apart from anything else, some among us will be specialists in the exercise of power, against whom the rest of us will be defenceless.

The joy of spite

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 15.37.08The outrage that greeted the Mossack Fonseca revelations partakes, writes Dalrymple,

more of joyous spite and hatred of the rich than of any real desire to improve the world, the latter being a much weaker emotion than the former. If the rich could be deprived of their wealth, even if no one else benefited thereby, I think many people would want it.

Even if the money hidden offshore were paid in taxation,

it does not follow that public services such as schools would improve proportionately. After all, it cannot be for lack of expenditure that a significant proportion of British children are semi-literate after 11 years of compulsory attendance at school. Every country has its bottomless pits.

As for Vladimir Putin’s illicit fortune,

anyone who supposes that, were the Russian state to recover it, the Russian people would benefit…well, they are not very well versed in Russian history.

A nasty, primitive ideology

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 08.07.19The Islamist cause is mad, stupid and evil

Dalrymple writes that young Western middle-class Muslim plotters, of whom there are many,

are fully at home neither in the culture of their parents nor in that of the host country.

Youth

is the time when one looks outward for unifying explanations of one’s dissatisfactions, and education is in part the means by which abstractions become more real than the phenomena before one’s eyes. An extremely nasty and primitive ideology, in which a distant but perfect future appears to its adherents more real than anything in the present, lies ready to hand. According to this ideology, insensate cruelty is a sign not of bad character or sadism, but of commitment.

Young educated Muslims

think they have plenty of supposedly objective grounds for their resentment against the host society.

In the West, Muslims

do significantly worse educationally and economically than any other group. A larger proportion of Muslims leave school with no qualifications than any other minority. While young Hindus have a youth unemployment rate below the national average, Muslims have a rate much above it. Young male Muslims are filling British prisons, while there are very few Hindus or Sikhs in prison. In these circumstances, the young educated Muslims form an élite that, with the misplaced and arrogant idealism of youth, feels a responsibility to enlighten, lead, or liberate their less fortunate brethren, of whom there are many.

Many young Muslims reject communal self-examination

in favour of conspiracy theories and the exaggeration of supposed grievance, for of course the only defect of Muslim society that believers permit themselves to admit is unjust powerlessness vis-à-vis the unbelievers.

One taboo subject is

the pivotal role of the suppression of women in reinforcing Muslim stagnation. But if you discourage half of your population from seeking education or a career, as occurs in some Muslim populations, it is hardly surprising in a modern economy that educational and economic levels are, in the aggregate, low.

Muslim journalists repeatedly write in Western newspapers that

Muslim anger must be understood and presumably assuaged or appeased: as if Descartes had written, ‘I’m angry, therefore I’m right.’ But rage is not its own justification, and the rage of young men is frequently misplaced. They project outwards what they feel inwards; and, if they have sufficient intellectual sophistication to do so, they give their petty discontents — and the discontents of the would-be bombers are petty — a vast significance. Education gives them the mental dexterity conceptually to transmute concrete evil into abstract good.

The result is often murderous

when un-self-critical and self-pitying anger meets ideology. The compass of the evil done by the uneducated angry is usually small by comparison with that done by the educated (or at least, the technically trained) angry. The worst the uneducated can manage is a mob and a riot. It takes education, or training, in close alliance with resentment, to put evil more extensively into practice.