Taught to be Stupid

Via The Spectator
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Note: This Article appeared in the Spectator in 2017, but is just as relevant today as it was then - enjoy

Getting to the point where you can’t imagine voting for Brexit or Trump takes years of hard, misguided study

Enough! Enough! For months, the so-called liberal elite has been writing articles, having radio and TV discussions, giving sermons (literally) and making speeches in which it has struggled to understand those strange creatures: ordinary people.

The elite is bemused by what drives these people to make perverse decisions about Brexit and Trump. Are they racist, narrow-minded or just stupid? Whatever the reason, ordinary people have frankly been a disappointment.

Time, ladies and gentlemen, please! Instead, let’s do the opposite. Let’s try to explain to ordinary people what drives the liberal elite. The elite persists with some very strange and disturbing views. Are its members brainwashed, snobbish or just so remote from real life that they do not understand how things work? What is the pathology of liberal eliteness?

Why would anyone support Hillary Clinton — a ruthless, charmless Washington insider with socialist tendencies? Why do lawyers, churchmen, the BBC and, indeed, most educated people support the EU — an organisation as saturated with smug self-righteousness as it is with corruption; one which created the euro, which in turn has caused millions of people to be unemployed; an organisation which combines a yawning democratic deficit with incompetence over immigration and economic growth?

The elite are supposed to be educated. So why are they so silly?

Ah! There is a clue. That word ‘educated’. What does ‘educated’ mean today? It doesn’t mean they know a lot about the world. It means they have been injected with the views and assumptions of their teachers. They have been taught by people who themselves have little experience of the real world. They have been indoctrinated with certain ideas. Here are some key ones.

They have been taught that capitalism is inherently bad. It is something to be controlled at every turn by an altruistic government or else reduced to a minimum. Meanwhile the pursuit of equality is good. These are truly astonishing things for educated people to believe when the past 100 years have been a brutal lesson instructing us that the opposite is the case.

What the elite have been led to believe is that governments make things better. ‘Market failure’ is taught; ‘public-sector failure’ is not. In my own area, they are taught that everything was awful in 19th-century Britain until governments came along to save the day with an ever-bigger welfare state. The importance of friendly societies, voluntary hospitals and so on is omitted. It is rubbish — left-wing propaganda. But misleading education of this and other kinds rubs off even on those who are not studying history or politics. It comes through in the Times, the Guardian or, in America, the Washington Post or New York Times. In Britain, BBC Radio 4 is the continuation of university propaganda by other means.

Meanwhile, from early on, environment-alism and recycling are taught as doctrine, rather than as subjects for discussion. My children had to report to their school whether they had arrived by public transport (good), bicycle (excellent) or car (evil). Children don’t escape the propaganda even when they study languages. My daughter studies French and has had to write essays on how marvellous recycling is. There is no analysis of counter-arguments. In fact, no data is offered on which a counter--argument could be based. This is not education. It is not teaching children to challenge ideas and think for themselves. This is anti-education: teaching them what they must think. It is as prescriptive as education in the Soviet Union. At least in the Soviet Union, many understood that they should not trust what they were being told. Here, because the propaganda is less obvious, students do not have their guard up.

Ordinary people have been subjected to the same kind of indoctrination as the elite. They have just had less of it. They were in the hands of the propagandists for a shorter time and have been in the real world for longer.

You may think, ‘Can’t they think for themselves?’ Unfortunately, formal education, while requiring thought, does tend to discourage too much independent thinking. Some rebels do hold on to an ability to think, but it’s noticeable that quite a lot of the most original minds, such as George Orwell and Pascal, never went to university. Full Article By James Bartholomew @ The Spectator