Saturday, March 13, 2021

Meritocracy Versus Idiotocracy

This is not going to make your day. Take it as a warning, if nothing else. David Goldman sketched out, in stark terms, the difference between a meritocratic culture and an idiotocratic system. The latter refers to our very own culture. The former refers to our Chinese competitors.

For the record, Goldman uses the term idiocracy. I prefer idiotocracy.

By his interpretation, the problem is that we refuse to accept failure. We have banished the concept from our vocabulary and thus we provide everyone with a trophy, regardless. Goldman does not say so-- because he wanted to leave this one for me-- but refusing to accept failure means that we have no sense of shame. You might have noticed that bands of therapy culture dimwits have been militating against shame. They insist, in a wildly seductive message-- that you have done nothing wrong, that you have not failed and that no one has a right to judge you. In truth, you have been misunderstood. The result-- an idiotocracy.

Or better, as David Foster of the Chicago Boyz blog reminds us, we hand out credentials so promiscuously that they no longer mean anything.

So, for your edification, this is what our competitors across the Pacific are doing:

The key to China’s system is the willingness of its people to accept failure. The ticket to middle-class success in China is a university education, and 10 million Chinese high-school students take the entrance exam (Gaokao) every year. They study prodigiously, and the average Chinese family spends a year’s income on tutoring. They have to: the Gaokao is flabbergastingly difficult (see some sample questions here). But only half will pass. Some of each year’s losers re-take the exam; most will go to trade or technical schools. The top scorers go to prestigious universities like Peking or Tsinghua. The one thing Xi Jinping can’t do is to send his kid to Peking University. It’s all done by exam score.

Compare that to America:

We Americans are horrified by failure. We are horrified that only a third of African-American women marry today (compared to 90% in the 1960s), that barely a third of African-American men admitted to US universities graduate, that 73% of African-American children are born to unmarried mothers, and blacks comprise just 13% of the U.S. population but 34% of the male prison population. We are so horrified that we redefine failure, to the point of insisting that there are no right and wrong answers to math problems. If no-one succeeds, then no-one can fail.

We are not just horrified by the failures of black Americans. We do not consider them failures. Besides, we blame white people for all of it.

As for STEM graduates, China is advancing, while we are pulling back:

China graduates six times as many STEM students as we do. A third of undergrads major in engineering vs 5%-6% in the U.S. China’s educational system, to be sure, favors the grind who memorizes exam answers over the maverick who asks deep questions. As we turn our schools into ideological indoctrination centers, though, what kind of creative minds will survive them?

We can’t fill the few slots we have for engineering students because our K-through-12 math instruction is too shoddy, and we are eliminating advance-track programs because they supposedly promote inequality.

What does this mean? For one thing, it means, as Frank Fang reported, via Zero Hedge, that China would have no problem taking over Taiwan militarily. It’s not just that we will lose. We will barely have a chance.

A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be devastating to the U.S. military as a result of Beijing’s aggressive military development in recent years, according to a U.S. Air Force general.

The outcome was based on a classified Pentagon war game simulation carried out over the years, Air Force Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote said in a recent interview with Yahoo News. He said that U.S. forces were losing more quickly in recent simulations after taking into consideration the Chinese regime’s new military capabilities.

“After the 2018 war game, I distinctly remember one of our gurus of wargaming standing in front of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff, and telling them that we should never play this war game scenario [of a Chinese attack on Taiwan] again, because we know what is going to happen,” Hinote said.

“The definitive answer if the U.S. military doesn’t change course is that we’re going to lose fast. In that case, an American president would likely be presented with almost a fait accompli.”

"At that point the trend in our war games was not just that we were losing, but we were losing faster."

If you would like to console yourself consider this. Our vaunted military is currently standing down in order to fight the good fight against bigotry. Besides, as Tucker Carlson pointed out this week, it is now improving the conditions for female officers. It is redesigning uniforms to fit more properly on a female body. It is expanding its notion of the proper hairdo. And it is happily working to create new flight suits so that pregnant women can become combat pilots.

Naturally, as though to prove Carlson’s point, Pentagon brass threw a hissy fit over this. To their indoctrinated minds, the best way to improve combat readiness is to study critical race theory and to field an army of woman warriors.

Can an idiotocracy prevail over a meritocracy? I leave it to you to decide.


David Foster said...

But yet....many of the people who are loudest in their claimed support for 'equality' are themselves highly competitive in their own professional lives. See my post Jousting with a Phantom:

What they probably intend is generally that Equality would be established throughout levels that they perceive as below their, minimize the economic distance between the fast food worker and the owner of the fast food restaurant, but make darn sure that the Harvard Law graduate is far above both.

Sam L. said...

The word "progressive" always reminds me of "cancer", which killed my wife.