James Kunstler applauds a recent verdict against Oberlin College. From Kunstler at kunstler.com:
Campus Wokesters with boundary problems got “woke” for real on Thursday when an Ohio jury laid an additional $33-million for punitive damages on top of $11-million in compensatory damages already awarded against Oberlin College for running a “social justice” campaign to ruin the business of a four-generation small-town bakery that followed the shoplifting arrest of three black Oberlin College students there in 2016.
The precipitating incident happened the day after the presidential election when the Oberlin College campus suffered a collective emotional breakdown over the election results. Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart, on the Oberlin town square, also sells wine and deli products and has been a fixture in downtown Oberlin for generations. The three students first tried to buy wine with fake ID and, failing to do that, attempted to walk out with two bottles. They were followed outside by one of the Bakery family members, Allyn Gibson. A fight ensued. Police arrested the kids. The college’s attempt to steer the case out of the court system failed. The three students eventually pleaded guilty in August 2017 to theft and aggravated trespassing, and were required by their plea agreements to declare that they had behaved wrongfully and that the bakery was not a racist establishment.
In the event, Oberlin College Dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, had organized students, faculty, and staff to mount days of demonstrations outside Gibson’s Bakery, accusing it of racism and systematic profiling of black students. At times, Ms. Raimondo appeared to lead the demonstration with a bullhorn, and handed out leaflets labeling Gibson’s as “racist.” The college also dropped its business arrangement with Gibson’s, which had supplied the college with donuts and bagels for decades. Gibson’s then sued both Oberlin College, and Ms. Raimondo in particular, for libel and for attempting to ruin its business.
Dumbing down top notch schools will penalize the brilliant and ultimately harm its intended beneficiaries. From Fred Reed at theburningplatform.com:
It is Time to Stop Celebrating Inadequacy
China has an upcoming maglev train that will run at 373 miles an hour. By comparison, the United States increasingly looks like a country from an earlier age. Pop Quiz: Was this train engineered (a) by heartwarming, puzzled, oppressed, suffering, agonized minorities who ought to be making pizzas, or (b) by the brightest people China could find regardless sex, color, or “adversity quotient”? (If you choose (a) you are probably a Democrat.)
Diversity over Quality
Perhaps it is time to recognize the stupid as an ethnic group. They are the country’s largest voting bloc. They are hugely influential, having agendas, lobbies, and demands. They work tirelessly to put the cognitively undetectable into positions of power. Usually they succeed. They are the enemies of reason, the sciences, mathematics, schooling, high culture, thought, and recognizable grammar.
For example, New York debates eliminating the entrance test for the city’s elite high schools–e.g., Bronx High School of Science, Stuyvesant, and Brooklyn Tech. Mayor De Blasio, presumably preferring reelection to sanity, backs the idea. He knows the stupid can’t solve a quadratic, but they can pull a voting handle, at least with preparatory training.
Beware politicians bearing plans. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:
The run-up to the presidential primaries offers a funhouse reflection of American life. Presidential hopefuls, hacks, and has-beens turn to focus groups to discover what they think the American electorate wants. Then they distill it down to hollow bumper stickers. After that, they pump their fists and reflect it back with mindless repetition.
Change We Can Believe In. Feel the Bern. Make America Great Again. Sí Se Puede. Fighting for Us. Compassionate Conservatism. A Stronger America. Ross for Boss. Morning in America. Not Just Peanuts. Nixon’s the One. Dean Scream. And much, much, more…
The mantras are both idiotic and comical. They provide political lemmings with something to believe in. They also provide incisive observers with a unique prism into the menaces of tomorrow.
For example, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s slogan is: “Warren Has a Plan for That.” An official t-shirt, adorned with this slogan, will set you back just $30 bucks. And you can pick up a slogan emblazoned tote bag for $35. What a bargain!
To any onlooker with their wits about them this mantra is utterly absurd. But to Warren, it’s as serious as a heart attack. She does, indeed, have a plan for everything – even if it means instant death. In fact, her official website includes the following sales copy:
“Child care unaffordable? Big corporations and billionaires not paying their fair share? Want more economic and political power in the hands of the people? Don’t worry, Warren has a plan for that.”
Are Americans getting stupider? Judging by the things many of them have put up with without protest, you might think so. From Donald Jeffries at donaldjeffries.wordpress.com:
I’m taking the gloves completely off here. I’ve inferred that Americans collectively are pretty gullible and naive. I’ve invoked comparisons to Mike Judge’s movie Idiocracy. But it’s time to simply tell it like it is: the majority of present-day Americans are stupid beyond belief.
This doesn’t include all the increasing number of “awake” people out there, but it certainly does include the newly coined “woke” folk, who seem to be sleeping more soundly than the average American dupe. Ironically, a lot of these “woke” Americans are “mad as hell” but their anger is focused exclusively on Donald Trump. They figure if they can just get him to go away, things will be back to normal. “Normal” being the kind of nonstop corruption I wrote about in Hidden History.
My bleak assessment has some scientific evidence to back it up. Even mainstream sources report that IQ scores all over the world have been dropping for decades. Some estimates put the IQ drop at about 7 points for each subsequent generation born after 1975. These studies were centered in Norway, or other parts of the western world. My guess is that the average American IQ, if anything, has decreased more sharply than that.
There are plenty of factors here. The increased consumption of processed foods, poisonous preservatives, GMO products, and the constant stress everyone is subjected to by the modern world have all contributed. Insipid and offensive films and television shows, dishonest state-run media, and wrong-headed public school systems were even more crucial in dumbing down the populace. Nonstop propaganda- really brainwashing- has turned many Americans into unthinking, unquestioning sheep who lack both empathy and a moral compass.
Maybe China does some things better than the US. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
I’ve been making arguments for months that Donald Trump’s trade war with China is the height of stupidity. While Trump has the power to do what he’s been doing — sanctioning actors and applying tariffs — some power is best left not used.
The simple fact is that America is uncompetitive. This is at a deep and structural level. It’s at an education level. And this is something Trump’s trade team and his adherents refuse to admit.
When it comes to manufacturing and assembly, U.S. workers are not worth the money they are paid. Period.
Don’t take my word for it. Take Tim Cook’s. In an eye-opening interview from the end of 2017 Cook explains the basic problem with the U.S.
And China has an abundance of skilled labor unseen elsewhere, says Cook:
“The products we do require really advanced tooling, and the precision that you have to have, the tooling and working with the materials that we do are state of the art. And the tooling skill is very deep here. In the US you could have a meeting of tooling engineers and I’m not sure we could fill the room. In China you could fill multiple football fields.”
Cook credits China’s vast supply of highly skilled vocational talent:
“The vocational expertise is very very deep here, and I give the education system a lot of credit for continuing to push on that even when others were de-emphasizing vocational. Now I think many countries in the world have woke up and said this is a key thing and we’ve got to correct that. China called that right from the beginning.”
Is this Tim Cook talking or Mike Rowe?
Public schooling is turning children into docile, compliant drones. From Gary D. Barnett at fff.org:
There can be no greater stretch of arbitrary power than to seize children from their parents, teach them whatever the authorities decree they shall be taught, and expropriate from the parents the funds to pay for the procedure.
— Isabel Paterson
Compulsory schooling is a travesty. To call it education is absurd. Real education is lifelong learning as an individual, while compulsory public schooling is the indoctrination of children as a collective exercise to bring all down to the lowest level. Prisons called schools are simply the forced means to stifle individual brilliance while promoting sameness and monotony. The result of this brainwashing is meant to teach children to obey orders, and to be satisfied spending their lives in a virtual cage of ignorance, to never become entrepreneurs and dissenters.
With the recent death of the great John Taylor Gatto, the loss of a giant is evident. He was not only a pioneer in real education, but he discovered the true nature and genius that exists in so many children. The controllers who use the government school system as a way to dumb down the masses fully understand this potential genius. They are very fearful of it. So fearful in fact, that more than 100 years ago, they designed a mandatory school system as a way to control the common people. By training them to be good citizens and members of a collective society instead of individuals, the few could continue to control the many.
The experiment called compulsory schooling, now referred to as “public education,” began in Massachusetts in 1852, and became widespread just after the turn of the twentieth century. By 1910 the majority of children were in public schools. Since that time “education” as administered by the state has been a horrible failure, if learning was the desired end. But learning and knowledge were never the goals of forced schooling; training the young to honor authority, discipline, and nationalism were the true goals sought. In that regard, public schooling has been completely successful. These institutions became the vehicle used to teach children to be managed instead of managing themselves. They have produced a soft society consumed by doubt and incompetence, and one that can function only as a mass.
The money sentence, from the first paragraph: “Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives.” From Butler Shaffer at lewrockwell.com:
This rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however
important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually
losing the faculties of thinking, feeling and acting for
themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of
– Alexis de Tocqueville
It is not a coincidence that the collapse of Western Civilization is being accompanied by a rampant mindlessness and reptilian reaction to events so contrary to the means by which this culture was created. Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives. Creative acts do not simply happen, but require energized minds capable of focusing on subject matters often over extended periods of time. The beautiful ancient cathedrals found in Europe – as with the continuing construction of Antoni Gaudi’s Basilica i Temple de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, begun in 1882 – are examples of creative undertakings whose completions extend far beyond the lives of both the designers and the workers who participated in bringing them into existence. For creative minds, time preferences matter: the pursuit of a truth may extend not only over one’s life-time, but beyond. Such is the state of mind of those scientists who accept, as part of the learning process, that a theory might, after lengthy research, be disproven.
Whether Western Civilization can be considered extinct, in a terminal state, or simply on a downhill course, is subject to differing interpretations. Suffice it to say that our culture is beset by rigor mortis, including its organizational systems; its creative vibrancy is gone; it no longer produces the values necessary for its survival; nor does it continue to meet the expectations of those who have embraced its qualities or purposes in benefitting human beings. Clarity in thought or vision that drives men and women to discover or create ways in which human well-being can be advanced, is being sacrificed to political or ideological ends. The Animal Farm mantra “four legs good, two legs bad,” has been transformed into divisive slogans such as “black lives matter,” and an insistence upon a multitude of subdivided gender identities.