The Wrong Kind of Meritocracy

Recently at Chicago Boyz, The Costs of Formalism and Credentialism:

I’m reminded of an interchange that took place between Picasso and Monet as the German Army advanced through France in 1940. Monet was shocked to learn that the enemy had already reached Reims. “But what about our generals?” asked Monet. “What are they doing.”

Picasso’s response: “Well, there you have it, my friend. It’s the Ecole des Beaux-Arts”

…ie, formalists who had learned one set of rules and were not interested in considering deviations from same.

It was an astute remark, and it fits very well with the observations of Andre Beaufre, who before the invasion had been a young captain on the French General Staff. Although he had initially been thrilled to be placed among this elevated circle…

I saw very quickly that our seniors were primarily concerned with forms of drafting. Every memorandum had to be perfect, written in a concise, impersonal style, and conforming to a logical and faultless plan–but so abstract that it had to be read several times before one could find out what it was about…”I have the honour to inform you that I have decided…I envisage…I attach some importance to the fact that…” Actually no one decided more than the barest minimum, and what indeed was decided was pretty trivial.

The consequences of that approach became clear in May 1940.

It then goes on to discuss how many of our "elites" are credentialed, vice educated.

The SJW's we meet are a logical result of a highly meritocratic society: our school system. It is one where credentials - passing the right exams and classes to prove "knowledge", degrees, etc. - matters more than capability.

And so jobs like plumbing and fixing cars where results matter are denigrated in favor of getting a "real education" while failing to teach the same brats that reality does not conform to theory, or having to work with hard limits that are not simply and arbitrarily socially imposed.

Aside from the postmodern hate of beauty and fascination with ugliness that crops up more and more in CalArts inspired animation and other projects, even as the stories tear down virtue for a pointless chumps game, it is why SJW's often so badly and soullessly imitate rather than create as they "improve" She-Ra, DeathNote, and other stories and characters that they recycle. They have the credentials but they haven't done. They've had their "experiences" and trips abroad, but many haven't had to work hard just to get by, or discovered up close and personal the ocean or mother nature don't care about how you feel or how unfair it is, if you won't get off your ass and do, and be prepared.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the scout oath, motto, and law from when they were still the Boy Scouts are part and parcel of why the left hates the scouts so much. Be Prepared. A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

All of those are traits that leave you better able to deal with the knocks of life, with the competence and reserves and thus confidence to deal with whatever comes, and to develop the friendships and networks to do so as well.

Hell, that above meritocratic obsession for bureaucracy is part of why the Chinese, and to a lesser extent, the Japanese, have such a hard time with truly flexible thinking, in addition to their face-saving cultures. Think of how many centuries the Chinese had a bureaucratic, educated managerial class.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.