Sunday, October 18, 2009

The tyranny of the ignorant

Behind Blue Eyes has written a superb post about the problems in this country—and he maintains that the biggest problem is that people are, in general, disinterested, ill-educated, ignorant fuckwits.
Many dystopian novels have, as part of their premise, a tyrannical government that hides from public view information and opinions that could embarrass the authorities. In Fahrenheit 451 an elite squad of “firemen” go around burning down any house down which is discovered to contain books. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the newspaper archives are altered retrospectively to ensure the state’s narrative is maintained. Some say that in the information age such restrictions could never be enforced.

In reality, the government does not need to go to any effort to hide the truth or subversive texts. All it has to do it ensure that sufficient numbers of people are not interested in the world around them. Make sure enough people get a shit education so that they grow up lacking curiosity in the way things work, make sure enough people are comfortable with their mundane existences, make sure that mass entertainment is sufficiently banal to stop people from opening their eyes and engaging their brains. As long as the number of people who can be bothered to keep themselves informed and are experienced enough to be able to form their own opinion is kept small enough, who cares what those people think?

If you want “power” in this country, you don’t need to have the best thought-out policies, you don’t need to be the brightest mind. This is socialism’s legacy: a nation so ill-educated that many haven’t even heard of the classics, where vast swathes of society don’t have to engage their brain to feed and clothe themselves, where generations of parents don’t feel the need to encourage their children to explore the world. This country is no longer run by a patrician elite, but by a cynical class of populist authoritarians who pander to every ignorant desire of the largest minority. Britain is a tyranny of the ignorant.

Do go and read the whole post, because it is pretty much spot on—it chimes, of course, with my oft-expressed contention that education is the most important way of progressing. However, Blue Eyes makes the wider point that people just don't want to educate themselves at all.

Naturally, your humble Devil would lay some of the blame for this at the feet of the Welfare State and of various governments. After all, if the Welfare State is going to molly-coddle you, and protect you from the consequences of your actions, why bother learning about how other people fared?

And when the government keeps protesting (in the face of all of the evidence) that today's kids are better educated, cleverer than ever before, surely those kids are going to assume that they have nothing more to learn.

Some, of course, would say that affluence has a lot to do with it—a theory that Blue Eyes also advances.
Authoritarian government is much easier when the populace is materially rich, I opined. Hardly an original comment, but one that I felt had been ignored in the libertarian blogosphere’s discussion of New Labour’s legacy.

But it is really an attitudinal thing: only an arrogant idiot would think that they have nothing to learn from the writings of others—no matter how rich said idiot was.

Partly to blame is an educational system that has left 50.4% of the country with low literacy levels—something that cannot help in the pursuit of knowledge. But also to blame are anti-aspiration fuckwits like Polly Toynbee—does anyone remember this?
However, [Polly] attacked Murray’s argument and said that to tell children that they could achieve greatness was to fill their heads with fairy tale nonsense.

There's your problem, right there. People like Toynbee—the type with which the education system is stuffed to the gills—don't believe that people should learn for themselves. After all, not only might people get ideas above their station, but they might also start asking themselves why they need all of these stupid, over-qualified teachers. And that would never do.

So, we will continue to be ruled by the stupid, and the ignorant, and the Left. People who know nothing and who even lack the equipment to work things out for themselves.

Fucking hellski.

23 comments:

The Paragnostic said...

What the Righteous have done, DK, is not to make it illegal to discriminate against women who make the lifestyle choice to have kids, but to extend the madness of extended maternity leave to fathers too - though few of us would countenance taking a year off for a kid when we could be earning money and supporting the little woman at home.

Not many of us would do that (apart from Labour supporting scroungers) though, so the prevailing opinion will forever be against appointing women to positions of influence and high pay, for fear that they will take advantage of the stupidity of our Righteous masters (or mistresses, which is worse).

Excellent and well written post as always DK - you should be pullling 100K a year out of a newspaper as an overpaid columnist rather than blogging for free.

Anonymous said...

"people are, in general, disinterested, ill-educated, ignorant fuckwits."

Oh dear. And Eton-educated too. I recognise that the literate have lost the uninterested/disinterested battle now. But I didn't expect you to join the enemy.

If you start spelling "lose" as "loose" the war is lost.

AndrewSouthLondon said...

I once submitted a ten page report to a new boss. He returned it 24 hours later, without a single comment on any of the ideas or proposals I put forward, but with hadful of spelling corrections.

Is that the sign of a good education - spelling? Is spelling what made Britain Great?

Appealing though the idea of an authoritarian government "conspiracy" to dumb us down, my own experience of government is that it couldn't run a bath, let alone run a country. And it couldn't oppress us for tuppence. It would have lost the database on day two, the Department lead on dumbing down would be on maternity leave, covered by an IP2 on temporary secondment from the Min of Ag and Fish.

Alan Douglas said...

The Romans covered this with "Bread and Circuses" :

wiki : … Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses. - Juvenal

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

"Disinterested" has a precise and very important meaning, particularly in the context of politics or the law. You mean "uninterested".

Anonymous said...

"Is that the sign of a good education - spelling? Is spelling what made Britain Great? "

Bad spelling is an indicator of poor education. If someone can't be bothered to spell something right, can they be bothered to say anything more important?

Mr Ecks said...

The key is the "material prosperity" enjoyed by the masses in this country. When that goes, as it now is doing, there will be trouble.

Martin said...

"So, we will continue to be ruled by the stupid, and the ignorant, and the Left. People who know nothing and who even lack the equipment to work things out for themselves."

What's the alternative? Dictatorships of the self-proclaimed knowledgable and enlightened don't have such great track records.

Prodicus said...

The comments here so far measure how low we have sunk. Even the people with brains (although maybe that's a rash assumption) have given up.

You are one of a dwindling minority, DK. Keep up the screaming, because you are right.

A handful of candles in the encroaching darkness (which savagery needs to flourish) are better than no light at all.

ENGLISHMAN said...

The ordinary people are afraid to think,for thinking must lead to conclusion ,and thence to action albeit stymied by undemocratic "laws",and cowardice lies in the herd mentality which absolves them of any duties or blame for not upholding this countries social structure,democracy and liberty,unfortunately they drag those who do prize these things into the same slavery that they long to inhabit,a world without responsibilities just immediate self-gratification.

Ryan said...

Very similar arguments are used by people on the radical left who do not view our corporatist government as socialist at all. Despite the fact that their less foaming at the mouth brethren have been running educational policy and popular culture for decades.

Quite a few of them home school too; which, as I'm sure you have noticed is producing some interesting if almost certainly futile alliances.

Tomrat said...

I have long said that the first thing any libertarian government must do upon coming to power is destroy the entire educational edifice that has ossified around the actual act of learning.

This post illustrates the reasons, I would add this from experience; the concept of no curriculum and choice terrifies the left leaning educators exceedingly.

I have a friend who up till recently I was unaware of his rabid dyed-in-the wool socialist leanings and told him my ideas for education under the libertarian ideal- the thought horrified him: "how would we maintain control? How could we maintain need? How would we maintain the structure?"

if we don't wrest the education system from the state I envisage not the situationpresented in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but that in Anthem; anti-intellectualism destroying as much technological progress as it can.

James Higham said...

The Blair Babe sums up everything wrong in our education system and our society today.

John East said...

I gave up my blog two years ago for the very reasons you highlighted in this post.

It's far better for one's personal sanity to recognise that one is outnumbered perhaps one thousand to one by fuckwits and arseholes, and to accept that the left has more or less triumphed. Instead of banging one's heads against an impenetrable wall, and feeling impotent and angry most of the time as things continue to get worse and worse, I recommend expending more constructive efforts on preparing for the future, a far more positive and enlightening exercise. Pay down your debts, decide what you think the future likely holds, and plan your life and investments accordingly.


The final victory of the left will not be what they expect. Their success must culminate in financial and societal collapse in the West, and as nature abhors a vacuum, other societies must evolve to fill the void. Whether we will see China as the dominant world power and an Islamic Eu superstate at home, or armageddon, or a thousand other possibilities in between, no one knows, but you as an individual will have no influence on what results, so why beat yourself up over it?

In summary, set your own house in order, don’t worry about that which you can do nothing about, and go down the pub and enjoy yourself.

Elby the Beserk said...

"people are, in general, disinterested, ill-educated, ignorant fuckwits."

Well, ain't that the truth? TV for example is "real life" for many people, and more important than anything else. An education system which is a total fucking disaster, and not longer even to produce "useful" economic units any more, so degraded has it become.

The MSM is a pile of shite, with the tabloids compounding the idiot box with the cult of Z-list celebrities.

We are, to this 58 year old's mind, completely fucked.

UK FUBAR

Apuleia said...

@James Higham:
I know you are not thinking of Caroline Flint. At all.

Blue Eyes said...

Cheers for the link (again)!

thefrollickingmole said...

Ive had this arguement with my dad a few times, he believes it suits the government AND corporations to have ignorant consumers/voters, who will accept any old muck being dished out.

Ive been arguing surely its better to have informed consumers, because then your countries products are "tested" by your own populace.

Ive given up on "society" and am now running an entirely legal, but moraly indefensible bussiness of my own. Im doing it to make as much money as I can to insulate myself from the shitstorm Australia will become (Id say were about 10-15 years behind you poor bastards).

Im also becoming convinced my dads arguement is correct, most of my customers are poorly educated, yet recieving large sums of cash from the government. The worst thing is, the family groups Im seeing are generally becoming worse/less educated/more squalid.

If you want to see some parallels with what DK has posted grab a little look at this post.
http://tizona.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/australian-poverty-or-what-ive-seen-of-it/

Blue Eyes said...

Sorry DK but I've moved my blog, so if you fancy sending any more readers my way it's

http://behindblueeyes.co.uk/2009/10/16/a-tyranny-of-the-ignorant/

Roger Thornhill said...

"People like Toynbee—the type with which the education system is stuffed to the gills—don't believe that people should learn for themselves."

may I suggest a small correction to the above - it should read:

"don't believe that The People should learn for themselves."

remembering that Champagne Socialiasts do not believe that such things apply to them.

I do not think that The Govt is behind it, more part of the intended and unintended consequences of our Fabian infestation.

FrankFisher said...

Well it's completely down to the welfare state - why work, why study, if they state will buy your pizzas anyway? There are no surprises here. Scale that up to national elections; people vote, when they vote, for whoever most convinces them they will continue the easy life. Democracy itself is at fault. Democracy is the problem. People will not vote for hardship. Oh *some* will, but not enough. It isn't going to happen.

You want a sign of how screwed this country is? How many times a week, on averages, do you have to slow your car, or swerve, to avoid somone who has stepped into the road without looking? Often with their back to traffic, or somply walking down the middle of the road? Unless they'r epicking on me, I'm guessing it happens to a lot of us, a lot of the time. Did it happen twenty years ago? Fifty? I submit it did not.

We have bred generations of untermensch who will never be capable of anything other than parasitism. We have killed our country. Cheers socialism.

Ginro said...

Bad spelling is not in and of itself a sign of a poor education, or that the writer is stupid.

A friend of mine is dyslexic, and naturally her spelling skills are atrocious.

Another example. My father was a scientist, who worked alongside Barnes Wallis, and was heavily involved in the British space programme of the 50s (before the Govt sold them out and gave everything to the Americans), amongst many other things. But he was an appallingly bad speller. Ill-educated though? Not a chance. Some people are just like that, more concerned with their thoughts and getting them down on paper than worrying about whether their i's are dotted in the correct place etc.

Danny said...

"... the biggest problem is that people are, in general, disinterested, ill-educated, ignorant fuckwits."

*disinterested*

QE fucking D.