Our Miseducated Elites

A twitter person points out:

I’m old enough to remember the Cold War but then so are many Sanders supporters. I suppose the main thing that inoculated me against the far-left was growing up Catholic, which meant that I was well aware of Communist atrocities committed against my coreligionists. It must be great to be a Communist, you are never called to account for the misery and destruction caused by your ideology and you are forever judged on your intentions, which you assure us are nothing but good.*

The problem discussed elsewhere the thread above is that American education is less and less historical and increasingly ideological. The ideological assumptions that motivated the American misadventures in Iraq and Libya was that all people everywhere long for freedom and democracy, and that simply removing the evil dictator will let the people’s innate goodness flow forth. Iraq was led by the American right, Libya by the American left, but the underlying ideology was the same.

I suspect our foreign policy disasters are going to get worse as time goes on, because the ideological commitments of our elites are getting stronger and therefore more divorced from reality.


* I don’t believe Communists (or Socialists like Sanders) really have good intentions. People only go into politics to accumulate power the way people only go into business to accumulate money, the difference being that businessmen don’t feel the need to lie about their motives.


  1. Your last line is epic.

    We’re shocked when politicians are corrupt because we believe their campaign claims that they just want “to serve the people”. We elect them on the basis of their self proclaimed virtues and are stunned when those virtues don’t manifest in congress.

    1. I think they lie to themselves about their motives too.

  2. Billy Jack · · Reply

    Your basic point is sound, but Florida is an important swing state these days, which may make it worthwhile for Republicans to hammer Sanders (if he gets the nomination) on his sympathies for Castro early and often.

  3. It’s not just your foreign policy disasters. Hello to your bubble. The comments that spill out of the USA about equitable health care for your fellow humans (even if you are nationalistic about your borders, just for US citizens) is laughable. You’re all so terrified of losing your place in your fragile system that you have hate your underclass to keep your head above water. Any policies that aim to give children a fair start (I have to play the child card because you can’t get your head round adults deserving equal treatment) are dismissed as COMMUNISM. Really, really limited knowledge and understanding of history and the rest of the world – great Tweet to quote.

    1. Hey stranger.
      I don’t know of anyone who is against poor people having access to good schools or thinks medicine costs are reasonable. People mostly disagree about means, not ends… though I guess sometimes there are ends baked into the means that sometimes people are not quite honest about.
      I do agree that labeling every expansion of the welfare state as socialism is unhelpful.

      1. Oh. Not sure what to do with that reply. Got nothing to rant against. 🙂

        No-one will say “I’m against poor people having a decent education” or “medical costs are reasonable for all”, but from what the wind blows over to this side of the Atlantic, anyone who suggests solutions is branded an evil socialist. You simply cannot achieve these things without a redistribution of wealth – higher taxes and investment in public services as a minimum starting point.

      2. Sorry to disappoint.
        Conservatives have been calling the welfare state socialism for years and that has backfired to the point that now voters are thinking socialism doesn’t sound so bad. For their part Progressives are never honest about the tradeoffs an expanded welfare state implies. A Nordic style welfare state sounds great until people see the price tag. The Nordic countries are also very pro business and fossil fuel exporters, which helps them pay for their systems, things progressives refuse to acknowledge.
        So there is dishonesty all around, basically because we are a low trust society compared to Northern Europe, even though we are high trust compared to other countries.
        And IMO that is why we have a fairly dysfunctional welfare state and if we did attempt the Nordic model it wouldn’t work very well. A country needs very high cohesion and trust to pull it off.
        So I think cost control is a matter of having people pay more out of pocket for medicine and education and treat these things more like market. If costs are too high expand the supply, and we can still keep our public assitence for people who cant take cate of themelves. I don’t think that is a perfect solution or the only one but I think it would be the best for us.
        I may be wrong.

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