28.10.19

THE IRRELEVANCE OF THE WISE EXPERTS.

Here's Victor Hanson, making a point I've previously made numerous times.
These people should not be considered by any stretch of the imagination our “establishment” at least if there any positive sense left in the world. Yet they are typical, not aberrant of a habit of equating appearances, credentials, and demeanor of not necessarily talented people as proof of excellence and deserved authority. Where you live, what school branded you, what title, past and present, you can parlay, whom you know, and whom you married somehow have ended up far more important than what you actually have done. They remind one of played out “senators” from the last generations of the Roman Empire.
By their fruits shall ye know them.
What explains the bankruptcy of the elite?

We have confused credentials with merit—as we learned when Hollywood stars and rich people tried to bribe and buy their mostly lackadaisical children into named schools, eager for the cattle brand BAs and without a care whether their offspring would be well educated.

Graduating from today’s Yale or Harvard law school is not necessarily a sign of achievement, much less legal expertise. Mostly, entrance into heralded schools is a reminder of past good prep school grades and test scores winning admittance—or using some sort of old-boy, networking, athletic, or affirmative action pull.

Being a “senior” official at some alphabet government agency also means little any more outside of the nomenklatura. Academia, the media, and entertainment industries are likewise supposedly meritocratic without being based on demonstrable worth. Otherwise, why would college graduates know so little, the media so often report fantasies as truth, and Hollywood focus on poor remakes? Take all the signature brand names that the Baby Boomers inherited from prior generations—Harvard, Yale, the New York Times, NPR, CNN, the Oscars, the NFL, the NBA, the FBI, the CIA, the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, and a host of others. And then ask whether they enhanced or diminished such inheritances?
He summarizes, "ruined our institutions and branded all that success." Sadly, no.

The pushback spreads.  Here's J. H. "Clusterf**k Nation" Kunstler, calling out the woke scolds.
I’m forced to repeat something that these New Age Jacobins seem unable to process: you don’t have to be a Trump cheerleader to be revolted by the behavior of his antagonists, which is a stunning spectacle of bad faith, dishonesty, incompetence, and malice — and is surely way more toxic to the American project than anything the president has done. Every time I entertain the complaints of these angry auditors, I’m forced to remind myself that these are the same people who think that “inclusion” means shutting down free speech, who believe that the US should not have borders, who promote transsexual reading hours in the grammar schools, and who fiercely desire to start a war with Russia.

That’s not a polity I want to be associated with and until it screws its head back on, I will remain the enemy of it.
Some of those people are of the Credentialed Establishment, and some of them of the Angry Resistance, and none of them impress the Hermit of Saratoga Springs.  Entertainer Nick Cave, himself of the Transgressive Artistic persuasion, is likewise displeased.  "Some of us…are of the generation that believed that free speech was a clear-cut and uncontested virtue, yet within a generation this concept is seen by many as a dog-whistle to the Far Right, and is rapidly being consigned to the Left's ever-expanding ideological junk pile."

Reason's Nick Gillespie extends.
One of the most amazing things about the current moment is the rapidity with which hard-fought battles to clear a space for free speech have been forgotten and replaced by a new censoriousness. It was only 50 years ago that we really won the right to talk and speak freely about all sorts of topics and ideas. Do we really want to return to an older time when speech and culture were constipated?
It's so easy to undermine the Woke Scolds with mockery, is anybody surprised that they hide behind the arguments recited in Critique of Pure Tolerance?

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