Aretae writes how he likes my insight but disagrees with my position. He hates drilling “with a white hot passion”. Actually I do too. Bores me to death. Actually, and I guess Aretae feels the same too, drilling offends me. Because I don’t need it. I understand all those dull kids around me probably needed to be drilled to get a handle on what was taught, but I didn’t. I was always ahead. And receiving equal treatment made me mad. I deserved better.
Still that doesn’t mean that drilling should simply be made away with. I argued against it here. The fact remains that 80% of people need drilling to learn any skill set. But not just skills, just about every concept our brains manage is imprinted. Language, identity, all is created by large scale drilling. The very fact that nation states exist says a lot about the power of drilling. Nations are defined as any group of people who have a shared history, culture and blood ties. But that’s patently false. Nations are a group of people who have been drilled into thinking that they share a history, culture and blood ties. An inhabitant of Nice has no more history, culture and blood in common with someone from Calais, than it has with someone from Torino. Garibaldi, the Italian nationalist was from Nice! But alas, in 1860, not than long ago, Napoleon III seized the area, and after mass schooling and national TV broadcast, so today Niceans speak French and behave like Frenchmen, not like Italians or Savoyards. Goebbels was right, its all about repetition, given enough time.
Of course we have mostly done away with all that, redefined our cultures as simple vessels for Reason and Human Rights.The Anglosphere (and Scandinavia) has been more thorough on this, and it shows, them being the most leftist, yet also the most friendly to the free market. How can that be? The fact that Capitalism and Leftism more often than not go together has been explained by Jim Kalb for several years, in better words than I could ever write, so I won’t go further.
School drilling has been mostly abolished, and most people blame Cultural Marxism for it. That is somewhat accurate, yet we would still have traditional rote learning if there was a market for it. But there isn’t; businesses have no use for kids drilled in the stories of the Bible, Roman rhetoric, or anything at all. Modern schools are basically low security prisons to gather kids while their parents are busy. Kids get out without having learned anything but waking up early, getting tested, and learning to worship the government. Which are skills the corporations can use. Everything else is superflous, Creative Destruction means that any productive skills the kids may learn at school are bound to be obsolete by graduation. So why teach anything?
Yet there is something to say for the concept of a common culture. We used to have this artificial things called nations, in which everyone was drilled into reading the same books, learning to paint the same things, build the same buildings. We were supposed to worship Beauty, Truth and the Good. We had pretty awesome art, beautiful architecture. Also a miserable economy and huge swathes of poverty. We then decided that the economy was more important than our traditions. Swell, I also cherish my air conditioning and fiber Internet more than the Bible.
But if we dismantle all traditional considerations in our pursuit for efficiency (profit), well then it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we start to burn old books. Or we demolish old buildings and build crap in their place. There’s little incentive in conserving old culture. So it’s dying an increasingly fast death. Even science is dying. There’s no incentive in doing sound science; Global Warming scares are far more profitable short term. Leftist government incentives are perverse, but commercial incentives aren’t much different when you think about it. Capitalism is turning against truth itself, and the endgame may very well be Brave New World.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it.