HUBRIS, OLIGARCHY, AND LACK OF INTELLIGENCE & EDUCATION ALL RELATE, OR WHY THE USA IS GOING DOWN.
Abstract: The USA used to be proud, independent, self reliant. For example, 100% of US planes flying in the USA used to be made in the USA. But now only fast shrinking small portions of new planes are. Even getting to space is becoming a problem, for the USA. The proverbial ‘rocket scientist’ is becoming an endangered species, at least in the USA (not so in Russia, Europe, China, India).
Why is this diminution of American technological expertise happening? Some will say: not so, look at all the American Nobel Prizes! But a closer inspection shows that many came from overseas, and have dual citizenships: long ago, they followed the gold, and went where the labs were.
All serious objectives criterions show a serious devaluation of education, both in money circulating through it (too much going to private bankers instead), and in the regard the society has for mental achievements. How did this happen? Well, the simultaneous rise of hubris in the oligarchy is related to the decay of intelligence and education. (This hubris is expressed by far flung wars through false reasons, as if having a war for breakfast goes well with croissants, and as if having too much money for the oligarchy was a sustainable feat.)
I explain the strange decay of education, while the oligarchy rose, and the explanation exhibits a mental complex that played in other times and places (the educational decay of the USA also shows up in other advanced large economies, such as France, although not to the same extent; conversely many small economies with big ambition, such as Finland, have done extremely well, by throwing money and consideration at the problem.)
Education in the USA used to be one of the best in the world, and the superiority of the USA rested on it. Nowadays, though, it is approaching gravitational collapse. Although Obama made a very laudable effort, the collapse of the states’ educational budgets has made matter worse, overall.
The word "collapse" is not an exaggeration. An example: the budget of the University of California, once the world’s top public educational institution, was cut by more than 800 million out of a total of 3.2 billion (a cut of 25% qualifies as a collapse, in my opinion). Now, sure, California is led by an Austrian born body builder, whose father was a Nazi and SA: thus one may suspect that Californian leaders are not selected for a propensity to high mental achievements. In the last year, at least 40,000 teachers’ jobs were cut in the USA (some say up to 143,000). What is clear is that a few top traders at Goldman Sachs, a government bank, privately managed, will share 20 billion dollars in bonuses of public, taxpayer money, while teachers working at some prestigious universities cannot afford a home on their salaries alone.
Now, of course, for saving Goldman-Sachs and allowing the top traders there to pursue their notion of happiness, same as they did before, his greatest achievement so far, Barack Obama amply deserves the Nobel prize in economics, but that’s another story…
The decay of education in the USA is directly related to the rise of hubris of its exaggerated oligarchy. In three ways:
First, the more uneducated the oligarchy, the more hubristic it gets. Second, the more uneducated the People, the easier the rise and reign of the oligarchy. Third, and more subtle of them all, hubris is fundamentally a form of mental laziness. Hubris displaces the intelligent, adapted answer, the expression of a fresh brain, and replaces it by rote and trying to violently force through what has worked before… even when it does not work anymore.
Intelligent creatures, when they got safe, comfortable and lazy long enough to forget the advantages intelligence provides with, prefer this, being mentally lazy, because the brain devours more than 20% of the body’s energy. Thus few things are more tiring than re-arranging one’s brain. Hence it is understandable, and usual, that particularly successful societies tend to suffer mental collapses into hubris. Not just this, but the very attraction of mental laziness, drawing the People towards the bovine, is best realized by putting an oligarchy in increasing charge. So the People is accomplice in its own future oppression, and finds bovine comfort in it. This is the mental phenomenon that led the Roman empire to decay, and actually one of the main reasons for the rise of empires.
A really sustainable society is therefore organized so as to provide with a minimum of internal strife, be it only of a mental character. Bovine contemplation does not sit well with a healthy human society. The USA has to learn that arguing -presenting arguments- is not just healthy in all ways, but also a life saver, especially at the civilizational level.
The concept of "transformation" is brandished a lot in the USA these days. Positive transformation, progress, means applying more intelligence and that can only rise through more education. Education means a huge societal effort, led by the government. It cannot be led privately alone. Anti-government propaganda in the USA, on the very merit of the concept of government of the People by the People, prevents this, though. education is the first victim.