Monday, December 13, 2004

A kind of excellent dumb discourse 

Oho! What do we find Professor Plum is quoting in his disquisition of the vacuity of education programs? Why, it's our beloved Department of the 3.7 GPA! After reviewing their mission statement, Professor Plum wonders,
I wonder if they prepare teachers to teach anything. They probably run out of time--what with solving all the world's problems--while poor kids down the street from this school of EDUCATION can't read or write, and probably have pretty crummy self-esteem. But, hey, faculty and students feel good about themselves as world change agents.
The answer is of course not. For many secondary education majors, the ratio of "pedagogy" courses to content courses exceeds 3:2. The pedagogy sequence is almost as large as the general education requirements -- which include another three required courses in "diversity" -- which together suck up five full semesters.

Professor Plum coins the phrase "impression management", to mean that they "are most concerned with impressing themselves and others with their importance and competence--reason for existence." This would be cute at best, annoying at worst, if all they wanted to do was preen. But in the preening comes character assassination, as Thomas Sowell shows in The Quest for Cosmic Justice. promote cosmic justice, they must misrepresent what is happening as violations of traditional justice-- as understood by others who do not share their vision. Nor do those who make such claims necessarily believe them themselves. As Joseph Schumpeter once said: "The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie."

The next thing the idealist will do is character assassination. All those who disagree with the great vision must be shown to have malign intentions, if not deep-seated character flaws. They must be "Borked," to use a verb coined in our times. They must be depicted as "A Strange Justice" if somehow they survive the Borking process. They must be depicted as having some personal "obsessions" if they carry out the duties they swore to carry out as a special prosecutor. In short, demonization is one of the costs of the quest for cosmic justice.
Be sure to see our series last year, HURL Follies, to see how the lying and demonization occur.