Mediocrity in power
The power of government rests on ignorance of the people, and it knows this, and therefore will always resist enlightenment.
Every nation has its fair share of people with no useful abilities, yet harboring considerable ambition and an insurmountable craving for la dolce vita. The longing is there, but with no means for its realization. So, what are they to do? Sooner or later the mediocre find a workable solution: they go into politics.
A sufficiently high position in a government structure that doesn’t require any special abilities or talents gives a nearly assured opportunity to receive lucrative benefits, including money, respect, and influence. There is a famous saying: "Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” There is a corollary: Those who can’t teach, govern.
This is how the selection process works: mediocrities float to the top. Thus, government agencies accumulate a number of bureaucratic politicians for whom the main goal in life is to hold on to their positions and, if possible, move up the career ladder. The good of the country and its people becomes secondary and intrusive. Many professional bureaucrats possess just one talent: seizing and holding onto power.
Until recently, leaders of many countries had a clear understanding that the intellectual potential of a society can be of exceptional value to the state and for the preservation of their own power. Even such bloody dictators as Stalin and Hitler allowed a certain degree of free-thinking and independence of ideas in scientific and technical academia. They were well aware that quality education and the existence of an intellectual elite were among the cornerstones of the foundation of their power.
This understanding seems to have been lost in America.
Nowadays, our ignorant leaders don’t understand the importance of studying the sciences, which has led to the systematic destruction of education on all levels. In colleges, the ability to play football is valued far above mathematics. Children in secondary schools often don't study physics, chemistry, biology, and other basic subjects. These have been replaced by an ephemeral discipline called "science," which, like a salad, comprises little bits and pieces of everything.
“Salad from Rose Garden”
Painting by the author
When high school graduates go to colleges and universities, many of them take what is called "liberal arts." Today’s highly politicized version of these disciplines don’t develop strong analytical and critical thinking, nor entice creativity, and thus don’t prepare students for a productive life. The vast majority of liberal arts graduates cannot find jobs in their fields, so they work as baristas or in other semi-skilled trades or live off their parents and occupy themselves with nonsenses like fighting climate change or protesting all kinds of things, no matter what, as long as they are "against." Due to the collapse of education, young Americans en masse have become mediocre -- which is exactly what the ruling elite wants. It’s easier to govern such people.
As a result, science and technology are deprived of domestic human resources, and the country's intellectual elite is disappearing. Engineering departments still exist in colleges and universities, but enrollments lean heavily toward those not born in America. Go to almost any school and you will find a disproportionate share of students from Asia or of Asian ethnicity, while many of the faculty and researchers are immigrants. Go to almost any high-tech company much of the intellectual and creative work is done either by recent immigrants or foreigners. In Silicon Valley, almost three-quarters of the professionals are from other countries. The native-born Americans work in marketing, sales, customer service, and other positions where highly specialized education is not a job requirement. This forces companies to outsource R&D and production overseas.
Because of a high standard of living (which was created by the previous generations), people live well in the U.S., better than in many countries. Thus, young people have little incentive to study or work hard. Why bother when you're doing just fine, and the "old folks" readily provide enough freebies? The result was the decline of intelligence, degradation of morality, destruction of work ethic, and decrease in the intellectual and moral quality of the U.S. population. Mediocrity becomes the norm.
One can clearly see that today the upper echelons of government are bad managers and inept businessmen. Everything they touch turns to ashes. During the first year of their direct rule under the figurehead presidency of Biden, there has been a sharp decline in all economic indicators, and inflation has reached levels not seen since the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. The worst thing they have done to the country is the distribution of freebies — massive “stimulus” payments, even to those who don't need them, a form of universal welfare.
To keep the populace on a short leash, the mediocre have turned on the printing press and now are spending money like a drunken sailor. The national debt is skyrocketing. Fuel prices have doubled since 2020, everything becoming more expensive, and a situation unseen in history has arisen: millions have dropped out of the labor force and most businesses cannot find workers. Apparently, people prefer not to work but to live on handouts. Today, in a country with millions of idle hands there is an acute shortage of labor.
Free cash has destroyed the foundation of Americanism — the incentive to work and strive for personal success. Why work when your government pays you to stay at home and do nothing?
What about the other areas? The inept government doesn’t know how to deal with the tsunami of illegal immigrants besieging the southern border. History has seen this before — ancient Rome collapsed because of an influx of barbarians pouring into the empire for free bread and circuses. Think of the staggeringly botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan when scores of billions of dollars worth of the most advanced military hardware was abandoned. Think of the FBI persecution of dissenters who dare to disagree with critical race theory and political correctness. Think of the rampant crime: record-setting murders in Democrat-run cities, smash and grab shoplifting gangs, and the passivity of intimidated police. Think of stifling freedom of opinion in academia. Shall I continue?
Only a year ago, under Trump's presidency, the situation was diametrically opposite: prices were falling, for the first time in decades the country became energy independent, unemployment was noticeably lower even amid pandemics and mass quarantines (3.6% at the end of November 2020).
Trump must be called anything but a mediocrity. Yes, he is a bull in a china shop, but he was doing what was good for the country with little concern for his own reputation. Unsurprisingly, Trump's actions went against the interests of the inept bureaucrats, and they did everything they could to replace him with a vegetative puppet, which led to the degradation of the American way of life. They declared war on him and they won. Even a year after Trump's departure, they continue to persecute his supporters — the fear of a "Reconquista" is too great.
Over the past half-century, our political system has been transforming into a form of governance that I would call "dexiosocracy," which in Greek means "the rule of the mediocre.” Consequently, the country is heading toward the abyss. The mediocrities have seized power, and we are reaping the rewards.
Jacob Fraden’s website is www.fraden.com