Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Conspiracy Theory

Opinion Journal - Aztecs vs. Greeks: Those with superior intelligence need to learn to be wise, by Charles Murray

Is it just me, or has Charles Murray gone off the deep end?

He starts off innocently enough by stating the obvious.

Combine these groups, and the top 10% of the intelligence distribution has a huge influence on whether our economy is vital or stagnant, our culture healthy or sick, our institutions secure or endangered. Of the simple truths about intelligence and its relationship to education, this is the most important and least acknowledged: Our future depends crucially on how we educate the next generation of people gifted with unusually high intelligence.

It might be unpopular, but its probably true. Not only does our system suck at educating the lowest performers, they are under educate our average and top performers as well.

But he should of stopped here, instead he rambles on a bit about how being gifted is a "gift", like high IQ people are some sort of superheros, the saviors of the world. They must acknowledge their awesomeness and use it to guide the lesser mortals.

What really took the cake though is when he started talking about some sort of high IQ cabal that runs our government.
In short, I am calling for a revival of the classical definition of a liberal education, serving its classic purpose: to prepare an elite to do its duty. If that sounds too much like Plato's Guardians, consider this distinction. As William F. Buckley rightly instructs us, it is better to be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard University. But we have that option only in the choice of our elected officials. In all other respects, the government, economy and culture are run by a cognitive elite that we do not choose. That is the reality, and we are powerless to change it. All we can do is try to educate the elite to be conscious of, and prepared to meet, its obligations. For years, we have not even thought about the nature of that task. It is time we did. (emphasis mine)

It reminded me of some Orwellian novel. If the average would just accept the leadership of the chosen ones, all would be well in the world.

(cross posted at Kitchen Table Math)