|A March Through the Mind of America||Yet Another Report on the Education Crisis|
by Christopher Chantrill
December 17, 2006 at 11:27 am
HOW DOES THE old carol go?
God rest ye merry, bureaucrats,
At this time of good cheer we ought not to forget bureaucrats. This is the age of the bureaucrat, after all. We build vast temple complexes to honor bureaucracy at the center of every major cityoffice buildings. The French for office is bureau, but they call their bureaucrats fonctionnaires, functionaries. Bureaucrats are the champions of order and stability. And like the gentlemen addressed in the original carol, it is not clear exactly what they do. But it is impolite to ask.
Let nothing you dismay.
People who take up the function of bureaucrat, we know, are people who are afraid of everything. Protected from almost every adversity, they are consequently frightened to do anything that might stir things up. Perhaps that is why the complete plans of the Baathist insurgency, discovered by low-level US bureaucrats in the ruins of the Iraqi foreign ministry soon after the fall of Baghdad, never got up the chain of command, according to Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard. Imagine how the intelligence might have interfered with the well-laid plans of the US State Department and US Defense Department to transform the land between the rivers into a bureaucratic democracy just like the United States.
For Jesus Christ our Savior,
Was born on Christmas Day;
Hmm. That wont do. Obscure prophets cant save the planet, not in todays complex society. Saving the planet starts with scientific research conducted by teams of government scientists writing in peer-reviewed journals. Experts agree that the symbolic sacrifice of Gods Son will not be enough to save the world. Real sacrifice by real people will be needed.
To save us all from Satans power,
When we were gone astray.
How did humans manage to keep to the straight and narrow down the ages without the rational, factual supervision of bureaucratic experts? Thank goodness for wage and hour laws to save us from the oppression of those dark Satanic mills. And compulsory education to make sure that our children are splendidly literate and numerate. And pure food laws to make sure that Taco Bell and Olive Garden dont poison us with E. Coli. But do we really need to be protected from minor things like unsafe sex?
O tidings of comfort and joy,
For Jesus Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day.
We are going to have to do something about that Jesus Christ bit, because it might be offensive to some people. Perhaps we could replace the Savior with the patron saint of bureaucrats. But who is the patron saint of the fonctionnaires?
Surprisingly enough, Google is not that helpful. One scholar recommends Confucius, certainly the inspiration of the Chinese imperial bureaucracy. Another proposes St. Matthew, a tax collector before talent spotters discovered his literary talent. Or there is this:
Q: Why is Christopher Columbus the Patron Saint of Bureaucrats?
A: Because when he left he didnt know where he was going, when he got there he didnt know where he was, when he got back he didnt know where hed been, and he did it all on government money!
For Christopher Columbus
Was born on Fitzmas Day
Thats just our little joke. Fitzmas, you will remember, was the day on which bureaucratic special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was going to indict the evil genius Karl Rove and maybe even the Vice President for performing the unspeakable act of naming the name of a bureaucrat operating deep in the Central Intelligence Agency. Taboo is taboo, and some things are so sacred that they must never be mentioned except obliquely through the manipulation of symbols in obscure bureaucratic rites.
Tis the season, and we should observe its injunction of Peace on Earth, good will towards men, even bureaucrats. But has anyone noticed that the west is trying to win the war on terror with ponderous bureaucratic organizations that are resisting mightily their orders to engage with an enemy that is, significantly, organized into loose entrepreneurial bands? What would the late John Boyd, the inventor of the OODA Loop, have said about that? In his understanding you won a conflict by thinking and acting faster than your adversary. The idea was to render the adversary confused and demoralized.
At Christmas 2006 youd have to admit that someoneSatan, perhapshas done a pretty good job of making the United States confused and demoralized. The bureaucrats had better make merry while they still can.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization