For years, I couldn’t understand the liberal fascination with the liberal arts. There was a powerful force at work beyond a casual name association. Our best and brightest have been encouraged to get degrees in spectacularly useless subjects like sociology and comparative literature. Nowhere in the educational system are people encouraged to study math or the sciences. Go to any engineering or math department in an American university, and you will be almost entirely surrounded by our “deportation class” of immigrants facing a one-way flight home within days of graduation. It is almost as if our public education system (and immigration policy) shuns competence in logic based degrees.
Disdain for the sciences isn’t by any means a typical characteristic of leftist regimes. Soviet Russia, China, and other old-school socialist havens have long encouraged their citizens to study the “useful” sciences. So why is so important to the American left to suppress the left side of America’s brains?
The answer is Freedom. Ever the foe of collective control, freedom is the number one hurdle to an argument for big brother. A free society is allowed to question big brother and has access to information that quickly defeats arguments for collectivism. The Soviets and Chinese didn’t have to contend with freedom when feeding information to their subjects thirty years ago. Their citizens were not able to make logical conclusions about their conditions with the little information provided by Big Brother’s press. When Reagan freed up investment capital with massive tax cuts in the early 80′s, free Americans, backed with a new flood of Venture Capital, launched the Information Revolution. Freedom knocked down the doors of the Soviets and Chinese as information leaked into their countries and the logical associations of freedom with happiness and progress broke the arguments of Big Brother.
The virtues of free markets were so self-evident, that few dared to suggest that we should return to big government. Even the leader of the American Left made this declaration in the mid 1990′s:
The Devil doesn’t sleep, and politicians love power, so how do Democrats overcome this “freedom dilemma” and the information revolution feeding its progression? The gross failure government largess is at everyone’s fingertips now. Everyone knows that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. The math just doesn’t add up.
Wait, how do you add that up again? The government spends over 150% more than it takes in? Every year? Is that a lot? No? I shouldn’t worry about it then? That’s a relief. So, 4.5 million jobs have been created since Obama took office? How many have been lost in the same period? Oh, that’s not important? Ok. Quick question: How is government is going to rein in the costs of a government controlled health system with more government oversight? Didn’t Medicare go from $100 Billion / year in 1990 to about $500 Billion / year in 2010 under their watch? It would have been more in the private system because the profit motive drives the cost of things up? Ok. Sounds funny, but I’ll believe it. Give me a second, I need to go to Wal-Mart and buy a hammer made in Taiwan, a pineapple grown in Brazil, a quart of milk from a cow 500 miles away, and 10 pencils with parts originating from five different countries around the globe for under $20…
If the American public doesn’t know what to do with the numbers or how to logic through a Krugman non-sequitur, then free information loses value. Creation of a dependent class becomes possible again once government-controlled education ensures that the masses are dependent on the ruling class to think. How else would one explain the constant erosion of standards in the school system? Why would school districts in California go out of their way to graduate Hispanic students who don’t speak the tongue of the politicians? Ignorance is vital to Democratic success no matter what form it comes in. Even among those with “higher education”, when logic is abdicated for the “virtue” of the liberal arts, big brother can tell them how do add up numbers that don’t make logical sense. Who is to say that Santa Claus doesn’t exist?