As the world seems to be battered by one “surprise” after another and current leaders seem clueless to fashion a logical and committed strategy to begin to tackle any of these problems, the question arises, where have the experts gone? The can do spirit of the twentieth century to conquer some of the most overwhelming challenges ever devised to man’s humanity and security has disappeared in a blizzard of shoddy historical interpretation, pseudo-science, and junk economics. The harsh juxtaposition of examples abound. The rigorous objective mental genius without the availability of computer exhibited by the brilliance of scientists such as Ernest Rutherford, Neils Bohr, Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg who in the space of fifty years went from discovery of the atom to unlocking its power reigns supreme over the religious machinations of the current dominance of climate scientists who in order to prove their philosophy of man as the source of the planet’s ills, hide and bend data to fit their vision. The western tradition of economic thought elegantly put forth by Adam Smith over 250 years ago that built the greatest expansion of individual economic freedom and security in the history of the world is under assault by so called progressives who ignore measured outcomes in performance, rigorous rules of economic standards in banking, budgeting and commerce to blithely spend away a nation’s future. And acutely, the fundamental ignorance of history in interpretation of current events that make the present day leaders seem disorganized, contradictory, and reactionary with every event that transpires that does not fit their poorly conceived vision of how the world should be. Where are the experts a nation used to tap that provided a bottomless well of thought that guided the ship of state through perilous waters?
My own theory is that death of objective thought is self inflicted by our society’s pathetic neglect of our educational process. We have allowed a primary and secondary school system to completely run off the rails on its primary objective of providing an education to the nation’s youth, and the tools needed to comprehend, assess, and conquer the obstacles to individual achievement. The modern conversation centers on whether the dominant and monopolistic teacher’s union and its strangulating bureaucracy is appropriately re-imbursed and protected, rather than focusing upon the absolute collapse of student reading, mathematical, and interpretative skills that have soared in the last thirty years. Our advanced education process has become an over bearing financial behemoth rapidly tumbling out of financial reach of most families and individuals, that through political correctness has filled its campuses with rigid thought, the demise of platonic reasoning and socratic debate, and clogged the educational pallet with self absorbed study of victimhood and forehead thumping at the expense of a two thousand five hundred year tradition of analytic thought, objective debate, and scientific hypothesis and proof process. Out of such a primordial ooze, few are the experts that can be expected to evolve.
What does objective thought process sound like? Lets appreciate a brief video of one of our “old dinosaur” experts, 88 year old Henry Kissinger, who in five minutes extemporaneously manages to touch base on all necessary considerations that should attend the use of force in Libya:
Agree or disagree with Kissinger’s argument, no one would disagree that a rational argument has taken place, with historical underpinnings and rational review of outcomes. I defy anyone to point out a rational discussion with logical underpinnings put forth today on any of the major challenges of the day regarding energy policy, economic concepts, or political science, by those currently in power. Is there no one left who is willing to read a book with positions opposed to their own and rationally debate an argument to rebut and persuade?
I am afraid that would require someone who actually is willing to open a book, and if you ask most of today’s youth, books are yesterday’s news. Its enough to make western civilization’s grand old philosopher to role over in his grave.