Tuesday, January 05, 2010
"Educated class" is a conscious affectation, an attempt to graft onto the cosseted middle class of American publishing, law and academia the airs of the English gentry learned from watching PBS. What is the claim to superior authority here based on? Obviously a superior education. What does an education consist of? There are two things that can be taught, methodology and content.
An educated person should be able to follow an argument and determine if a learned methodology, such as the scientific method, is being followed well enough to be satisfied that given the time and resources they could duplicate the argument and verify if the results are convincing. They should also have enough command of simple methods of analysis, such as basic statistical comparison, chemical processes and rhetorical logic, to recognize a wholly spurious assertion that defies basic laws of logic or nature.
In addition an educated person should have command of some body of content in a field of specialization sufficient to offer it in trade for those seeking a minimal knowledge of the topic. There is another body of content that an educated person holds in common with social but not professional peers that eases communication and reduces tension among them and finally there is some body of knowledge that is shared with members of the larger community why are granted the privileges of participating as adults and citizens in the public sphere.
The important thing about both the methods and the content that are taught that qualifies someone to claim membership in the "educated class" is that almost all of it must be accurate. The methods must be able to arrive at useful results if correctly followed. The content absorbed must be true. Unfortunately for Mr Brooks friends neither of those conditions obtains. The methods of marxism and post modern science are at their core a farrago of solipsism and wish projection. The content that they base their conclusions on is often simply untrue. At vast expense they have bought their offspring empty credentials.
These empty credentials left them unable to evaluate an empty suit. Carlos Allen is the right promoter for Obama to get linked to. He should end up with the D-listers edging into a party to get at the free salad bar.
“But are they fittest to lead?”
Atossa: Who shepherds their army and acts as its master?
- Aeschylus, The Persians
By "educated class" Brooks means his readers to understand the "Smart Set." What in the Mitford world of U and non-U would have been called PLU, for People Like Us.