“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” ~ Clay Shirky
You know the slavery Kool-Aid is working well when those who are oppressed petition their oppressors for more of that which helps keep them oppressed.
For instance, public education is a tool that was designed–specifically and directly–as a means of controlling the hoi polloi. The educational system of compulsory public education championed by Horace Mann, chock-full of multiple-choice testing perfected by Frederick J. Kelly, feeding into statistical models based upon the work of (eugenicist) Sir Francis Galton, was (and is) designed to fulfill the need for employees who are primed and ready to inhabit factories where efficiency can be measured in ways developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor. (The fact that so few of such factories currently exist in America should also be telling, but that’s a different discussion.) Mann believed “universal public education was the best way to turn the nation’s unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.” The whole thing was designed to produce a seething throng of people ready to take orders, stand in line, ask few questions, and install bumpers all day–accepting the interminable boredom of such a life–while their over-lords made a ton of money. Free and compulsory public education was never intended to create inquisitive, risk-taking, leaders. Or entrepreneurs and/or business owners. Or frankly, owners of anything! Yet, people clamor that “education is a right” and “we need more funding for our schools” despite the inescapable fact that these same crap holes are doing their best at producing children incapable of independent thought and unable to read a book (or a blueprint), solve a simple mathematics problem, or devise a new strategy. It’s damned sad, really.
Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer who abruptly shut its doors last week and filed for bankruptcy, received a $500 million loan guarantee in 2009 from the Department of Energy, who was so eager to prop up President Obama’s “green jobs” initiative that it short-circuited its own review process to approve the loan, which probably had nothing to do with the sizable contributions Solyndra’s backers made to the Obama campaign. This is no doubt an embarrassment for the president, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with Federal agents swooping down on Solyndra’s offices on the day of his big jobs-plan speech. Happiness is never having to say you’re sorry, especially when you can throw some other guy in prison to cover for your own incompetence.
Nearly forty years after the Baltimore city government eviscerated a neighborhood for a massive, abortive highway project, it decides to build a parking lot instead:
Lillian Duckett was a teenager when Baltimore officials bought the Mulberry Street home she shared with her eight siblings, parents and grandmother, and then tore it down.
The Ducketts were among the nearly 3,000 residents who were uprooted from their predominantly black West Baltimore neighborhood four decades ago to make way for a highway project to connect Interstate 70 with I-95. But construction stopped nearly as soon as it began, leaving a concrete bridge that rises near the site of the Ducketts’ former home and ends abruptly in a grassy slope.
Duckett sat in her current home, which overlooks the ill-fated project, on Friday as Gov. Martin O’Malley, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other officials announced a $2.5 million plan to demolish the hulking dead end that has become known as “The Highway to Nowhere.”
All of this being funded by Obama’s barrels of stimulus cash, none of which will ease the pain and resentment of being victimized by eminent domain abuse all those years ago. For the crime of destroying hundreds of people’s homes, not to mention a significant part of their economic activity, this seems like a pathetic Band-Aid.