monbiot: the degradation of intelligence
This is George Monbiot on the degradation of intelligence in the US. Regardless of personal politics, it is a topic worth taking a dispassionate look at. Topics include fundamentalism, darwinianism and slavery. A really clear if biased discussion of a big problem for a society that continues to describe itself as free.
From the article:
Like most people on my side of the Atlantic, I have for many years been mystified by American politics. The US has the world’s best universities and attracts the world’s finest minds. It dominates discoveries in science and medicine. Its wealth and power depend on the application of knowledge. Yet, uniquely among the developed nations (with the possible exception of Australia), learning is a grave political disadvantage.
Spencer’s doctrine, promoted in the popular press with the help of funding from Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller and Thomas Edison, suggested that millionaires stood at the top of a scala natura established by evolution. By preventing unfit people being weeded out, government intervention weakened the nation. Gross economic inequalities were both justifiable and necessary.