Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When Cheating is (Reluctantly) OK

There are times when Jeffrey Tucker can be brilliant and insightful.  Then there are other times.  The ratio of the former to the latter seems to have diminished significantly and markedly beginning around the time he left the Mises Institute.  A search of this site will lead to a few posts regarding the “other times.” 

Tucker is out with a piece on the cheating by the teachers and administrators in the Atlanta schools regarding the test scores for students, entitled “A (Reluctant) Defense of the Cheating Atlanta Teachers.”

…the Atlanta public school scandal, in which investigators identified 178 teachers and principals in 44 of the system’s 100 schools involved in cheating on student tests.

After collecting all the students’ tests, a group of teachers nicknamed “the chosen” would meet behind closed doors. They sat in a big room and went over each test, erasers in hand, looking for incorrect answers to fix.

The scores showed that 86 percent of eighth graders passed math compared with 24 percent the year before. The same was true for reading: 78 percent passed versus 35 percent the year before.

Tucker identifies, properly, the root cause of the cheating:

Every government plan gives rise to cheating and manipulation. This is true for the smallest cases or the biggest.

If only he stopped here; instead, he decided to compare this situation to another example:

This is easier to understand if you consider more famously epic cases.

Consider an example. It is 1935 Russia. Grain crops keep failing, despite the Five-Year Plan Stalin imposed. He’s sick of it. It’s embarrassing. So this year, he decides to crack some skulls. Already tens of thousands have died, and everyone knows he means business. It’s the same in every industry actually, from steel to cars to railways.

What happens? The new farmer or plant manager faces either professional or real death or he fudges the records. He figures out a way to survive. And the difference between Soviet five-year plans and public school five-year plans seem to me to be mostly a difference of degree.

Look, I understand using extreme examples to make a point; Walter Block is so good at doing this.  But Stalin’s murder of tens of millions used to make a point about teachers cheating to keep their jobs?  In a land where losing your job results in a middle-class income from the state?

The teacher is stealing; the poor farmer in Stalin’s Ukraine stole from no-one when his crop fell short of Stalin’s plan.  Stealing from an employer – you lose your job.  Not meeting a government mandated grain quota – you lose your life.

This is bad enough.  Worse, his logic is completely wrong.  The teacher has no right to the job, and no right to have his students (superficially) excel at the tests.  The teacher takes a salary to do a job.  The cheating teacher has cheated both his employer and his employer’s customers. 

The farmer, on the other hand, has a right to his life and a right to defend it by appropriate means.  Cheating, to the extent it occurred in this scenario, is a perfectly acceptable form of self-defense. 

To be fair, Tucker identified his defense as “reluctant.”  Sometimes reluctant thoughts are better left unsaid.

This should have been one of those times.

1 comment:

  1. Thus is the level of anxiety and fear the human psyche perceives via non-stop disturbing imagery, non-stop worry, constant deceipt, constant conflicting information, controlling narratives that break down the brain into mush...the process that creates a hypnotic rhythm that sabotages the human psyche, one where the brain will continue to seek information that supports its world view. Thus if its negative, one can see the result will be quite ugly. It is all highly predictable and can be easily capitalized upon small/large scale. The problem is very few have been willing to see this process because it is so damning to all of us. We would have to face the understanding of being completely brainwashed, completely engineered.

    The conditioning to accept the behavior of the teacher, or otherwise, was started before the womb, generations before. The modeling from all the leaders of industry, “justice” depts, military, education, media, all support this engineering very flagrantly....mostly in clear view of the masses and many do this unknowingly. The understanding that most of this is even told to the masses is insightful. No matter how much persons are repulsed by the media, by the dumbing down of our education systems, by our corrupt institutions, they keep indulging it all including burying their head. Germany, a highly educated, sophisticated society, was completely engineered to fit the design of the oligarchs. Many are compelled to feel, consciously/unconsciously, justification for their reaction to perceived uneven playing fields. In mind control perception is…everything. Reality is designed. It is that simple.

    As soon as we wake up to realities about just how distorted, brainwashed, and far beyond Orwell's projections we are, then we can free ourselves. We can then step out of the matrix.

    It is a race to the top for either total control of humanity or complete awakening and a wonderful collapse of all failed institutions under the wt of their own fictions. We must realize it takes two to tango. There can only be a master if there is a willing slave. That is how this seemingly mundane, but quite revealing scenario you explored happens, repeatedly at every level of life.

    Death by a million paper cuts - same stress response as the saber tooth tiger of old, accessing the limbic system, but gigantically more effective and predictable in shaping behavior. We are caught in a perpetual, debilitating, 24/7 self-inflicted stress response that few understand. This shunts creativity, empathy, connection to source, and keeps the masses in a state of feeling of scarcity, threat, problems of all shapes and sizes. Again, perception is everything. The contrast between the lack experienced by a poor Somali and an indebted teacher is meaningless to the lower brain response. The cognitive dissonance plows right through logic. This process is a fine, well explored science, that is so predictable as to set your watch of society to it.

    Until one realizes he is brainwashed he is at best a menace to himself and others. It is very hard for most to accept this conversation much less change course and admit their failings, even though this awareness represents a very grand opportunity. Red pill or blue pill? Most still take the blue pill even when they know better. Powerful.

    Regardless, the awakening is happening in a dramatic way. That is why things will continue to look increasingly chaotic and frustrate many. The so-called handlers will race to stay ahead of the awakening ever more desperately, with more and more mistakes, revealing the nonsense to all. The cat cannot be put back into the bag. Our unserving institutions and ideas will continue to break down, and we will evolve dramatically. We are destined for something much grander, and this seeming chaos represents the fastest way home. Contrast is a good thing ultimately.

    Much appreciation.