A new term should be added to the language.
Exhibit A: “Noah is going to college!”
In the last decade, the real-state, home-building, and financial industries ran out of enough middle-class buyers to maintain their expansion; they thus looked down market, to a previously untapped pool of “subprime” suckers. Similarly, as the “higher education” industry recognizes that its certificates can barely guarantee a job folding sweatshirts at the Gap, it, too, is beginning to view the left-quadrant of the Bell Curve as a source of growth.
And something deeper is at work as well. Americans pride themselves in resisting the two siren songs of totalitarianism: socialism, Marxism, and Leninism, on the left, and fascism, nationalism, and racialism, on the right. America, it is maintained, achieved a glorious “middle-ness,” a free, middle-class society, where government guarantees basic rights and dignities for all.
What this rosy view overlooks is the fact that, for at least the past 50 years, America has pursued a new kind of socialism—one that might be more enduring than the socialism of yore but which is equally unsustainable and equally dependent on myths, lies, and wishful thinking.
Washington is loathe to nationalize an industry; and it has never been willing to redistribute wealth with any seriousness. However, Washington does use its powers and seemingly infinite ability to issue debt to create the semblance of what a society would look like if liberalism and egalitarianism were actually true.
Hence, the government doesn’t nationalize the healthcare industry and provide services to low-income citizens; instead, it organizes an elaborate and unworkable system that putatively helps the poor get health insurance, just like rich people. The government doesn’t directly provide the hungry and needy with provisions; instead it issues EBT cards that allow the poor to pretend that they have credit cards, just like rich people.
Finally, the government doesn’t seek to foster excellence in higher learning; instead, through affirmative-action and the lowering of standards, it creates a parallel universe in which innate cognitive differences and heritability no longer have any effect. Everyone goes to college! And now Noah is going to college!
The average IQ of a person with Down Syndrome is 50; the top one percent have an IQ of 70, according to the Down Syndrome Foundation. Surely, there are ways for such people to live fulfilling and productive lives. To send them to university, however, amounts either to denying the existence of intelligence altogether or else to converting universities into massive day-care centers for every featherless biped with a pulse.
Emotional Porn like “Noah is going to college”—porn that appeals to the American “right” as much as the “left”—gives us a glimpse into America’s peculiar egalitarian imagination, and its libido for the stupid.