recent image
Fascism and Socialism Are Twin Brothers -...
CanadianLibertarian
 April 26 2024 at 10:37 am
more_horiz
post image
Members of the "antifa" movement often claim to be the exact opposite of fascists. However, a closer examination reveals that substituting "socialism" for "fascism" in many statements made by fascists would likely receive instant approval from socialists. Consider how Mussolini describes the role of the "individual” in a Fascist state: "The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the antisocial right to rebel against any law of the Collectivity." (p. 280 of his autobiography)Or consider Hitler’s vision of an N4z1 economy: “The state should retain oversight, and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others within his own nation. This is the crucial point. The Th1rd R3ich will always maintain its right to control the owners of the property. "Still not convinced? Consider Lawrence Dennis, a prominent American fascist of the time, who wrote in his book The Coming American Fascism in 1936: “Fascism does not accept the liberal dogmas regarding the sovereignty of the consumer or trader in the free market. It does not concede that the market can or should be entirely free.” (p. 299) "Social planning is the paramount imperative for public order and material abundance in the present and near future.” (p. 104) “Fascism assumes that individual welfare and protection are primarily secured by the strength, efficiency, and success of the State in realizing the national plan.” (p. 160) "Under fascism, private property, private enterprise, and private market choices have no intrinsic rights. They are valued only for their social utility, subject to proper public control.” (p. 180)Indeed, fascists and socialists often clash violently. Yet, they fight over the same type of mindset: those who believe individuals should sacrifice their lives to serve the dictates of a few in power. This point was brilliantly articulated by F.A. Hayek in The Road to Serfdom and later expanded by Ayn Rand. In 1962, during one of her lectures at Ford Hall, she quoted passages from the 1920 political platform of the German N4z1 Party, which included demands for “an end to the power of financial interests,” “profit sharing in big businesses,” “extensive care for the aged,” “the improvement of public health” by the government, “an all-around expansion of our entire public education system,” and more. These platforms remain evident in today's socialist programs. Moreover, the platform, as Rand pointed out, concludes by stating that progress “can only come from within on the foundation of 'The Common Good Before the Individual Good. '”Can you imagine any socialist opposing these words? - @sfliberty on X
recent image
On STEM, Meritocracy and Youth in India
Sadhika Pant
 April 21 2024 at 11:58 am
more_horiz
post image
Note: This article was authored by a close friend and colleague, Ankit, for publication on my blog Dregs of Yore, and edited by me. Introduction Using a phrase like "When I reflect on my life..." might seem odd for someone who is just 30 years old. One imagines this expression to be used by grandparents fondly reminiscing the days of their youth to their grandchildren. However, if you find yourself using it when the past isn't that far removed, it might indicate one of two things: (a) You're experiencing a midlife crisis, or (b) There's something unresolved from your past that still carries present significance. I often encounter teenagers contemplating their future, anxious about the results of critical exams like IIT-JEE or NEET, which determine admission into India's top engineering and medical schools. Conversations about these exams on social media can quickly become contentious due to differing beliefs. Some argue that meritocracy should be the only factor worth consideration, while others contend that the costs of this rigid approach are too high. In my view, these polarised discussions miss all that falls through the cracks, focusing more on the system that shapes individuals rather than the individuals who will ultimately build the system. An Average Day in the Life of an Aspirant A small town in the state of Rajasthan, that goes by the name of Kota, is fabled for its coaching institutes for IIT-JEE, where students throng in thousands, in the hope of getting into the prestigious IITS (Indian Institute of Technology) that spawned the Pichais and Nadelas of the world. I was one of those thousands in 2008, and it was my first time living away from my parents at the age of 15. The first day was the orientation, and I remember a question posed to the auditorium packed to full-capacity with teenage kids from all across the country: “Who, among you all, was a topper at your school?” To my disbelief, all five thousand hands went up immediately. First off, every student had to stick to a demanding schedule set by the institute. Every student was trying to crack the formula for clearing these exams, and we got no help from the pamphlet that was handed to us, which broke down the number of hours of the next two years into four broad categories: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Shitting (no kidding). Our day began at 7 a.m., when we got up, got ready, and had breakfast before heading to class by 8 a.m. Apparently being half an hour early for class wasn’t proof enough of my sincerity; the class was half full already. Classes went on till 2 in the afternoon, with an hour-long lunch break, then two more hours of classes in the afternoon. The rest of the day was filled with homework and preparing for the next class. Missing even one day of homework meant you'd fall behind in the following day's class, leading to a snowball effect. We typically went to bed at 2 a.m., worn out from ten to twelve hours of intense study. The Upside of This System The biggest advantage of this system is that it can set you up for life. If you endure the gruelling two-year coaching program and secure admission to one of the top colleges, you'll gain access to some of the best opportunities, skills, education, and facilities India has to offer. Being accepted into these prestigious institutions virtually ensures job placements in leading companies within India and abroad, a dream for many, especially those from smaller towns or villages. It costs an arm and a leg to put your kid through coaching institutes that promise such outcomes, and this may be the only fair shot for many of them towards upward social mobility. Try imagining yourself in place of that kid who has been tasked with pulling his family out of generations of poverty. Not to mention, kids who pull through undergo a radical change in outlook - they can take on the world. These two years act as a wellspring of confidence that can be tapped into throughout life. They become the yardstick of endurance, and every problem encountered thereafter seems smaller in comparison. The Other Side of the Story The top 5 percentile are promised a life full of opportunities. But what about the rest? For many, this is their first encounter with failure, and it can take years to break free from the cycle of self-pity—if they ever do. I was one of the lucky few who was able to articulate what happened, and not lose perspective. But for many, it remains to be the biggest regret of their lives that they couldn’t get into IIT, leading to perpetual self-doubt, a sense of inadequacy, and, worst of all, the crushing feeling of letting down their parents. For some, this even became a cause of resentment towards their parents, adding on to the baggage that one has to unpack. During these two years, most students follow the "flying route" for their school education, enrolling in schools affiliated with coaching institutes that don't require regular attendance. As a result, they miss out on typical high-school experiences. While this may seem like a minor trade-off, the broader impact is significant: an entire generation lacks interaction with the opposite gender, has weak communication skills, little to no engagement in extracurricular activities, and minds shaped solely by competition. The local newspapers of Kota are flooded with reports of student suicides and drug abuse. Meritocracy — Why It Matters For a developing country like India, it is important to have technocrats in decision-making roles and an entrepreneurial ecosystem that can reap the demographic dividend. This requires quality human capital, which is produced by institutions like the IITs. India may have a Gandhi, but it does not have a Musk. If the vision of a developed India is that of a rule-based capitalist system, then it needs more Musks than Gandhis. The vision of the government in setting up IITs was to instil scientific temperament in the youth so that we can break the shackles of our past and catapult to a more advanced economy. In the last two decades, the buzzword in India has shifted from ‘BPO’ to ‘start-up’, which implies an unprecedented shift from the erstwhile risk-averse working-class mindset to a more enterprising and exuberant disposition. The tangible contribution of the students who come out of these institutes is there for the world to see, but what they miss is how a meritocratic set-up has touched the lives of a billion people and reinforced faith in the country just like the American dream did. Caste-based Reservation and its Unintended Consequences Even within this highly competitive and meritocratic system of selection, half of the seats to these colleges are reserved for those groups that the government classifies as backward or in need of affirmative action. Additionally, they have lower cut-offs for admission. Candidates who get in solely on this basis find it difficult to compete with the others and many end up dropping out prematurely. Furthermore, those who do go on to have successful careers, are left wondering whether their victory was their own and it is often worsened by the fact that their peers do not validate their efforts. On the flip side, there is a major chunk of disillusioned students who missed out because they fell short by a few marks, and they end up bitter towards those who got in through reservation. While well-intentioned, reservation brings casteist overtones in the campus to the fore instead of equalising the playing field as it was supposed to. These impressionable young minds have friends across communities, but reservation widens the rift between them, making it difficult for students to feel genuinely happy for their classmates who gained admission through these reserved quotas. Conclusion On a micro-level, the question that needs to be asked is whether you would want to put your own kid through this ordeal. But let he who has a better alternative for stimulating talent in the country come forth, and try replacing a functional system which may be mired in a unique set of problems. My two cents will be: For those who don’t get through, life still has a lot to offer and so does India.
recent image
Abolish The Department Of Education?
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 May 09 2024 at 05:36 pm
more_horiz
post image
As someone who deeply values education and has experienced extensive formal schooling, I am thankful for the knowledge I've acquired. Despite a system that often prioritizes conformity and obedience over critical thinking, I've managed to maintain my independent thinking and tendency to challenge authority. This is a common critique of educational systems that focus more on managing students than inspiring them. The performance metrics of U.S. students in international comparisons are concerning. We lag behind many countries, which raises questions about the effectiveness of our educational approaches. It's important to acknowledge the countless dedicated educators working within this framework; their efforts are vital, though often constrained by systemic limitations. The rise of online learning platforms like Khan Academy, and the widespread use of resources like YouTube for just-in-time learning, highlight a shift in how people are pursuing education. These platforms offer opportunities for individuals to learn at their own pace and apply knowledge practically, suggesting a potential evolution—or even a revolution—in how we educate. This leads to a crucial question: What should the future of education look like? Should we allow the current system to evolve on its own, attempt to repair its flaws, or completely overhaul the system to build something new? How can we create an educational environment that truly nurtures critical thinking and independence? I'm eager to hear your thoughts and discuss potential solutions for a system at a crossroads. Let's explore together how we can enhance educational outcomes while respecting and supporting the educators who make a difference. Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.

Trending Topics

Recently Active Rooms

[143287, 153593, 148356, 60675, 1835, 132224, 2, 153914, 17088, 112609, 150682, 2314, 134402, 1822, 153889, 125038, 153381, 33581, 154184, 148910, 153807, 36134, 154181, 154169, 154149, 154180, 133841, 58659, 154179, 154176, 92022, 154137, 146843, 154147, 154175, 154157, 154173, 49133, 154163, 614, 154091, 154072, 147825, 48117, 101422, 47054, 154143, 154099, 90996, 154124]

Recently Active Thinkers