Ed Driscoll

The Me Decade versus the Great Relearning

“The Washington Post has discovered something heretofore not known to mankind,” Robert of Canada’s Small Dead Animals blog quips. “Giving fake praise to children isn’t such a good thing!” He links to a WaPo article with such unintentionally hilarious lines as, “A growing body of research over three decades shows that easy, unearned praise does not help students but instead interferes with significant learning opportunities.”

Everybody (not named Barack Obama) repeat after me: I need a study to tell me this?

But such remarkable “discoveries” from one of the leading temples of what is euphemistically called “liberalism” and “progressivism” is a reminder that that worldview has two directions it which to proceed. Since, to paraphrase a recent Encounter Books pamphlet by Richard Epstein, liberalism is not sustainable, it can either continue on its path towards the Great Reprimitivization (let’s ban or make prohibitively expensive everything! From malaria-preventing DDT to light bulbs and electricity.) Or it can start to embrace what Tom Wolfe once called “The Great Relearning.”

The latter will proceed one way or another, but unfortunately, society (read: liberalism) invariably must relearn its lessons the hard way.

See also: the Costa Concordia.