Is America doomed? Part One

Maybe not. Peter King reports that 10.5 percent of all NFL regular-season games last season enjoyed a bigger television audience than Oprah Winfrey’s interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Mike Florio adds that “most if not all of the 13 January postseason games generated dramatically larger numbers” than that interview.

But maybe so. David Goldman foresees China vastly outstripping America because it is a merciless meritocracy whereas America increasingly is at war with that very idea (the NFL and other sports leagues excepted). America will no longer offer, as an alternative to China, “a democratic meritocracy that rewards achievement while honoring the rights of the individual.” And since “meritocracy will win, because it always does, and all the more so in a high-tech, winner-take-all world,” the Chinese version of it — “a merciless meritocracy that treats the losers like so much detritus” — will prevail in the absence of a different version.

I was particularly struck by this passage in Goldman’s piece:

China graduates six times as many STEM students as we do. A third of undergrads major in engineering vs 5%-6% in the U.S. China’s educational system, to be sure, favors the grind who memorizes exam answers over the maverick who asks deep questions. As we turn our schools into ideological indoctrination centers, though, what kind of creative minds will survive them?

U.S. education, at least at the K-12 level, has long been less rigorous not just than China’s but than that of advanced European nations, too. Our competitive advantage has been the fostering of creativity and at the university level.

But, as Goldman makes clear, that advantage is being squandered by ideological indoctrination, including at universities. This probably means we will be left disadvantaged across the board. And, if so, probably doomed.

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