Sunday, January 18, 2009

Charles Darwin And Adam Smith

From The Natural Order Of Things by Matt Ridley:

Today, generally, Adam Smith is claimed by the Right, Darwin by the Left. In the American South and Midwest, where Smith’s individualist, libertarian, small-government philosophy is all the rage, Darwin is reviled for his contradiction of creation. Yet if the market needs no central planner, why should life need an intelligent designer?
Dirigisme has a place, of course, in the regulation and operation if not the design of institutions. A school cannot work without a teacher, a firm without a manager, or an army without a general — just as a body is directed by a brain in its everyday operations. But hubristic human beings tend to exaggerate the degree to which they are in charge of, rather than at the mercy of, organizations.
Dirigisme? I had to look it up. It means “economic planning and control by the state.”

If ever there was an argument against No Child Left Behind this seems to be it. No Child Left Behind puts the concept of learning into a tiny box and excludes multitudes of influences that could have an effect on how and what someone learns.

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