The Strategy of the Mediocre

NB: a couple of weeks ago I received my first notice from google about one of my posts being barred.  I didn’t protest or anything.  The post already had its run, and was even picked up at LRC.  So, it was out there.  Strangely, a few days later, it magically re-appeared.  As of this writing, it is still up.

Why do I bring this up now?  Well, this might be number two in the series.

To Save America, Restore Our Frontier: Restoring accountability in America is the fight of our times, by Joe Lonsdale

The section I will focus on is entitled Unaccountable, Declining Institutions Prefer Wokey (link).  Lonsdale’s argument is that the woke mind virus (WMV) is “the perfect philosophy for unaccountable power.”

The WMV is the perfect nihilist philosophy for kludge and decline. It’s a circus being put on by the least accountable people and institutions on Earth.

Universities, growing on the back of guaranteed student loans, have departments in the dozens, even hundreds, working to stoke this virus.  Almost none of these people are qualified to do anything that society would pay for absent the temporarily “free” money doled out by the state.  Governments have countless tens-of-thousands of employees doing the same – and I expect the market demand for those individuals qualified to perform such WMV services also approaches zero.

But it isn’t that they aren’t qualified to even find their way out of a paper bag.  They are not even held accountable for the success or failure of the virtually useless task to which they are assigned.  Every failure is merely an opportunity for a bigger budget, a promotion, a new program.

Lonsdale notes the French radicals of the 1960s as providing philosophical cover for the WMV, but it is the unaccountable institutions that are the main driving force behind the movement in our societies.

So, “fighting wokeness” is the wrong strategy. We ought not spend time and energy fighting battles at the surface level while losing an institutional war underneath. The first step is to identify where it prospers most. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

Federal and state bureaucracies
Big Tech monopolies
Giant banks
Crony companies, like in healthcare and defense
Hospital monopolies
NGOs (often funded by government)
Longstanding charitable foundations
Public schools and other union-dominated government areas

In other words, institutions and entities that require little, if any, market-derived support; institutions that have the government and its printing press and regulatory framework on their side.  They truly are unaccountable to the market and unaccountable for success toward even their stated objectives, therefore have little need to respond to market pressure.

I would add to the list: automotive companies and airlines.  Very few, if any, companies in these industries would survive without government support – and this has been demonstrated repeatedly over the years via bailouts and subsidies.

I am sure the list is longer; it is mind-blowing to think how significant a percentage such companies are of the overall economy – both in terms of output and in terms of employment.

This is the key realization: the ascendance of the WMV in a weapons company is a reaction — a ploy to protect themselves from accountability and competition as they work the system for money. What all these areas have in common, whether for profit or not-for-profit, large or small, is that they are unaccountable to results, and wield power to shut others out.

What I cannot really gather from the article is any real connection to causation.  There certainly is correlation.  In addition to those unaccountable industries listed by Lonsdale as having embraced the WMV, there is the other side.  At least anecdotally it is my experience that companies and entities that derive revenue primarily from market sources are less inclined to play such games.  But this is anecdotal.

Maybe another clue can be found here: the glorification of sub-mediocrity, by el gato malo.

one of the most ineffaceable truisms of organizational structure is this: A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s.

If you are an institution who derives revenue from basically guaranteed or otherwise protected sources, with little need to compete in a market of individuals spending their own money, why hire any A’s?  If you are an A, why would you want to work in an environment that offers no challenge, an environment where every failure is met with the reward of a bigger budget?  It seems contrary to the character of an A to do so.  Eventually, you end up with B’s at best, and C’s (or lower) to follow.

Excellence likes to surround itself with excellence; excellence wants to compete, to demonstrate or prove excellence.  Mediocrities want to ensure no one has the ability to rise above.

A’s don’t sweat this because competing is what they do. but B’s live in terror of it. and this is why the B’s and C’s love “woke”, ESG, and DEI:

these alleged philosophies of inclusion are, in fact, ideologies of exclusion.  and what they seek to exclude is excellence and meritocracy.

it’s the literal point of the practice and it’s the reason that so many weakling leaders gravitate to them: it’s job security for the unqualified wrapped up in a neat little philosophy that makes self-serving nepotism and plunder look like virtue.

Are the leaders of institutions that have embraced the WMV simply cowards, afraid of being called out by the mob?  Or are they merely Bs and Cs who have discovered that by embracing such a view they can remain on top – while, at the same time, ensuring no competition for the top jobs as no As would want to spend time in an environment where mediocrity is promoted and advanced?

el gato then cites Frederic Bastiat:

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

So, for the B’s and C’s to stay on top, they have to derive a system – both legal and cultural – where it is possible, at least for a time, that mediocrity derives advancement and revenue.  el gato describes this as literally what “woke” is.

DEI is a set of made-up, non-market driven rules to ensure that the mediocre have a place on top.  ESG is the same for industry – compete on factors other than satisfying customers, therefore, once again, the mediocre have a seat at the head of the table.

and this is how the world has become such an intolerable and increasingly dysfunctional mess. it’s rule by rube and ideological invasion and inversion of best practice and sound function.


Correlation or causation?  I am not sure; I hadn’t really thought about what is going on in our society in the terms presented in these two articles.  It certainly is clear that many things in the country (and the West) no longer “work.”  Thousands of airline cancellations a day, trains derailing, banks failing, food shortages, an ever-increasing list of wars lost, cities governed by the most woke are also the most dysfunctional.  The list is endless.

Perhaps there is something to this idea touched on in these two articles.  Let’s see what the discussion offers.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

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