Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Christine Elliott and the Human Rights Commission | Main | Opposition attempt to kill Bill C-391, a bill seeking to abolish the long-gun registry, in secret »

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is social innovation necessary?

It is my belief that once the state initiates a program of political correctness, it grows and rarely stops. This notion sits badly with me, because I can remember my own elementary school days where political correctness was ever-present. This was over a decade ago, and so I wonder what today's impressionable children are taught in school. It's understandable for the institution now responsible for raising children (it used to be parents, believe it or not) to teach basic decency, manners, and anti-racism. However, if my hypothesis is correct, it would have evolved to a point where people are led to believe in such an extreme politically correct mindset that it's actually detrimental.

To paraphrase Paul Martin of all people, the flip-side of innovation is the large risk of going too far. In other words, the total freedom of innovation is great, until that freedom is abused. When the government abuses it's power with social innovation, the result is more or less as expected. In this case, there is one aspect of excess political correctness that sticks out among the rest: that all and any judgment is bad and should be replaced with the total acceptance of all people. At first glance this may seem ideal, but what has been considered normal for the majority of modern civilization hasn't been so nice - and for good reason. The ability to assume every being should be treated as pure as snow is certainly impressive, but it's hardly healthy.

In the business world, it is common sense to be cautious when it comes to dealing with other companies. Most even prepare the financial statements in the "worst case scenario." That's to say unless there is solid proof to show something great for the company is coming, the company will simply assume it won't. Even with proof, a fiscally responsible company will set aside allowances to cover the remaining risk. The many reasons for this general mentality called "conservatism" (even in the business world) are obvious: the responsibility to shareholders, the risks and movements within the marketplace, and the fact that businesses exist for themselves, not for you.

So why are these principles overlooked when it comes to society? Commerce is more mechanic to be sure, but individuals are as fully capable of error and greed as businesses, if not more so. Companies normally do everything they can to eliminate error, corrupt behavior, and dishonest business within the organization. Not only are these negative aspects hard on productivity, but it's simply bad business for keeping customers, investors, and affiliations with other companies. There are also regulations and laws that restrict such behavior, just as there are for individuals.

However, humans are not mechanic and only have their own brain to restrict negative behavior. There are laws regarding individuals, but besides deterring some, they are mostly only enforced after the crime has already been committed; rarely are there laws that actually prevent crime from happening. One thing humans do better than any species is to solve problems using reason and logic. We may be flawed like all species, but fortunately we have the tools and resources to overcome those flaws. One of these tools is the ability to compare the past with the present to determine if someone or something is apt to behave in a particular way. For example, the chances of someone with a record committing a crime is much greater than one without a record. It's not always foolproof, but it's basic probability. Unfortunately when it comes to personal interaction, this tool is overlooked and under-rated. There are reasons why companies use statistics and probability to make decisions on uncertain items of business: it generally works, especially compared to guessing or treating every new interaction never happened before.

Yet it appears that to today's generation, assuming everyone's an angel is the norm. People are shocked when they find out a friend that has a criminal record, cheats on their spouse, and does business in the black market has stolen from another friend. This shock can easily turn people away from trusting anyone again, which is just as detrimental as trusting everyone unconditionally. The skill of appropriate judgment is what makes surprises like that seem not so surprising.

Of course, there are many things one should rarely judge - ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, etc. - but the advocacy of total non-judgment in public institutions, particularly involving the sponge-like brains of children defies the common sense of human reasoning. Social innovation can only work if the history of Man is considered, not ignored.

[Cross-posted at The Right Coast]

Posted by Dane Richard on June 17, 2009 in School Choice | Permalink


It is my belief that once the state initiates a program of political correctness, it grows and rarely stops.
Posted by Dane Richard on June 17, 2009

Interesting comment. Let's go back to say the 1950's when there wasn't much if any political correctness. What else wasn't there much of. And what in Canada has grown in lockstep with political correctness?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-17 6:26:03 PM

The state meddling and believing it can force people to think, speak and act according to its definition of what is correct always fails in the long term. In other communist and totalitarian regimes it is called "re-education". This concept comes from those who mistakenly believe that utopia on earth is possible, and this is a necessary step in its creation. Invariably this ends with the persecution, incarceration and eventually death for the "undesirables" who refuse to be re-educated.

As for the difference between now and the 50's, it is the size of government and its encroachment into the economy and private lives of citizens that has changed.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-06-17 7:49:50 PM

Alain, exactly right. Social innovation should not be attempted ever by any government.

Posted by: TM | 2009-06-17 8:26:52 PM

As for the difference between now and the 50's, it is the size of government and its encroachment into the economy and private lives of citizens that has changed.
Posted by: Alain | 2009-06-17 7:49:50 PM

Alain again can't see the forest for the trees.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-17 8:40:44 PM

Stig- It may be a case of not seeing the trees for the forest.

Posted by: dp | 2009-06-17 9:40:05 PM

Exactly right Alain. You can't change culture with laws. All you are doing is violating civil rights.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-06-18 6:44:35 AM

I was incredulous driving in downtown Calgary traffic yesterday after seeing an ad on the side of a bus right beside me.
The picture was a computer mouse connected to a little pink piggy bank. The slogan was "get the benefits you deserve". www.poverty.gc.ca (or something like that)
Stunned I was...what better way to say, Hey! its ok not to work or even try...because you "deserve" a government bail out.
Our parents and grand parents would have been completely incensed. Certainly, I was raised with better values.
Am I politically incorrect for being offended?
I really don't care, I think its disgusting.

Socialism - Because "everyone" deserves some of what you've worked for!. (My Ass)

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-06-18 12:48:25 PM

The public school system was hijacked by socialists.
Being from the USSR, I recognize the signs of socialist indoctrination from a mile away. In horror I discovered a TAG program in the Ontario schools, that is nothing but that - teaching students to submit to PC and statism.

Do yourself and your children a favour - train them to pass onto you everything that happens at school: every new textbook they use, every new program they study, every word that teacher says, every reaction from other students. Set aside 1 hour a day to talk to your children, dispell the PC myths, encourage critical thinking, and outright correct the damage done by the socialist teachers.

Good luck to us all!

Posted by: Hilltop Boy | 2009-06-19 8:35:36 AM

Good luck to us all!

Posted by: Hilltop Boy | 2009-06-19 8:35:36 AM

Indeed Hilltop. I do exactly that. I want to know everything that happens in the schools. When I see socialism I explain to the kids what it is, how it works and why its bad. Then I give them a handfull of questions to fire at their teacher in front of the other students. I enjoy that.

Also, you aren't the first Russian or Eastern European I've heard say they see socialist indocrination here. In fact some tell me that they actually enjoyed more freedom back home than they do here now. Canada has changed that much that quickly and it is just disgusting.

People need to learn how Communism is working here.

Hilltop, do me a favor take a look at this link and tell me if you think the views there are valid from your point of view.


And a final thought...

"We must now face the harsh truth that the objectives of communism are being steadily advanced because many of us do not recognize the means used to advance them. ... The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a Conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst."

J. Edgar Hoover

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-06-20 11:09:04 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.