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Venezuela: Mediocrity as government policy

By John | Reason Over Might

30.03.05 | Miguel posted an article today on yesterday's appearance by Venezuela's two Ministers of Education (yes, they have two: one for normal and one for higher education) before the Venezuelan legislature, where they defended their proposals for reforms of the education system. The proposals have garnered sharp criticism from many sectors of Venezuelan society. One of the ministers (A. Istúriz) elaborated on a pet peeve: apparently, he believes that Venezuela has produced too many "meritocrats" in the past.

Obviously, this situation cannot be permitted to continue, so he's proposing to modify the educational system so as to stop producing them. He allegedly considers "meritocrats" to be "stateless", i.e. insufficiently loyal to Chávez's ravenous revolution; what Venezuela's government apparently needs are larger numbers of patriotic, mediocre yes-men (and yes-women, of course) who won't cause any trouble through oligarchic activities such as thinking for themselves and demanding accountability from their leaders, for instance.

Permit me some idle speculation: I presume that when Minister Istúriz submits to surgery, he chooses a meritocratic surgeon who knows what he's doing rather than a Nick Riviera without qualifications. I assume that when his car needs fixing, he seeks the help of a mechanic who has proved his mettle rather than a mediocre junkyard meddler. I assume that when he needs someone to upgrade his computer, he chooses an experienced and reliable technician rather than an unskilled party member from the boondocks.

So if he -- as I assume, though of course I have no direct proof -- chooses quality over mediocrity for issues affecting his own life, then why would he be promoting mediocrity over quality for issues affecting his country?

[ROTFL of the week: Venezuela's Attorney General, Isaias Rodriguez, has declared that the country's recent buying spree for figher aircraft, assault rifles, warships, and attack helicopters is a "message of peace". I wonder what they would have bought if they were preparing for war?]

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