JORDAN Peterson often talks of ‘hierarchies of competence’. They are a key argument in his thankless quest to slay the malignant post-modernism which is busily ravaging our body politic.
These are a better explanation, he contends, of the structures around us and of the success of individuals than the grievance-laden accusations of white male privilege. Talent rises, in short, and mediocrity remains firmly at ground level.
The theory works much of the time. Short, fat, one-legged basketball players rarely make it to the NBA. Not because of heightism, fattism or one-leggedism, but because they don’t tend to score many hoops, or baskets, or whatever they’re called. Were one such player to start outplaying Michael Jordan, he’d no doubt soon find himself signed by the LA Lakers.
Yet intervention increasingly hinders Peterson’s theory in the real world. Any glance at an area fully taken over by the noxious bindweed that is wokism fully displays that when competence is actively shunned in preference to promoting ‘marginalised groups’ (many of whom seem to make a veritable killing from their supposed marginalisation), outcomes worsen.
Moreover, when entities become corrupt and elites entirely unaccountable, competence becomes secondary to cronyism.
There is perhaps no better embodiment of the dual qualities of incompetence and cronyism than the very flawed Matt Hancock. In the highly competitive world of ineptitude that is modern politics, he is a serious contender for the title of king of the dunghill.
After presiding over some of the most disastrous decisions made during the pandemic – shoving the elderly from hospitals into care homes to ‘save the NHS’, for starters – and subsequently resigning after his office-based assignations were shown to violate ‘social distancing’ rules, Hancock is the very inversion of Peterson’s claim.
Hancock has announced that he is to be the UN special representative advising African nations on both financial innovation and climate change. The position was allegedly secured by a close friend of Carrie Antoinette – sorry, Johnson. The gears of chumocracy happily whirr away.
In his letter graciously accepting the role, he dishonestly noted how the ‘pandemic has ravaged countries around the world . . . negatively impacting global economies’. Correcting the first part to ‘our insane overreaction to the pandemic’ would be closer to the mark.
He goes on to discuss the importance of helping young people and women on the African continent. All very worthy. Let us hope he shows more commitment to the youth and ladies of Africa than he did those in his own life. And tours some of the 37 African nations where homosexuality is illegal while wearing his LGBT-daubed NHS pin.
The likes of Hancock always land on their feet: the global network of like-minded nest-featherers springs into action and gets them a cushy gig, regardless of their professional or personal suitability.
In our decaying age, incompetence is king. Peterson’s theory melts under the giant bloated sun of ineptitude.
This is all because the ‘competence’ valued by our political class has nothing to do with the word as anyone else would define it. Their definition is tied only to the short-term objective of clinging desperately to power, like limpets on the hull of a sinking ship. Should they somehow scupper their own prospects, promotion to utterly unaccountable international organisations will follow.
The consequences of such neglect and self-interest are everywhere to be seen. The most obvious manifestation is our nation’s energy policy, which was built upon the premise of warm, fuzzy feelings, not rationalism. Ruinous energy shortages await. In time, the hysterical and damaging response to Covid will be seen as a disaster of similar scale.
I am a great fan of Peterson, yet his clear, rational arguments are no match for the insanity that has taken over the world. Were competence in any meaningful sense to be foremost, our entire political class would be made unemployed overnight.
Those in power are, instead, rewarded for entirely the wrong things. Engaging in petty intrigue and loyalty to party are what is rewarded among our closed-off and hyper-remote modern-day elite.
For most of us, failure is the surest way to tumble down the side of the mountain. For them, should they successfully ensconce themselves in the rarefied world of the global elite, it is a sign that it is time for a promotion.