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I would be much less charitable in describing a roomful of Boris Johnsons: Why boarding schools produce bad leaders (The Guardian, 9 June 2014)
The elite tradition is to send children away at a young age to be educated. But future politicians who suffer this 'privileged abandonment' often turn out as bullies or bumblers. A psychotherapist explains why


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 3rd, 2018 at 10:49:17 AM EST
The article you quote is actually quite charitable to the "survivors" of early age boarding schools describing how they develop a defensive wall and survival strategies based on over-confidence, bullying, keeping your head down, becoming a charming bumbler, or keeping an incongruently unruffled smile in place - avoiding appearing insecure, unhappy, childish or foolish - and projecting those emotions onto others. In short, you have to become duplicitous to survive, and hiding your feelings makes it very difficult to develop mature relationships or emotional intelligence in later life.

However being charitable to the survivors and tolerating the continuance of the system are two different things, and it is remarkable the degree the system continues to dominate English public and private life, with two thirds of the Cabinet and much of the civil service, army, and industry still "led" by the emotionally damaged.

I have long argued that anti-Europeanism, besides being a natural consequence of national chauvinism, is also required to maintain the English class system intact, as it provides an external bogeyman to blame for all ills more accurately ascribed to the class bullies who actually run the UK show. Perhaps, in that sense, EU membership provided a crutch for the UK status quo, which can only be overturned by leaving. Perhaps Corbyn has a point after all...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Feb 3rd, 2018 at 11:56:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
attachment theory

which may or may not exculpate the attachment of certain people to imperial ideologies and violent subjugation of diverse peoples.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Feb 3rd, 2018 at 08:52:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The system continues because it successfully reproduces itself - much like the US equivalent, which turns out frat boys and sports jocks (aka "leaders" and "coaches") with similar emotional handicaps.

Insiders of all generations feel no need to rebel against it. And why should they, when it serves them so well, and they are demonstrably better and more talented than the lower orders? [1]

Outsiders underestimate its power and influence, and overestimate the power of democracy to steer it.

In fact there is no option to vote it out and replace it, or even to mitigate its poisonous effects.

The only development that might destroy it is wholesale collapse and revolution, probably after a nasty fascist interlude - which is looking increasingly likely as the Brexit iceberg looms closer.

[1] Not everyone comes out a bumbler. In the less elevated schools, which are reserved for middle class overachievers, parents can turn their offspring into hyper-effective near-geniuses who not only run marathons, ride horses, sail, ski, and and play musical instruments to a professional level, but also have the work ethic needed to survive the gruelling training demanded by a career in law, medicine, or the more menial middle managerial levels of banking, accountancy, and management consultancy. The more elevated schools provide all of these benefits - and more - by teaching charm, self-regard, imperious bluster, class signalling, and unrestrained feral greed as substitutes for inferior practical abilities.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 02:53:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lately I've come to the conclusion that the biggest fail of European history was Napolean's braindead idea to march all the way to Moscow instead of putting his dudes on row boats and then casually strolling up to Buckingham palace and setting fire to it.
by generic on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 10:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Napoleon had plans to invade Britain, the problem was just all those boats in the canal. He tried to assemble enough ships to make it across, though the British tried to stop him. Trafalgar was one of those places were the two agendas met, and there it was to a large extent settled thanks to the leadership of one Horatio Nelson. I can't find if the schools young Nelson attended were boarding schools, but then again he joined the navy at a young age and probably got all the opportunity for pseudo-adult personality development there.

The invasion of Russia was one in a series of attempts to weaken Britain. In the case of Russia, they were breaking the rules of the Continental System - the attempt to break Britain by starving them of money - so if Russia could be brought into the fold, maybe Britain would yield. As we all know, it didn't work, but that was the theory. Maybe if Napoleon had starved Britain of food instead, things might have worked out differently.

by fjallstrom on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 07:22:13 PM EST
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[1]: The non-bumblers do not look like leaders, do they?

Which nice schools produce actual leaders?

by das monde on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 01:17:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which nice schools produce actual leaders?

Er, none perhaps?

That's why we're in this mess.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 09:23:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The more elevated schools provide all of these benefits - and more - by teaching charm, self-regard, imperious bluster, class signalling, and unrestrained feral greed as substitutes for inferior practical abilities.

Don't forget superciliousness, diffidence, sarcasm, entitledness, and buggery (the old school tie-that-binds in blackmail's bondage).
Then there are the Bullington-type rituals, unmentionable.

'Here a curtain of propriety descends upon the scene.' Mark Twain  

Privilege factories... Institutionalised sadism.
 

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 09:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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