The writer Bernard Chapin has just posted an excellent interview with Theodore Dalrymple at PajamasMedia. Chapin has interviewed Dalrymple on at least two other occasions: in 2005 and earlier this year, both of which are available on our Speeches & Interviews page. These interviews could never be long enough for my taste, but this new one still manages to cover many interesting topics, one of which particularly caught my eye:
BC: What is the doctrine of “social inclusion” and how has it corrupted modern education?
Dr. Dalrymple: Trying to understand the concept of social inclusion is like trying to catch a cloud with a butterfly net. Roughly speaking, it means or implies that the bad outcomes for certain social groups are the result of acts of exclusion by other, more privileged groups. The excluded then suffer from poor self-esteem, which can be boosted by telling them that they are doing very well, irrespective of what they actually do. In order to compensate for their alleged exclusion, they are included by not holding them to the standards of the rest of society. Of course, this keeps them exactly where they are; if you were a Marxist, you would think that the British and American public education systems were conspiracies by the bourgeoisie to keep the poor poor.