There's a piece on Taki magazine (which I saw the link to at American Digest) which points out something poignant and sad. After decades of the freshest efforts in educational theory and government work, the ranking of ethnic groups in education has gone from this in 1972:
To this today:
Such a change! They've managed to re-label all the groups with laser-like precision and effort. The skill it took to change the names of these groups while leaving them utterly unchanged is breathtaking.
This is just one little way of pointing out the obvious we all know but don't talk about; the left has been in charge of fixing society for 50 years and has had virtually no positive effect on their goals since the early 1970s.
Racism is worse than ever, to hear them tell it. Sexism, the same. The environment is worse and worse, they claim. Poverty is at a pretty stable rate, with ups and downs for economic shifts, despite trillions spent to alleviate it. Education has been degrading continually in quality, and on and on. In their goals of helping people and overcoming their main enemies, the left is pretty lousy at the job, but wants more power to try again.
I can't help but think this cynical view of life as espoused by Instapundit Glenn Reynolds isn't accurate:
All this talk of tolerance and diversity is basically just a way for one group of white people to pursue power over other groups of white people. It's not about actually helping anyone.
Ultimately its not about fixing any stated problems, but about fixing the main problem the left thinks they face. Its not that they do not want to help the poor, improve education, and so on. Its that this is not their primary goal.
Their primary goal is to eliminate capitalism and any religious influence on public life. They have had the same goals since the late 1800s, and have never changed. They change their approach, they change their rhetoric, and they change their list of enemies, but the goal is always the same.
The theory is that once they eliminate these twin evils, then society will shift into a glorious utopia in which all the other ills - which are, naturally, results of these evils - will easily be solved and go away.
So in the end, nothing ever gets better, not only because they must keep pointing to greater and greater evils to justify their crisis-driven policy changes, but because they aren't really even trying to fix any of them. It is about the power to eliminate what they think is the root cause (capitalism, religion), not their claimed goals.
So does education get any better? No, and it can't, because that's not what they are interested in. All they want to do is draw attention to perceived and actual problems as a lever to topple their enemies. This talk of diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance, and so on is simply a method of controlling people's thinking, silencing foes, and gaining power to implement great goals.
Now, is this true of each individual leftist? I have no doubt that some are genuinely interested in fixing these particular problems. I am certain there are hard working educational specialists trying to find ways to better teach and lift up groups doing poorly in schools. There are people working for little to no money to help out people in poverty. Sure, their solutions are failed and discredited, the causes they identify are generally nonsense, but they really care and are trying to help.
But they are the vast minority. For every one of these misguided heroes, there are fifty who sign on to the cause because it feels good and makes them seem like good guys, and twenty who don't care so much about the individual problems listed save how they are leverage to push toward the real goal.
Ted Danson doesn't really give a crap about the oceans, other than a conversation point and something that he donates to. Al Gore doesn't care about the environment beyond a way to get power, money, and prestige. Barbara Streisand doesn't care about racism except for how mean people were to her as a Jew in the 60s. They care about what they get out of it, whether a nice feeling or attention and money.
If they really cared, they wouldn't just donate and make speeches, they wouldn't show up on talk shows and make presentations. They'd actually hit the streets to help out, they would be working to fix the problem, and more than anything else they would live a life commensurate with their stated goals rather than flying around and taking SUVs to climate conferences and building homes on crumbling ocean shores.
And behind it all, even if some of them aren't aware of it, is the baseline presumption that its capitalism, religion (particularly Christianity) and stupid Republicans that are the reason behind it all. Scrape away the rhetoric and it always ends up being about evil corporations, fanatics, and Sarah Palin.
Because they are driven by this leftist scheme since the 19th century to try the same failed schemes that have been disastrous in nation after nation. Because this time it will work, since they are so enlightened and good and noble.