Failure abolished!

Totalitarianism asserts its perfect goodness and power, so it naturally claims improbable triumphs. North Korean election returns have shown 100% popular participation and 100% approval for the Party slate. During the Soviet purges it was said that “the Organs [of state security] never make mistakes.” Our petty totalitarians claim achievements that are similarly startling, although in smaller and less alarming matters. In England, for example, failure and even wrong answers have been abolished on national exams. Some answers are “not creditworthy,” it’s true, but even if no answers are creditworthy the student will still get an “N” for “nearly” instead of an “F” for “failure.” The change makes sense—if there were failures it might show the system had its limits, and that would be intolerable for a government that recognizes no authority above it, and that asserts responsibility for the continuous restructuring of society and all the details of life from the cradle to the grave.

1 thought on “Failure abolished!”

  1. On the subject of abolishing
    On the subject of abolishing failure in British schools. A story in the Telegraph today tells of a local authority’s plan to overcome the poor performance of two struggling schools. They are going to abolish the four best performing schools so that things become more equal!


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