Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Discipline Is the Primary Determinant of Success - Individually and Culturally

Dispite my position about the dangers of the so-called Chinese Parenting, I have always maintained in my discussions and internet comments that discipline is the most important aspect of raising successful children.  Now, I don't think that all Chinese parents are as intense as Amy Chua, however, the flavour of her style is very common in Chinese parents and that is stressing discipline first and foremost and a very strong work ethic.  Any parent who demands these two attributes from their children will likely see them grow up to be successful adults.  Here is an article that supports my opinion, surprisingly well-written for a Star article. 

So, fostering a culture, more like the Chinese culture of discipline and hard work will help North American children to succeed.  Forget racism hiding behind the term H. B. D. 
Dan Gardener outlines why Culture Matters. 
Gardener ends his article with quote Lawrence E. Harrison's book, The Central Liberal Truth, that I find both frightening and stimulating.

He opens his seminal book, The Central Liberal Truth, by quoting Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the legendary Democratic senator. "The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society," Moynihan wrote. "The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself."

I realize that it is essential to try to change culture where it is detrimental, however, politics is a force that I always view with skepticism.  While it is unique in its position to affect such change, it is always corrupted by self-interest, ideology and, at least in democracy, a body of voters who are too poorly educated and too busy to get educated to know enough to demand a system that is actually effective. 
Political forces can be too heavy handed and lead to the type of culture like Amy Chua's whereby too little emphasis is put on independant thinking and the learinng material used in education justifies itself without question and must be learned (mostly by rote).  While western education now indoctrinates children into a liberalized free-explore mentality with no failing grades, no aggression (feminized) culture with no losers and everyone is a friend.  Looking at it this way, we are setting ourselves up to be overwhelmed by the more aggressive culture. Of course, the success is somewhat offset by the efforts of the western brand of intensive parenting making kumon and sylvan learning centre franchises so successful.

So, we see to ways in which political movements have can successfully affect culture - one brutal and aggressive, the other passive-aggressive.  So, the success of the culture depends on the strength of the ideology espoused by the politicians and the strength of the politicians to affect change. This is where I have doubts.

No comments: