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Jeremy Corbyn's intellectual credentials... or lack of. Watch

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    (Original post by Thaladan)
    I'm not sure Corbyn has had a stellar career. He was an MP for thirty years who hardly anyone had heard of until last summer... becoming Labour leader is an incredible achievement... his otherwise unremarkable career
    there was a time when being an MP was quite a thing, never mind elected 7 times.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Not necesarily, but academic accomplishment is indicative of intelligence.

    You are arguing that Corbyn's lack of academic accomplishment isn't indicative of his intelligence because he had other reasons for not pursuing academic accomplishment. What are those reasons?

    Corbyn comes from a wealthy background, his father almost certainly went to university, he attended a grammar school that will have had experience sending pupils to university, he stayed on for A level, he was politically ambitious. Unless you know of some other pertinent fact, it does not seem to me that there was anything stopping Corbyn being judged fairly by the same metrics as Cameron.

    The simplest sufficient explanation is that Corbyn simply wasn't good enough to go to university at a time when you had to be in the top 2.5-5% of the year nationally to be admitted. Cameron, on the other hand, was good enough to not only attend arguably the most prestigious course at one of the most competitive universities in the world, but come out with a first. The simplest sufficient explanation is that Cameron is smarter than Corbyn.
    So if Cameron was a socialist and Corbyn a conservative you would still say he is smarter? Surely on principle you would have to or else your whole argument is just character assassination.


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    (Original post by TSRforum)
    So if Cameron was a socialist and Corbyn a conservative you would still say he is smarter? Surely on principle you would have to or else your whole argument is just character assassination.


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    Yes. What the hell has that got to do with anything? Albert Einstein was a socialist and he is surely cleverer than David Cameron.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Yes. What the hell has that got to do with anything? Albert Einstein was a socialist and he is surely cleverer than David Cameron.
    Clever in politics I mean not clever in general. And Cameron is smarter than Einstein when it comes to politics, but not because he went to Oxford.


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    (Original post by TSRforum)
    Clever in politics I mean not clever in general. And Cameron is smarter than Einstein when it comes to politics, but not because he went to Oxford.


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    Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel, despite making no effort to procure it whatsoever, and turned it down. In terms of reward for effort, Einstein is probably the greatest political success story of all time; he just had more important things to do.

    Anyway, this concept of a "political" intelligence is not something I introduced, or am interested in discussing. My whole point is that people have a general intelligence that is largely controlling of their aptitude at all intellectual tasks, including getting admitted to prestigious universities, passing degree courses with high marks, and governing countries.

    Precise aptitude at specific tasks varies, but it's more like noise around the mean of general intelligence; people tend not to be highly adept at manipulating equations while being completely illiterate, even if they are often highly above average at maths and only a bit above average at reading. The main, even if not the only, reason world-leading physicists are not at least mildly successful politcians is probably just that they didn't bother applying themselves to becoming politicians.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Not necesarily, but academic accomplishment is indicative of intelligence.

    You are arguing that Corbyn's lack of academic accomplishment isn't indicative of his intelligence because he had other reasons for not pursuing academic accomplishment. What are those reasons?

    Corbyn comes from a wealthy background, his father almost certainly went to university, he attended a grammar school that will have had experience sending pupils to university, he stayed on for A level, he was politically ambitious. Unless you know of some other pertinent fact, it does not seem to me that there was anything stopping Corbyn being judged fairly by the same metrics as Cameron.

    The simplest sufficient explanation is that Corbyn simply wasn't good enough to go to university at a time when you had to be in the top 2.5-5% of the year nationally to be admitted. Cameron, on the other hand, was good enough to not only attend arguably the most prestigious course at one of the most competitive universities in the world, but come out with a first. The simplest sufficient explanation is that Cameron is smarter than Corbyn.
    Cameron is academically smarter than Corbyn based on grades and the fact he went to Oxford, yes. I don't dispute that he has more to validate his intelligence than Corbyn does.

    I dispute that his type of intelligence and even the PPE degree is good for running a country or being in political power. See article I linked re PPE.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel, despite making no effort to procure it whatsoever, and turned it down. In terms of reward for effort, Einstein is probably the greatest political success story of all time; he just had more important things to do.
    Hitler was a political success in Germany too. Being in a high political authority position does not mean that they are smart in politics.


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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    What you're forgetting is that anybody who disagrees with her is too dumb to think for themselves and needs the Tory media to think for them. Because the only people with brains agree with her. It's completely implausible that anybody with a functioning mind can look at something and come to a different conclusion to what she does. It can only be the media, thereby meaning we're morons, as are the majority of the country.

    This is genuinely her mindset, as it is with most Corbynistas on this forum and elsewhere it seems. They just can't fathom that anybody but a brainwashed idiot who can't think for themselves can have a differing opinion to them.

    P.S. Also anybody who doesn't agree that Corbyn is great is just a dirty Tory fanboy....even if you're a Labour voter.
    A lot of "Labour voters" have seemed to come out of the woodwork recently online. They seem to be spending a lot more time criticising Corbyn than the Tories...
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel, despite making no effort to procure it whatsoever, and turned it down. In terms of reward for effort, Einstein is probably the greatest political success story of all time; he just had more important things to do.
    Pfft, what a small-timer. Dumbledore was offered Minister for Magic several times
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    (Original post by TSRforum)
    Hitler was a political success in Germany too. Being in a high political authority position does not mean that they are smart in politics.


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    I cannot tell what you are trying to discuss.

    I have discussed general intelligence: basically the abilty to acquire and logically process new information to come to a useful conclusion about how the world works. I argue that academic success is highly correlated with general intelligence and that so is aptitude at running a country.

    You then re-defined the debate to be about "political intelligence", by which you seemed to mean demonstrated success as a politician. For sure, Corbyn is a party leader, and Cameron is also a party leader. On that level, they are equals. What I don't agree with is that this has much to do with general intelligence. It is possible to become party leader with much lower general intelligence than the leader of another party, if there's a reason other than intelligence that members of that party would elect you. That's what I've argued for Corbyn.

    But now you seem to be re-defining "political intelligence" to mean something like "someone who has views that I agree with". If not, by what standard does Hitler - a man who from nowhere became absolute dictator for life of one of the world's most powerful countries - lack political intelligence? I can well concede that Corbyn might be more agreeable to you than Cameron, that his views might more closely coincide with yours. That however has nothing to do with his intelligence.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    With all respect to whatever exceptions can be dredged up from history, usually a cigar is just a cigar and in most cases a man's background is indicative of his aptitude.

    Corbyn is not from a poor family; his father was an engineer and his mother a teacher. They brought him up in this house, "Yew Tree Manor":



    He went to a grammar school where he got two Es at A level, after which he went straight to work. His time at a polytechnic studying trades unionism was later in life and a result of his employment by a trades union. He probably did not fail - more likely he dropped out for lack of time or the appearance of better opportunities - but despite being politically ambitious he did not head straight for Oxbridge, London, or even the leftist hot-houses of the day like SOAS and Keele which were comparatively easy to get in to. The most likely reason is that he could not. He is a man with an upper middle class background but no particular intellectual accomplishments.

    Corbyn does not have original ideas; he is replaying tracks from the 80s that were originated in his parents' generation. Unlike Benn, he never wrote a book. He has not written for the newspapers.

    In a lot of ways Corbyn is like Cameron: a steady-eddie stalwartly championing an orthodoxy. The difference is that while Cameron is championing the current orthodoxy of leading moderate thinkers, a position for which there is stiff competition, Corbyn was victor almost by default, as all the clever and ambitious men who used to share his sort of ideas jumped ship long ago.
    Not quite understanding, it seems, that average left-wing voters are neither clever nor ambitious, resulting eventually in the election of Corbyn, who has (admittedly without much competition) the largest and broadest mandate for any political leader ever.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    My whole point is that people have a general intelligence that is largely controlling of their aptitude at all intellectual tasks, including getting admitted to prestigious universities, passing degree courses with high marks, and governing countries.

    Precise aptitude at specific tasks varies, but it's more like noise around the mean of general intelligence; people tend not to be highly adept at manipulating equations while being completely illiterate, even if they are often highly above average at maths and only a bit above average at reading. The main, even if not the only, reason world-leading physicists are not at least mildly successful politcians is probably just that they didn't bother applying themselves to becoming politicians.
    I agree except I don't think that applies to politics. Most politicians don't even understand economics because these so called "prestigious" universities don't teach it and the ones that do only teach the left-wing economics.




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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    A lot of "Labour voters" have seemed to come out of the woodwork recently online. They seem to be spending a lot more time criticising Corbyn than the Tories...
    The vultures circle around anybody that looks like a loser. People follow the herd and Corbyn has yet to impress electorally.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I cannot tell what you are trying to discuss.

    I have discussed general intelligence: basically the abilty to acquire and logically process new information to come to a useful conclusion about how the world works. I argue that academic success is highly correlated with general intelligence and that so is aptitude at running a country.

    You then re-defined the debate to be about "political intelligence", by which you seemed to mean demonstrated success as a politician. For sure, Corbyn is a party leader, and Cameron is also a party leader. On that level, they are equals. What I don't agree with is that this has much to do with general intelligence. It is possible to become party leader with much lower general intelligence than the leader of another party, if there's a reason other than intelligence that members of that party would elect you. That's what I've argued for Corbyn.

    But now you seem to be re-defining "political intelligence" to mean something like "someone who has views that I agree with". If not, by what standard does Hitler - a man who from nowhere became absolute dictator for life of one of the world's most powerful countries - lack political intelligence? I can well concede that Corbyn might be more agreeable to you than Cameron, that his views might more closely coincide with yours. That however has nothing to do with his intelligence.
    Lol I don't support Corbyn but I'd rather attack him for his lack of economic knowledge than where he studied as even Cameron got a pretty rubbish political education. Oxford is elite for its STEM graduates not it's awful leftie social science degrees which produce politicians with little to no understanding of economic laws.


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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Pfft, what a small-timer. Dumbledore was offered Minister for Magic several times
    With the greatest possible respect, I think you'll find that as head of state the president of Israel outranks the minister of magic.
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    Cameron is academically smarter than Corbyn based on grades and the fact he went to Oxford, yes. I don't dispute that he has more to validate his intelligence than Corbyn does.

    I dispute that his type of intelligence and even the PPE degree is good for running a country or being in political power. See article I linked re PPE.
    Fine but the question I asked you was this:

    "Running a country is an abstract intellectual task so it stands to reason that a more intelligent candidate, all else being equal, will do a better job. The intelligence of candidates for that job is therefore a relevant and important selection criterion. Do you disagree? If so, why?"

    You didn't directly answer it but gave me the impression that you did not disagree. With this latest reply, I see no possibility other than that you do disagree. So, I am interested why you disagree.

    I do not find the article convincing; a prime minister, by nature of his job, must have an answer to everything, even if he does not know everything, because in some sense he controls everything. PPE graduates probably do not give perfect answers to unseen questions on which they have little background knowledge, but almost certainly give better answers to such questions than the average non-PPE graduate.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Not quite understanding, it seems, that average left-wing voters are neither clever nor ambitious, resulting eventually in the election of Corbyn, who has (admittedly without much competition) the largest and broadest mandate for any political leader ever.
    Corbyn got 2% more than Blair on a lower turnout and without parliamentary support.

    To claim that he has the largest or broadest mandate is spurious.

    People need to remember just how popular Blair was.
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    This is utterly deluded. You honestly think the Scottish National Party would abandon it's primary aim of Scottish independence just because they have more power in what they see as another country?
    The party might not abandon it but their voters would. Such an alliance would be a great opportunity to design a fair constitutional settlement with which the Scots and everyone else could be happy. It might even bring the country together discussing such things.

    SNP gradualism allows Scottish voters to get off the bus at whatever stop they like rather than take the express.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Fine but the question I asked you was this:

    "Running a country is an abstract intellectual task so it stands to reason that a more intelligent candidate, all else being equal, will do a better job. The intelligence of candidates for that job is therefore a relevant and important selection criterion. Do you disagree? If so, why?"

    You didn't directly answer it but gave me the impression that you did not disagree. With this latest reply, I see no possibility other than that you do disagree. So, I am interested why you disagree.

    I do not find the article convincing; a prime minister, by nature of his job, must have an answer to everything, even if he does not know everything, because in some sense he controls everything. PPE graduates probably do not give perfect answers to unseen questions on which they have little background knowledge, but almost certainly give better answers to such questions than the average non-PPE graduate.
    Abstract intelligence is required for the textbook version of running of a country but societies and people aren't statistics to be played with.

    This is why Cameron's type of intelligence is bad in British politics. You need to have emotional and social intelligence, understand what it's like to be a single mother and need tax credits to survive, understand what it's like to work on the front line of the NHS, and understand what it's like when you are too disabled to work. These are all attributes that I believe are necessary to run modern Britain and are required in conjunction with academic understanding of political and economic systems.

    Cameron perhaps is too heavy on the academic intelligence and lacking on emotional/social and Corbyn Vice-versa. But I don't think that academic intelligence makes you a better leader, especially considering they have advisors and tons of behind the scenes people to do that leg work. The charisma and personality is arguably most important and Cameron's ability to BS and his persona are far more vital in his electability than his multi disciplined degree from Oxford.
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    (Original post by TSRforum)
    I agree except I don't think that applies to politics. Most politicians don't even understand economics because these so called "prestigious" universities don't teach it and the ones that do only teach the left-wing economics.




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    Listen to yourself. What on earth is "the left-wing economics?" And how exactly is Cameron's economics left-wing?
 
 
 
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