about hockey moms in a jumbo


Reader Bibi made the following comment to the post: on TATE or not:

Nad wrote: “..and of course not all hockey moms of mid-west are uninformed”

Really? Frankly speaking if you compare the typical mom from mid-west with a “mom” which comes for example from an educated country like – lets say from sweden – then I think the facts are clear: informed hockey moms of mid-west form a set of measure zero!

my answer after the click


If I understand you correctly then you suggest that there are so few informed moms in the mid-west that there is no need to mention them?

Actually I have no idea how many “educated” or “informed moms” there are in the respective countries. In particular my in the post mentioned personal experience from when traveling and living in the US is of course not representative.

Moreover the post was not concerned about such statistics, but as pointed out in the post more with the fact that I do think that it is important to give those “uninformed moms” the possibility to fully participate in a democratic society. I understand that there are people who would like to accept this only under reserve – especially when it comes to issues of power. However I think -apart from the ethical discourse which would be linked to “keeping away uninformed moms from participating democratically”- one has to take into account that besides education, issues like intelligence, imaginative power, openess, tasks etc. play also a role.

Let me give you an example:

Lets assume you have an airplane full of “uninformed hockey moms from the mid-west” and the crew, including the pilots dies during the flight. Given that situation thus an “uniformed hockey mom”, who doesn’t know why and how an airplane flies has to take over. This is admittingly a scary situation and would probably end badly. However I dare say that the availability of a professor for comparative literature would not necessarily improve the situation. Moreover it is not excluded that this uninformed hockey mom would master the situation. What could for example happen? She could for example grab the headphones of the dead pilot and receive information from the ground. If she is intelligent enough, she could follow the instructions, which are given by a hopefully good trained emergency cluster (if such an gorgeous emergency clouster is available). If the instructions are only partially helpful (like because on the other end there is only a flight controller who did a little hobby flying) then she would need to make sense herself, like by trying out little moves with the pitch elevator etc. She would need to inspire a great deal of confidence, so that the rest of the traveling moms are convinced that she can handle the situation. The rest of the uninformed moms could then try to engage in appeasing themselves and in avoiding a panic, like e.g. sing some songs etc.

So concluding – it is of course desirable, that the participants in a democratic process are well-educated and experts for all the task which wait for them and so on, however first nobody knows everything and secondly just by the above extreme example one already sees that being uneducated doesn’t automatically mean that one is completely incapable. In particular usually the tasks which are involved in democratic desicion making are not restricted to one specific task -like that of flying an airplane- but are manifold and could very well be concerned with something where the “uninformed hockey mom” could be very knowledgeable. Moreover learning is possible.

I think it is important that people know about their own limitations (for assessing these limitations correct and honest feedback is necessary) and that they are open about it, like for example the workers before and during the Weimar republic were sometimes organized in socalled Arbeiterbildungsvereine (“workers educational associations”). These were usually self-organized communities (sometimes parts of the upper middle classes assisted) were workers and handicrafters received general and professional training. In addition the associations served for discussions about politics and for practising general sociability.

A culture where people are kept (willingly or unwillingly) “stupid” (like with a dilapidated educational system), a culture where either people are told you are (for example “genetically”) not capable of learning or where they are told that it is chic to be ignorant about essential knowledge is thus in my opinion to a high degree simply – undemocratic.

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