The gloating from progressives over the win by incumbent Barack Obama might be galling, but it is to be expected. Forget that Obama’s vote total went down from 2008. Forget that participation in the election went down — as non-voters correctly perceived that there was scant discernible difference between the policies of the president and his main challenger. Forget, especially, that Obama had reneged on all his more important promises. Witness, instead, the gloat.

The above image, widely circulating on Facebook (I got it from celebrity astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson) is a wonderfully self-congratulatory meme. It is so smug that the empathically gifted should surely be embarrassed.

But I bet most partisan Democrats look at it and shrug: It’s just the truth, nothing more.

Ah, but “the truth” can be awfully complicated thing in society. Sure, it’s been noticed for some time that the more schooling you have, the more likely you are to vote Democrat and think lockstep progressive. So Ah, yes — for these folks, “schooling” equals “education.” They have been schooled, so they are educated. They have the credentials to prove it! But to the less credulous, revise the terms. It’s not the “Most Educated” vs. the “Worst Educated,” it’s “Most Indoctrinated” vs. “Least Indoctrinated”!

After all, what if one of the chief functions of higher education, as we call it, is to propagandize for the very systems it obviously maintains and services, chiefly the modern robust state and its credentialist meritocracy? If you have gone through college, you have done your duty and been sorted to lead (or at least become a cog in) the dirigiste (“control”) economy. So of course you are for dirigisme. It’s the dominant ideology served by the educational establishment. Indeed, it’s the dominant ideology in practice by the state. Go to college, and you are trained to participate in the modern central-control (dirigiste) state. (You could call this “buying off” — or, even more literally, “buying into” — rather than “indoctrination.”)

People make easy, hasty equations all the time. One of them is “education equals schooling.” We all know that this is not technically true. We know, also, that wisdom isn’t the same as intelligence isn’t the same as knowledgeability. But we often pretend they are in common speech. We especially do this if we are “progressive.”

People who make this error, and, indeed, use it to lord their “accomplishments” over others should be ashamed of themselves. But they resist such a lack of hubris. They are, after all, protected by the state in which they have invested so much time, money, and prestige. They are confident they will get it all back. Plus interest.

I have my doubts they will continue to succeed indefinitely. The systems they themselves set up tend to be unstable in the long run, subject to boom and bust.