A friend asked me what I made of Dominic Cummings. This was my response:
He wrote this extraordinarily long tract about the failings of our education system, years ago, which I started reading and thought “hmmm, maybe he has a point”, and then continued reading and it just got more and more swivel-eyed.
He’s a sort of cousin to Gove, I think - he has this notion that there’s a sort of idealised grammar-school education everybody should have, which would make us all (well, you know, the >120 IQ subset of the population actually fit to exercise the franchise) super-competent citizens of a super-complex world, and everything that goes wrong can be put down to failures of competence due to inadequate education. It’s a sort of hyper-technocratic position - he thinks existing institutions and personnel are thoroughly incapable, and only he has the holistic grasp of everything needed to reform them.
It’s a truism that most really intelligent people recognise the limits of intelligence - their own, and intelligence in general. The Gove/Cummings type makes a fetish of intelligence, and organises their entire view of the world around it: if only we properly valued intelligence, and intelligent people, and educated them properly, and put them in charge of things, and everybody else just did what the intelligent people told them to! Well, I think I thought something like that when I was about 14. But one is supposed to grow out of it.