Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is John Smithson Copying The Midnight Review's Old Articles?

I saw something interesting when visiting John Smithson's tiny blog - an article discussing President Obama and The Peter Principle. 

The funny thing is it reminded me of a June 15th article I had written discussing Sarah Palin being the embodiment of the social theory - I wonder if Smithson, a frequenter of this website, riffed off the previous article written by me?

Here is Smithson's August 3rd headline:

Here is my June 15th headline:

So, I guess to answer Smithson's question: "Yes, somebody has heard of the Peter Principle."

I did want to point out that Smithson sort of sums up the principle incorrectly - he writes that "people are advanced to a position in which they are 'in over their heads,' moved down to a lower position where they function well."  While he got the first part of the principle correct, that people who fulfill the Peter Principle are essentially promoted to a position they are not qualified to hold, he fails to understand the remainder of the concept - those people who are incompetent tend to remain in their position while the work is conducted by those who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.

Essentially, Smithson believes Obama is incompetent, thus satisfying the Peter Principle, but in accepting the general concept of the principle, Smithson also acknowledges the corollary that the work is being done competently someway and somehow - basically, Smithson agrees that the government is running accordingly. 

It is this author's belief that Obama is competent, and comparatively, people like Sarah Palin embody the Peter Principle, and the reason Palin continues to remain in the spotlight and popular among the right-wing fringe is because her handlers have yet to reach their level of incompetence (which is much higher then Palin's) and so they are effectively keeping her image together.

What article will Smithson think of next - conservative complacency and the Spiral of Silence?

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