China is ruled by the equivalent of the faculty of Harvard College, which William F. Buckley famously compared unfavorably to the first hundred people in the Boston phone directory. This sort of system has good points and bad points. It is embedded in popular culture, e.g., the plot of almost every martial arts film. It also encourages an educational system in which almost everyone learns calculus, as opposed to America, where one  out of eight high school students learns calculus.

I suspect that the popularity of Star Wars and the Potter series arises from the generation of obese, pimply-faced young losers we are now raising, who know their real-life prospects to be miserable, and compensate by playing the hero in video games. Very few of them know how to code a computer, to be sure, and even fewer know how to build one.

Think of Skywalker/Potter/Siegfriend as the pop-culture equivalent of the self-esteem movement in education. If we can’t persuade our kids to accomplish anything, at least we can enrich their fantasy life.