Having endured as a spectator three and a half years’ undergraduate work by the future Baron, I am disgusted with what passes for higher education in our country. I am particularly disgusted with the culture of the academy itself: insular, feudal, anti-democratic, and parasitical. It could not survive without huge infusions of government “loans” which impoverish students, and large endowments of petrodollars which pollute the environment of the purportedly non-partisan university.
“Higher” education is insidious in its reach. It has strained to credentialize areas of work where once on-the-job training sufficed. It has lured into its intellectual stream students who are unable to swim. Who in academia cares about the failures, the suicides, the alcoholism rate of its student population? So many children are enrolled there who should not be.
This has cut into vocational training, providing information without knowledge or development of critical thinking and analysis. Academia wouldn’t dare teach students how to think: consider the consequences if young, impressionable students were given permission to ask contrary questions, to argue with the received knowledge of the campus classroom, to go up against tenured slackers who have
slaveys teaching assistants to do the heavy lifting while they get the credit.
University professors are grossly overpaid and underworked. They are a closely guarded guild with a very small portal and a very large gatekeeper. They are the nobility, untouchable and out of touch with the average American. They are mandarins arguing over minutiae no one cares about.
In a recent essay, Victor Davis Hanson called our universities “corrupt.” He’s right:
What are we to make of this increasingly corrupt institution, whose health is so necessary to the welfare and competitiveness of the United States? It brags that American higher education is the strongest on the globe, but that is largely true only because of the non-political and still untainted hard sciences, engineering, and informational and computer sciences — and despite the humanities, particularly literature, philosophy, and history that have become increasingly ideological and theoretical.
I was thinking of all this the other day, remembering the Larry Summers fiasco, eighty-eight of the Duke faculty weighing in through a public letter against their own students unjustly accused, the Ward Churchill mess, and the assorted outbursts of professors since 9/11.
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There have been many “outbursts” in the last decade. The feminists have built their own ghetto and their weapons of destruction are lethal. Ask Larry Summers.
But they aren’t the only ones with questionable scholarship and trivial, trifling pursuits. The psychologists and their findings grow more grotesque every year. The politicization of psychology is truly astounding when universities support idiotic research claiming to show that conservatives are less intelligent than liberals. Tell that to William F. Buckley.
Then there are the extremist ethicists, Singer at Yale being one, who slide down the slippery slope of where life begins and ends until there is nothing left but utility: you may live if you don’t inconvenience others. Moral thinking has slipped through into the void. Like God, or the military, or conservative thought, ethics — as the average person would conceive it — has disappeared from the university campus.
Which may be why the men are leaving. I don’t know where they’re going, but women now outnumber men in undergraduate schools. This, the old-fashioned anthropologists will tell you, is a worrisome thing, for when women dominate a field the quality of that endeavor lessens. This is not misogyny; it is simply hardwired into the human brain.
Notice, though, that while there is a preponderance of women in higher education, they do not dominate the hard sciences. Nor can they. This is one area — again, because of hardwiring — in which men are relatively safe; women are free to enter as long as they can keep up… and many of them do. But they don’t predominate.
However, we are not allowed, in PC Utopia University, to talk about differences between men and women. I’ll amend that: we arepermitted to talk about those differences if we are portraying the victimization of women. Then, the grievances and animosity are not only permitted, they are encouraged. Hatred of men is perfectly acceptable and there is no such thing as extremism when it comes to vilification of one half of our population.
This is more than arrogance. It is dangerous to the wellbeing of the coming generation. Feminism, unfortunately, has never been about mutual respect. It was founded on hatred of “patriarchy” and a desire for revenge. On that basis it has reaped a sour harvest.
The chance to help underclass women rise above the limits of poverty was dismissed by a narcissistic demand for “equality.” This constant drumbeat has degenerated into — for example, with female firefighters who cannot pass the minimum strength requirements — women in jobs who don’t carry their share of the load. It has resulted in women who scream “sexual harassment” at the drop of a handkerchief. It has devalued the idea of egalitarianism in the name of a false ideology.
Feminists, along with their fellow-traveling diversity pimps, have demolished higher learning. It is a travesty. Now, with the influx of billions of petrodollars from Saudi Arabia and the huge quantity of federal monies doled out as loans that will impoverish students for years, the university has become hopelessly mired in corruption.
It may be beyond repair.