We have seen the future, and it sucks.

What’s College FOR, Anyway?

11th January 2018

Severian continues our National Conversation.

Sometime in the Sixties, we noticed that many successful people have college degrees.  Because “correlation isn’t causation” is a truth we seem hardwired to ignore, we went on to infer that because successful people tend to have college degrees, a college degree causes success.  And since college degrees can be bought, we decided to buy them for our kids.  After all, what parent doesn’t want his kids to succeed?

The consequences were predictable to anyone who has ever seen a consumer fad.  Furbies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Tamagotchis, pet rocks, mood rings, coonskin caps, whatever (I dare you not to spend the next two hours on that site).  First everyone wants one, then the prices jack into the stratosphere, then everyone has one, then nobody cares anymore, because when it comes right down to it you’re carrying a fucking rock around in a box.

That’s what college is these days.

And now we have everybody and his sister pushed into going to college, even if they haven’t got the smarts or the discipline to get a degree, and the taxpayers are picking up the bill, either at the time in the form of financial aid or on down the line when they default on their humongous student loans.

Universities were never intended to be jobs training programs.  Nor were they intended to be research centers.  Both of those are parasitic on the bad “college causes success” inference from the Sixties.  With all those kids flooding onto campuses — and paying a pretty penny to do it! — military contractors like Dow Chemical realized they had a huge supply of trained labor sitting around, in the form of all those new-minted science PhDs churned out to meet the consequent demand for professors.  Why give some egghead a GS rating, a lifetime pension, and a security clearance, when Football U. will foot the bill for you?

Colleges are conduits for Elite values.  That’s it.  That’s all they’ve ever been.

And the Elite values they inculcate these days aren’t calculated to get somebody a job, but rather to become part of the permanent Underclass that, willy nilly, votes for Democrats because they’re dependent on Free Stuff at taxpayer expense.

2 Responses to “What’s College FOR, Anyway?”

  1. Roy Says:

    Remember also that the sixties the era of the ‘Long March Through the Institutions’ of which education was one of the first and also the era of Vietnam protests. Both were intrinsically tied to changes in the higher education establishment.

    The distribution of liberal vs conservative among college faculty was no worse than 60/40 as recently as the Kennedy administration. Due to educational deferments among students (first undergraduate, extended to post graduate and finally to doctoral) which led to inflated qualifications of graduate students which led to inflated requirements for faculty hiring a point was reached in the early 1970’s when students who stayed in college to avoid Vietnam now had doctorates and were the most academically ‘qualified’ to fill faculty spots that opened as older members retired. These students were disproportionately leftist and have permanently changed the complexion of higher education faculty.

    The ‘Long March’, rather than being an unintended consequence of the poor decision to allow military deferments for college students, was a deliberate choice to undermine the authority of the common people by subverting the critical institutions that support their lives. College education followed by primary and secondary education, the clergy, popular culture, civil service, and finally much of the military leadership have all been overtaken by Marxist ideologies which in many cases are antithetical to the core missions of the institutions in question.

    I will quibble with one point in the quotations above. Many public universities do have an explicit mission of providing research to contribute to the public weal. It seems to me that research per se is a noble pursuit and helps discipline the minds of the students. Research directed toward supporting a conclusion already decided on the other hand is the Devil’s playground and completely inverts the concept.

  2. Tim of Angle Says:

    ‘Research’ as an explicit mission of university faculty was pioneered by German universities during the 19th century, and adopted by American universities during the early 20th (the ‘Progressive Era’), when they thereby turned their back on the alternative British framework. Ultimately, of course, even the British universities succumbed to the trend, although they held out until the Cold War and the advent of Labour Party socialism.

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