Saturday, July 22, 2006

Is the modern uni a fraud?
By sending our young to college, we are impoverishing them, and ourselves, and sentencing them to a life of slavery in some grim cubicle painted federal-wall green. Personally, I’d rather be chained in a trireme.

Besides, the effect of a university education can be gotten more easily by other means. If it is thought desirable to expose the young to low propaganda, any second-hand bookstore can provide copies of Trotsky, Marcuse, Gloria Steinem, and
The Washington Post.
Much of what LRC’s Fred Reed says satirically is true, not of the great universities of the past (Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Louvain, etc.), the Catholic university as envisaged by Newman or Fr George Rutler, the great-books colleges that emulate that or even honest trade schools (which don’t pretend to be universities and get the respect they deserve in Europe — for example they train Swiss bank presidents) but the many institutions rightly rubbished by Paul Fussell in Class (search the blog). (The ones with de facto professional sports teams.) The same small minority of kids actually go to university as around 1940; the others are conned into going to things calling themselves colleges or universities, a form of baby-minding/rite of passage/social promotion/prolonged childhood for people of certain means and a rip-off for those who think those degrees confer instant class and employability for life.

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