Universitas Delenda Est

(I am comfortable using a paraphrased Latin expression for the title of this post, because most of the maggots at whom my ire is aimed are probably illiterate in the Classics and would understand neither the language nor the context of its origin.)

Victor Davis Hanson has written often (and most recently, here) about the death of Western Civilization, but in truth, the death blows are not actually being delivered by the Democrats, but by their philosophical supporters in academia.

Spoiler:  Western Civilization is a load of old racist rubbish, and shouldn’t be taught in today’s tertiary education systems.

From the Renaissance until the 1960s, the humanities, derived from the expression ‘studia humanitatis’ or the study of humanity, made it their purpose to make sense of and understand the world through the great traditions of art, culture and philosophy. There appeared in the 1970s and 1980s however, a range of ‘new humanities’ subjects which rejected this tradition. The new humanities were underpinned by a range of radical post-structuralism and post-modernist theories which had been conjured up in the previous decade by a predominantly French group of philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, as well as the psychiatrist, Jacques Lacan.
The new humanities maintain that for the last 500 years, Western Civilisation has got it wrong when it comes to knowledge, truth and science. These fields tend to claim that both knowledge and truth are not absolute, but are relative. For example, there is no objective truth and truth is dependent on who is speaking it and in what context. Insofar as science is concerned, they claim that scientific theories don’t really provide us with what we could call knowledge but are actually “invented” rather than discovered.
History as a discipline best exemplifies the influence of the postmodernists and their ilk on the humanities. Many historians have enthusiastically embraced the idea that truth is no longer within the historian’s grasp and that it’s impossible to use history to add to knowledge about humankind. This is the kind of thing which would normally signal the death knell for any discipline, but historians have risen from the ashes and have forged for themselves a new purpose—the attainment of social justice.
This is not social justice in the Enlightenment sense, which meant equality before the law and equal rights, but social justice in the activist sense, where the ultimate goal is to achieve perfect equality by destroying ‘oppressive’ institutions and rearranging society. The historians’ new role is to tell the inequality narrative of the oppressed and the oppressor through the lens of class, gender, and race.

Here’s my “modern” take on their attitude:

MFCS Commies… the sooner their whole rotten edifice falls over like the statue of Ozymandias, the better.  (They’re not going to get that reference either, the bolshie bastards.)

I should also point out that the university system per se was a creation of medieval European society (100% White people) and therefore as the university has its roots in racism, academia should probably be abolished in its entirety — just to be logically consistent.  However, logic is also inherently racist, it being an outcome of classical Greek thought, and we all know what racists the Greeks were (“Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes”  was the Turks’ Trojans’ opinion of the Greeks, although the actual expression was coined by a Dead White Man — Vergil — so that should probably be discounted as well).

I could do this all day.  But frankly, I’d rather pay a visit to a liberal arts faculty meeting at an Ivy League university.  Carrying a flame-thrower.  (What the hell:  none of them would be armed, right?)

And in the final irony:  the flamethrower was also an invention of White Europeans.

14 comments

  1. Insofar as science is concerned, they claim that scientific theories don’t really provide us with what we could call knowledge but are actually “invented” rather than discovered.
    They should take a flying leap off a high cliff and see if the “theory” of gravity is just an artificial construction.

    1. Hmm kind of. Theories are models of the truth, but they are never Truths with a capital T. Even the “Laws” of Newtonian physics break down at high energies or small sizes and are thus really replaced by relative physics, which in turn is supplemented by particle physics.

      But the relative state post modernist still fails, because the models need to be judged by how well they describe and predict the real world, not by the political world view if the observer.

      This is the basic bate and switch of the post modernists. They start with the first proposition (which is easily defended) and then jump to the second as if it is the same.

  2. Reminds me a little of what someone (maybe former president GWB or one of his aides?) said regarding radical islamic terrorists after the 9/11 attacks: They use weapons that they never could have built to destroy things they never could have made.

    Anti-Western academics are in essence, parasites. They live and breathe by virtue of technology and social structures that they, themselves, work to undermine.

  3. Continuing my thoughts…I am, perhaps, naive enough to think that a liberal arts education is still a good thing, if one can find it. People SHOULD study the histories of ancient Greece and Rome. They SHOULD study the middle ages, and the renaissance. They SHOULD learn of Aeschylus and Virgil and Da Vinci and Botticelli and Shakespeare. Those are all things that have direct relevance to our society today. Not only that, knowing where we came from and how we got here can help us understand more about human nature and help us resolve the real-world problems that we encounter today. After all, there’s nothing new under the sun.

    Sadly, too many universities have fallen to what I call “chip-on-the-shoulder” studies, i.e Black Studies, Chicano Studies, Womyn’s studies, etc, that serve no purpose other than to foster anger and resentment and then give it a gloss of intellectual authority – in the real world, it means nothing.

    If I was a hiring manager at Consolidated Widget and I was going through resume’s for applicants, anybody with a “______ Studies” degree would go straight into the trash – because that’s just an EO complaint waiting to happen. Might as well call it “Grudge Nursing Studies.”

    I would argue, though, that the real culprit here is not the vain and self-indulgeng university faculty (because, like artists, musicians and actors, I EXPECT them to be flaky) but rather what I would call the “college industrial complex.”

    Here in America we seem to have only one “model” of middle-class success and that is: Go to college, get a degree and then get a white-collar middle-management job (the idea of a middle-class kid going into the trades seems to be anathema to most parents.)

    And IMO the biggest purveyors of this nonsense are colleges and universities and the various industries that have popped up to service college students – those are the ones that are pushing the myth that a college degree is a guaranteed ticket to success in the world. And they’re also the ones that are pushing for more and more “federal student aid” which is really just a boondoggle for them: They get that sweet Federal cash and the student gets to drink and fuck his/her way through 4 years of glorified day care. The only people who get screwed are the ones stuck with the bill (that would be you and me, the taxpayers.)

    The sad truth is that this mentality – the automatic assumption that “every kid should go to college” – has gone unchallenged for so long that I doubt most people even question it anymore. I’m actually cautiously optimistic that the current “student loan revolts” we are seeing among millenials might make people finally start to question the “College degree = success” equation.

    1. Getting a classical liberal arts education is quite easy. Read. Most of the classics are now available in e-books for a dollar or less.

      This is the Dirty Little Secret of the liberal arts, the fact that it’s terribly amenable to self-study.

  4. Final thought: The most appalling thing about modern universities is how many graduates are still incapable of the most basic of tasks: Speaking, reading and writing the English language.

    If I were the King of the Universe I would require every college graduate, after receiving his or her Bachelor’s degree, to write a basic, 5 paragraph essay on the topic of their choice.

    Those that cannot write such an essay without glaring spelling and grammatical errors, those who cannot make a simple argument based on reason – nothing would happen to them….

    …But the colleges or universities that granted them their degrees? Well, that university would be dunned for every penny that was spent by the Federal government to educate that student (every guaranteed loan, every grant or subsidy.) After all, there was an express contract there: Government supplies the money, university educates the student. If the student is not educated but the university says he is (by granting him a degree) then the government is absolutely entitled to collect whatever they spent to educate that student.

    And I’d also allow the student himself to sue the university for recovery of all the tuition and fees he (or more likely his parents) paid out of pocket, on the same grounds, that the university did not deliver the “product” that was paid for.

  5. ^ Staff Martin said: “If I were the King of the Universe I would require every college graduate, after receiving his or her Bachelor’s degree, to write a basic, 5 paragraph essay on the topic of their choice.

    Those that cannot write such an essay without glaring spelling and grammatical errors, those who cannot make a simple argument based on reason – nothing would happen to them….

    …But the colleges or universities that granted them their degrees? Well, that university would be dunned for every penny that was spent by the Federal government to educate that student (every guaranteed loan, every grant or subsidy.) After all, there was an express contract there: Government supplies the money, university educates the student. If the student is not educated but the university says he is (by granting him a degree) then the government is absolutely entitled to collect whatever they spent to educate that student.

    And I’d also allow the student himself to sue the university for recovery of all the tuition and fees he (or more likely his parents) paid out of pocket, on the same grounds, that the university did not deliver the “product” that was paid for.”
    Bravo!! Clap-clap-clap!!!!

  6. VDH is one of those guys who I only wish I could could be a 1/4 as sharp and smart. I think I mentioned earlier Dr Rectenwald of NYU who went from Communist theorist to our side. He has a book out detailing that journey and what we are facing in academia and the broader culture. Springtime For Snowflakes. Here is review of it…..

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2018/08/22256/

  7. The American uni system is basically a scam that tricks the young into signing onto massive amounts of debt they can’t either pay off or default out of, all for a degree in something they can’t use.

    And because the goal is to get the kid to sign on the dotted line, it really doesn’t matter what swill gets pushed into their little brains, as long as it keeps the traditionally left leaning youngsters fired up to vote for Democrats.
    The whole rotten structure needs to come down.

  8. One of the factors that enables the Left to produce this sort of idiocy is their total lack of ability to comprehend History. It doesn’t seem to exist to them. It appears to be a defining trait. Might be a reason they repeat the same mistakes time after time.

    1. To a Progressive Leftist, humanity is evolving out of it’s more primitive past state towards that glorious utopia sung by John Lennon. Thus, the idea that we can learn from history is just as ridiculous as the idea that we can learn from an old Windows 95 user’s guide- we’ve certainly moved past that! We’re in a New Age now, and all that old reactionary past nonsense is just holding us back from the Glorious Future!

      And as anyone who knows history knows, that codswallop is nothing new. There’s always some kooks trying to sell Utopia- we just need to tear down the old ways, and we’ll be free to start perfectly new and afresh!!! This always ends in tears.

  9. My late Father was an Academic, but he was also an 18th Century Liberal instead of the current debased type. A scholar by avocation, he spent forty years teaching the History of Science and Technology, publishing numerous books and countless papers in the process. While the Progressive Rot had already started, the Lefties were scared to death of him. He knew his stuff, he had published several orders of magnitude more than most of them, and he was capable of a biting scorn delivered in the style of HIS Father, a Methodist Minister of some repute.

    Because of this, I grew up with a somewhat jaundiced view of Higher Education. The cold facts are that any society only needs so many BAs in English Literature, much less in Victims Studies. The push to get everyone to believe that anything you might want to do in life requires a college degree has been ridiculous on its face for quite some time. I cannot help but recall the poor Shmoo at one of the early ‘Occupy’ protests who bemoaned the $30,000 in college loan debt he had accrued getting a Masters degree in puppetry. He was widely mocked, but I felt sorry for the poor bastard. He had dome what society told him to do; he had gotten a degree in what he wanted to be his life’s work, and thanks to the ‘ya gotta getta degree’ drumbeat it had never occurred to him to do what would-be puppeteers of an earlier generation would have done; hitchhike to LA and get a job running errands for Jim Henson Studios and edge his way in.

    The entire edifice of Liberal Arts depends on the belief that at least a BA is necessary to get a job, and it just ain’t so.I look forward with some confidence to seeing a lot of the worst Commie nitwits with PhD.s learn to ask “Do you want fries with that?”

    1. True…but anyone with wits enough to wipe his own bottom should have been looking at employment potential before he chose a major.

  10. 1) There is nothing wrong with the average 4-year college or university that the correct size tactical nuclear weapon could not fix.
    2) That tactical nuke will arrive from a totally unexpected direction.

    A friend owns a small engineering/machining outfit which. among several things, is engaged in prototype work. He pays well above industry standard, primarily because of the specific type of work they do and the experience and expertise required to perform it. He, for some years now, has refused to look at a submitted resume that shows a graduation date within the last 12 years. He insists on being able to see, and avail himself of information related to, at least a decade of verfiable work experience, and even then, does not hire employees – he places them under contract and that contract has very specific language regarding performance and continued employment. It’s written to very heavily favor the company, not the contractor, especially in the area of the company’s right to terminate the contract, and, should a prospective applicant proceed that far, he refuses to accept a signed contract that is not accompanied by a letter from an attorney indicating he or she has reviewed the contract for the prospective contractor, solely to prevent potential future legal action. He can do this because his outfit has a reputation such that a resume with 3-5 years working for him carries significant cachet within that small industry.

    This is pretty brutal perfomance-based management policy, but he justifies it with the knowledge that one SJW could destroy the company; his clients pay a premium to use his company’s expertise and industriousness and one compromised client would almost instantly lead to losing all of them.

    This is a unique situation; there are lots of barista, clerical and similar base-level jobs requiring not much more than pulse, respiration and a minimal level of sentience. I don’t know exactly from where the torpedoes will come, but eventually they will arrive in unison at college administration buildings, and over a period of several years we will be treated to a fairly severe retrenchment of the higher education industry.

    Changes in business operations often take time to manifest, but like preference cascades and societal decline, they occur very gradually then all at once. A writer at Bison Prepper recently coined the phrase “profitable incompetence” in reference to a certain level of incompetent performance in business can still be profitable despite the added expense and customer dissatisfaction with the business’s incompetent performance. We’re seeing that now, as substandard performers are inducted into a business because the “Trump Boom” has generated a substantial need for additional employees to meet customer demand absent in the Obama and late Bush years; as business gains mature smart managers and owners will seek myriad means of meeting demands through achieving productivity gains rather than simply adding workers – all of whom come with expense, some with much greater expense than others – and the bottom ranks begin to shrink.

    It’ll take perhaps a decade before the full impact is felt on campus, although a much needed complete revamping of the federally-guaranteed student loan program could accelerate that substantially.

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