And that was neither accident nor coincidence.
In the last several years, Americans have been sensing that something is seriously wrong with the current crop of young people. True, they are likely to have the most education credentials any generation has ever received. They also are technically-savvy, and as such, have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips.
But in spite of these factors, today’s students seem to exhibit a character that is high in sensitivity and low in knowledge. What gives? Why are our students turning out like this?
Camille Paglia recently revealed the answer to that question. Paglia, a long-time Democrat, feminist, and college professor, believes the problem started in the earliest stages of education in the nation’s public schools:
“It’s really started at the level of public school education. I’ve been teaching now for 46 years as a classroom teacher, and I have felt the slow devolution of the quality of public school education in the classroom.”
According to Paglia, teachers at elite institutions are unable to see this decline in knowledge because their students often come from private schools and wealthy homes, which presumably still retain some elements of rigorous education. The great majority of students, however, can be described in the following way:
“What has happened is these young people now getting to college have no sense of history – of any kind! No sense of history. No world geography. No sense of the violence and the barbarities of history. So, they think that the whole world has always been like this, a kind of nice, comfortable world where you can go to the store and get orange juice and milk, and you can turn on the water and the hot water comes out. They have no sense whatever of the destruction, of the great civilizations that rose and fell, and so on – and how arrogant people get when they’re in a comfortable civilization. They now have been taught to look around them to see defects in America – which is the freest country in the history of the world – and to feel that somehow America is the source of all evil in the universe, and it’s because they’ve never been exposed to the actual evil of the history of humanity. They know nothing!”
Exactly right…and to paraphrase Reagan, almost everything they think they know isn’t so. “No sense of history” is the crucial bit; in every budding Marxist shitrapy under the sun, the first thing the New Bosses do (apart from ending private ownership of firearms, natch) is to get busy rewriting history to suit their purposes. It’s been no different here—which is how we’ve gone, for instance, from George Washington being the Father of his Country to George Washington, miserable slaveowning bastard. That’s if they deign to even discuss him at all.
As it happens, I’ve been re-reading some old H Beam Piper of late, and there’s a passage from Space Viking that might bear remembering right about now. To wit:
The barbarians are rising; they have a leader, and they’re uniting. The people who don’t understand civilization, and wouldn’t like it if they did. The hitchhikers. The people who create nothing, and who don’t appreciate what others have created for them, and who think civilization is something that just exists and that all they need to do is enjoy what they can understand of it—luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? Phooey! What do they have a government for?
And now, the hitchhikers think they know more about the car than the people who designed it, so they’re going to grab the controls…
It wasn’t the war that put Hitler into power. It was the fact that the ruling class of his nation, the people who kept things running, were discredited. The masses, the homemade barbarians, didn’t have anyone to take their responsibilities for them. What they have on Marduk is a ruling class that has been discrediting itself…And they have a democracy, and they are letting the enemies of democracy shelter themselves behind democratic safeguards.
That’s part of a longer discussion on how civilizations die off, and was written in 1962 or thereabouts. Funny, innit, how the more things change, the more they stay the same?
Update! Colleges: part of the problem too.
Are they our betters because of the degrees they hang on the walls of their over-priced, open-floor plan townhouses? Going to college used to mean something more than you had nowhere else to go after high school. It was a training ground for the leadership class. A college student was an invitee to an intellectual banquet where he could sample the best of Western civilization, of art and literature, of civics and philosophy. But today, it’s all gender studies and grade inflation, with whiny social justice warriors drowning out any voice that won’t sing in tune. It is steam table trays heaped with gray, fatty meat and limp asparagus – the Golden Corral of the mind.
Our aspiring leadership class leaves college with an anchor of debt and the itch of chlamydia, poisoned by a politically correct hook-up culture that amazingly manages to combine the most boring and annoying aspects of both leftism and debauchery. Out go these future leaders on their “slut-walks” and the rest of us look at them and think “Hard pass.” We’ve raised a generation of immoral puritans, living their lives in constant fear that somewhere, somehow, someone is having a normal sex life.
Where are the elite’s achievements? Our betters have been running things and yet they are the ones crying loudest about how awful things are. It’s another scam, of course. Things are awful, but not for them – do you think the Westside Los Angeles folks I dwell among are hurting? No, let the good times roll – on the backs of the people east of I-5. Things are hard out there in actual America (but improving under Donald Trump, the quintessential Anti-Better), and our ruling class is demanding action. That action is to direct more money and power to the ruling class. That’s the answer to every policy question. Yeah, they’ve failed, but if you reward them, well, then they’ll totally start succeeding.
Iraq, the 2008 financial meltdown, health care…the hits keep coming, and the answer for the last failure is always the same. Trust us, and double down. Accountability? That’s for us suckers.
It’s Schlichter again, and it’s dead on the money. I excerpted the latter part of this column a week or so ago, but this bit was apt enough to attach to this post, so you get another chance to go read it if you missed it before.