You seem to completely miss/ignore one major issue– who pays? We have someone built ourselves a system where the government (and other lenders) pays for YOUR college, and YOU then pay back the government over the course of a few decades. Of course this leads to price explosion, since the government is notoriously incapable of controlling spending on anything, you are willing to take on massive debt because you are a young fool and know nothing about jobs or money, and the lender will happily allow you to rack up insane levels of debt since it is non-dischargable.
But while the universities were happy with this system for a while since it funneled unprecedented and mind-boggling sums of money their way, now sensible academics like yourself may realize just who it is they have gotten into bed with. “He who pays the piper, pays the tune”, as they say.
Brian, That issue is coming later. The link is a very abridged version of something I’m working on.
[...] HERE Source: Postmodern Conservative [...]
Generally agree though a lot of important details not mentioned come to mind. Maybe this is because, as you say, this is a work in progress. For what it’s worth, here are my two cents:
1. The present alternatives you list, pseudo-liberal education vs anti-liberal libertarian education could due with a third option which is a classical liberal education which would concern itself with the important responsibility of proper formation of the student in the spirit of classical education. As you seem to characterize it, the present offering is a liberal general education void of any content apart from vapid political correctness, which only makes the libertarian alternative rather appealing for those of us who aren’t devotee’s to the PC idols of the day.
2. Invoking Hobbes to characterize the libertarian alternative gives the libertarian alternative a conveniently mercenary impression. You’re flirting here with strawman building. There is an argument that ought to be made that an important part of ones formation comes from the business of ones labor and vocation. See Shop Class as Soul Craft. Tocqueville, Jefferson, among others, were rather fond of celebrating the importance of an agrarian America as an important part of America’s character. We ought to consider then why can’t modern vocation play that role today as the necessary compliment to education, in which case the libertarian account of education which emphasizes career begins to look less mercenary, and more compimentary to an educational arc that helps to form character.
3. The essay has the tendency to suggest our only options are either of two extremes, pseudo liberalism versus mercenary libertarianism. I think if our higher education institutions actually were capable of a liberal arts curricula that actually contributed some content to the character of our students, the Cantor’s and Perry’s of the world would find more some merit in our existing system. They don’t. I don’t. And I dread the prospect of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars just so my two kids will be brainwashed into whatever rubish they happen to be teaching at the universities in 18 years, just so they can qualify for the piece of paper that gets them into an interview.
Given the alternatives, I would prefer a cheap education that taught my kids strictly the skills needed for a successful career, than pay a fortune for them to get indocrinated into some kind of delusional liberal utopianism that will take decades for them to recover from, if they were ever to recover.
Certainly there is a better way. But it would necessarily have to include a higher educational establishment that suddenly realizes that everything they are teaching about the nature of the world is rubbish, and what are the chances of that? Not very good.
I look foward to seeing what emerges in the next eighteen years to replace the teetering Byzantium that is today’s only higher educational option.
Pseudo, All good comments. The LITTLE essay was written with the point in mind. It reflected what the LIBERTARIAN economists are says, as well as being one point among many supporting my view that American is getting more libertarian/Lockean.
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