One distinguished humanist to another.
Everything you say is true. I don’t see any way of avoiding the future you (and I) fear and that Cowen and Lindsay welcome. Lindsay himself is one more instance of how humanists have been their own worst enemies inside and outside the academy for the last generation. When the humanities has devoted itself to decentering the subject, it’s makes it hard to justify spending time and money on a subject that has no subject.
Then along comes an opportunist, no doubt harboring a grudge against the liberal academic establish, with a disinterested proposal to more widely diffuse the benefits of education; a proposal which will incidentally gut the liberal education establishment. The opportunists has chosen the right moment. The liberal educational establishment has voluntarily disarmed itself of the weapons it could have used to defend itself against an opponent who uses the language of radical egalitarianism. The establishment has been defeated by itself.
But even an opportunist, especially one who is a former college teacher of probably not left of center political philosophy, ought to be more cautious of the sweeping changes he proposes. As a distinguished humanist and aspiring Texan, he should reflect on the words of the “Father of Texas Education”, Mirabeau B. Lamar: “The cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy and, while guided and controlled by virtue, the noblest attribute of man. It is the only dictator that freemen acknowledge and the only security that freemen desire.”
Pardon the typos; mine eyes dazzle at the gray toned font in the comments section.
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