The State of Education

Yea, yea, beating a dead horse. Here I collect, organize and expand upon a number of themes that converge to get us to the sorry state we now find ourselves in. Expanding on a Twitter thread I wrote this morning:

When William Torrey Harris said “substantial education” (greatly facilitated by the graded classroom model being imposed everywhere back in the 1890s, and universal now) turned people into “automata, careful to follow prescribed paths” he meant that as a GOOD thing. He wanted everyone to absorb a culture, in his case, an Hegelian culture, whatever that might mean.

But there is a next step: after you’ve trained people to just follow orders, get in line, regurgitate on command & collect the participation trophy, THEN – (translating from Hegelian jargon to Modern English) – you need to get them Woke. For Harris, this meant a culture where everyone is open to being enlightened, allowing Progress to happen by approaching all problems via Hegelian dialectic. This the substantially educated would just do, no questions asked. There is no option, as Harris sees the the world, to working for Progress through the unfolding of the Spirit through History, etc. All is Becoming, nothing really IS. The usual Hegelian bullsh*t.

Reminder: Harris was not just some loopy poser (although he was that) – he was the US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906.

By the 1890s. Hegel had been set upright by Marx. I am oddly sympathetic to this traditional claim, as the God of Hegel is no god at all, but rather a mutable force finding its ultimate expression in History. Seems more tidy, even if equally dazzlingly incoherent, to just assign to History whatever god-like traits Hegel had hung on Spirit. Cut out the middleman, as it were, and lose whatever tenuous relationship Hegel’s Spirit had to any traditional understanding of the Supreme Being.

Marxists have no use for God, but the schooling Harris helped establish suited them just fine. School of Darkness describes, peripherally, how this change from the barmy and superficially benevolent totalitarianism of Harris to the much more bloodthirsty totalitarianism of Marx came about.

Jump ahead 50 years. Ambitious people had long recognized college as a meal ticket. (They failed to see that it’s only a meal ticket when it’s selective and hard – it doesn’t create jobs, just filters out the riff-raff, so to speak). So college became a universal goal, an unmitigated good. As such, the government got heavily into subsidizing it. For totally benevolent reasons, I’m sure.

Remember: follow the money. We pretend we’re subsidizing students but we’re not – students get debt, colleges get the real money. More and more flush with cash as the 60s rolled into the 70s and 80s, with more on the table for the taking from students loans, our fine colleges and universities practically wet themselves in the search for more students, any students! But faced with the dumbed-down products of Harris’s schooling, colleges were and are highly motivated to create classes & degrees for the unprepared and stupid. Today, even freshmen at elite colleges need to take remedial classes to attempt even the radically dumbed down curricula, so that, for example, 50% of incoming freshmen at Cal must take remedial math & English. These are kids who got into Cal based on all those AP credits and high SAT scores.

Today, anyone drawing breath can get into college and get ridiculous loans to pay highly inflated tuition prices so that they can get a college degree on the patently false theory that a better job will magically come with it.

The colleges get the money.

Luckily for the colleges, they already had a field-tested model of content-free education that could be passed by relative morons: Education schools, which have handed out degrees to the bottom 10% of students for over a century now. All they had to do was apply the rigor-free regurgitation approach perfected in education, where Harris’s philosophy, as modified and refined by such luminaries as the Communist apologist Dewey, is taught to the idealistic, if less intelligent and more gullible, fraction of students.

RAD(1) (Right Answers Disciplines) classes, like math, or even accounting, are deemphasized and removed from requirements while those demanding simple regurgitation of the prof’s pet theories multiply like rabbits. Old subjects that used to at least pretend toward some rigor, such as history and philosophy, are castrated to become as manageable as education.

Colleges became participation trophy diploma mills. Businesses can no longer use a degree as an indicator of minimal intellectual competence. Employers want to know you studied something, you know, hard-ish, before they give you that coveted slot in the cube farm. (2) Grads who never should have attended college in the first place weep that they have a lovely Studies degree but no one will hire them!

EXCEPT for the lucky few who get hired BY THE COLLEGES to teach yet more Studies classes to yet more heavily-indebted, unprepared students. Even the remaining RAD classes are under intense pressure to be made easier.

At some point, I’m guessing around 15 or 20 years ago, the Studies faculty began to outnumber the RAD faculty. This means that the hiring & tenure committees as well as internal governance and discipline boards came to be dominated by Studies professors.

This has had negative consequences.

Go back to Harris & being Woke. The Studies people have one thing in common: Critical Theory. Critical Theory has one answer to all questions: oppression. The only acceptable exercise is exposing the oppressor/oppressed dynamic that explains all misery everywhere.

Critical Theory which is merely Marxism configured for academic consumption, is, like Marxism in general, fundamentally an adolescent idea. It’s stupid, and contradicted by all experience. Any adult-level interaction with reality would disabuse one from it – but the products of our schools are inoculated as far as possible from any such interactions. Get ’em while they’re young! Because once it’s set in, it often takes a nuclear-level red pill to break the spell.

Back to colleges. We’ve reached the point where now, if any RAD professor were so crazy as to suggest that biology, history, (non-Marxist, i.e., real) economics, etc. contradict the crazies, the Studies people can deny him tenure or get him fired – if he somehow made it past the hiring committee in the first place. Then the loving, enlightened students will harrass him, dox him, threaten his children, threaten any venue that publishes his work and slander anyone who interacts with him.

Good times. Just imagine how bad it would be if our Woke children weren’t so loving and kind.

Thus, when the serious-looking talking head says idiotic things like Science supports Gender Theory, the biologists, physiologists, evolutionary biologists etc., who know this is idiotic nonsense stay silent – if they want to keep their grants and jobs.

The well-educated, who spent 12+ years ‘succeeding’ by sitting in their desks, standing in their lines, regurgitating the acceptable answers, and in general doing exactly as they were told feel a thrill of victory when the bad man who said mean things is punished. This is called being enlightened.

Even more convenient, being Woke means you already know the answer. Being Woke is inoculation against ever having to think. You know you are just the best, finest, most moral people EVER, in a way that simply cannot be explained to the unwoke. To even attempt such an explanation would be ridiculous. You either get it or you don’t.

The schooling we have today, promoted by Harris (and many others), taken over by Critical Theorists, is the chief tool of today’s totalitarian, anti-science nihilism. Comply or Die!

Conclusion: we are so screwed. The schools must be burned to the ground. True, the useful idiots will be the first to go if the revolution they are enabling ever comes to pass. A successful backlash would save their lives. Amusing if you like bitter irony, but small comfort.

Probably going to move out of my home state of California, always the leader in social trends. I’m taking suggestions for states that are accepting political refugees like me and mine, preferably ones where a finance/business guy can find a job. Any ideas?

  1. Heard RAD from Severian, not sure if it’s original with him, it was too cool not to use.
  2. The bottom rung in business, smarts-wise, is Human Resources. If a Woman’s Studies grad were ever to get hired, that’s where she’d end up – where they can act as gatekeepers to future job applicants. What could go wrong?

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

8 thoughts on “The State of Education”

  1. I have an interview for a teaching position at a local Catholic school coming up later this month (I graduate with essentially a tri-degree in Religion, Computer Science, and Social Sciences).

    It’s a stepping stone on my long term plan to create a traditional Catholic St. John Bosco school. In the meantime my philosophy of teaching is St. John’s preventative method.

  2. Don’t move north of California. It is every bit as bad as San Francisco, albeit with lower costs of living (though those are rising fast too!)

    If I knew of a job I could do (I am severely limited by mental health problems) that would support my family in another state, I would move in a heartbeat, but I’m just not confident in our abilities to land on our feet. Neither my wife nor I are particularly healthy or great at making friends, joining in a community, or putting down roots in general, and without any support system…

    Eh, sorry for the tangent. Hegel-and-Harris-talk just gets me down, and I would dearly love to be anywhere but the epicenter of the Crazy Years, so I guess you hit a tender spot.

    I will pray for you in your search, but I am surprised. You have seemed for the years I’ve been reading (not commenting until recently, but reading) to be resigned to California’s lunacy, and content with your position as a suppressed under-class “citizen” (no offense intended; I am very much in a similar boat, though definitely not “content.”) At the very least, you have always given the impression in your posts of being in it for the long haul, like the English martyrs of the Reformation. Has something changed?

    1. Thanks. Sorry about your poor health. May God heal and comfort you.

      Laws enacted 1n 2017 make failing to accept and comply with Gender Theory effectively a hate crime. Employers can be sued if an employee were to insist on using proper pronouns, and must post these rules and march their employees through reeducation camp (HR training meetings) to make sure they comply. To work in this state, I must comply, and the employer is made enforcer under threat of being sued.

      As usual, Marxist bullsh*t is passed in the dark of night, and most people don’t recognize it for a few years until it bites them. I’m hoping saner employers start moving out of state once people become aware of this.

      That’s what changed.

      1. Yeah, I heard about that back when it got passed, but hadn’t heard anything more recently. Sorry to hear that. Oregon’s laws get passed even more by the dark of night, since we don’t have as much national media attention (unless Portlanders are acting up, which they do often enough), so I don’t even know what the state of “misgendering” laws are here. I generally just use extreme care when I meet a possibly “transgender” customer.

  3. Thanks for the linkage! Lots of people call math etc. “right answer disciplines,” but I don’t know why more people don’t use the obvious, excellent acronym. (Since you seem to share my queasy affection for Cold War Commies, I’ll point out one of the fun side-effects of Twitter, text messaging, and the like — the return of all-acronym communication. Fun stuff).

  4. Have you thought about Dallas? There’s no shortage of finance jobs there, and given the fact that it is in Texas, no shortage of religious conservatives either. Of course, if you do look into Dallas, make sure that you don’t actually live in Dallas proper; not only is that where all of the local liberals have self-selected themselves to live, but the neighborhoods are either ridiculously expensive or are simply not safe enough for a Navy Seal to live in. Find yourself a nice suburb instead; there are no shortage of those in the area.

    As for churches, the Latin mass at Mater Dei parish in Irving is the best on the Dallas side of the DFW; on the Fort Worth side however, the best is Saint Mary the Virgin in Arlington, which is an Ordinariate mass. I’m less familiar with the state of Novus Ordo masses on the Dallas side of things though, so I’m not sure what which of those to recommend.

    Be aware that real estate prices have been spiking in the last few years in the DFW, so it’s best to move quickly before the prices get to be too high; although by California standards, they’re not really high at all, so this might not matter all that much to you. Finally, if you can wing it, I would recommend trying to find work on the Fort Worth side of the DFW; while there are not as many finance jobs available, the area is also quite a bit more conservative, and much less crowded, so it is definitely preferable.

    In any case, good luck with the search, and God bless.

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