Higher education in America grew out of missionary evangelical European imperialism, and though it endures as a slightly modified form of neoliberal corporate credentialism, it will always betray its roots, and should be abandoned, post haste.
Every social problem in the known world has grown worse as higher education has become a trillion-dollar business, despite its pretensions to “critical thinking” and various associated bluffs and puffery. Young people become the center of a vast industrial apparatus dedicated to flattering their burgeoning vanity as ” future leaders.” The professors, life-long pedants and monks, are feted as the repository of the most intricate and steeped classical forms of knowledge, as if they wre priests of the highest order or thought and moral instruction. Young people, dragooned into following this theocratic line of early life-stage obedience, are loathe to voice their displeasures with the content or conduct of the authoritative classroom less their precious G.P.A’s suffer a numerical chastening from their vindictive elders. The social aspect of these “wasted” four years is a form of duty avoidance, spent mostly in finding in-group entertainment to augment the superficial sliding through assigned musty texts.
Is the true honored life to be found in slavish book reading, as is presented through the concept of the “professor,” the great and wise compulsive instructor in matters both aesthetic and technical? There is not the slightest evidence of a better society having been fashioned through high culture contemplativeness alone – the poets and the artists, along with the business school schemers and the hard science corporate grantees, have no more of a purchase on the pure moral life than does the groundskeeper.
A balance between reading and doing, thinking and constructing, arguing and sharing the physical load, would be a better destiny than the prison life of the classroom. With the explosion of bits of data and expressions of ideas, we are apres le deluge, with no “professor” able to provide a way through the massive waves.