Saturday, December 5, 2020

Briefly Noted: A Covid Success Story?

Yesterday Steve Hayward at Powerline returned to a topic he's touched on before: The Higher Ed Meltdown Accelerates. He includes a chart that pretty much tells the story. The meltdown he's talking about is the collapse of employment at universities as a result of Covid. The other meltdown, the ideological meltdown, continues apace, of course. Here's the picture:

Hayward follows with some more or less anecdotal examples--but which surely must reflect the larger reality across the country--and takes some pleasure in pointing out that the deepest cuts are in the liberal arts. I'm a liberal arts guy, myself, but I recognize that the liberal arts are from where they used to be--are the epicenter of our cultural and, therefore, political crisis. Obviously, the universities are symptomatic of a deeper spiritual problem in the West, but they have also become an engine driving us more quickly down the slippery slope.

Hayward does recognize that the STEM departments have also been ideologically affected, and includes an example.

It occurs to me, however, that there really is no happy ending here. Of course Covid on its own won't cause universities to shed their ideological baggage and return to educating American young people for productive futures--which, I fear, is how the purpose of university education is viewed by most Americans. Still less will they return to passing on the spiritual core of Western culture. If the two most recent 'scientific' hoaxes--Global Warming and Covid--have taught us anything it is surely that "science" as we thought we knew it is largely dead. It is now increasingly an adjunct to politics, seeing its role as supporting whatever the current political orthodoxy of the Left happens to be. Few in the STEM departments of our universities have the intellectual background and training to launch a defense of the disciplines they grew up in.

The other side of the coin is that, if Trump is indeed forced out by a global Left coalition, our Republican senators will gleefully join in opening the floodgates, not just to cheap blue collar labor, but to foreign born (largely Asian) students and researchers who will work for less and will replace our dumbed down offspring. The Trump economy will prove to have been a speed bump, unless--against all odds--there is a spiritual rebirth in America that will prove capable of sparking an intellectual rebirth. The resources are there--scattered behind us along the roadside of our history. Otherwise, the Great Reset awaits us, sooner or later. Or worse.


  1. The higher education model has been deeply flawed for decades. It's another in the list of Federal Government programs that is not much more than a grift of US Taxpayer via disastrous Liberal Left policies.

    My undergraduate degree in 1984 cost for a full YEAR of State university education $2,500. That included tuition, room and board, with books usually around $200.

    Look at salaries of mid-level administrators up until now, and look at what they actually PRODUCE: no value.

    And as long as the Government gives away Federal money in the form of "grants" and "loans" for worthless degrees- consistently charged more by the universities- there isn't (or wasn't) a bottom.

    If any system in this country needed to be flushed and rebuilt, its Education.

    1. Problem: To the extent that Education in this country is a system, it's run by the government. To "flush and rebuild" it would therefore entail government performing those operations. Not a happy thought at this point in history. That would be like asking government to "flush and rebuild" any other "system" you care to name.

  2. Beneath the contraction there is another more ominous development. Colleges and universities are using the George Floyd death to double down on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, inserting these principles into course approvals, course evaluations, and future hires. Liberal arts as you and readers here know them, Mark, are in their death throes.

    1. Steve HAYWARD offers examples of what I mentioned above in his latest post at PL. and it is only going to accelerate if (when) Biden is inaugurated.
      It’s worth remembering that Trump ran against PC, and one of his last EO’s was to encourage a return to patriotic education. And what of his proposed garden of heroes? All that is going up in smoke....

  3. Higher education is the same story as healthcare, insurance, capitalism, law and many others. The second you involve a government everything becomes a bloated infected cost zombie that's completely ineffective.

    It's called the Theory of Government Failure. Provision, subsidy and regulation by their nature destroy all things productive.

    This is why the framers called for a limited government with limited powers and why adminstrative law is so destructive.

    Even if you "wanted" to flush the whole they and start over you can't because they will be there in the way of it.

    That story is thousands of years old and played out hundreds and hundreds of times throughout history people are just too narrow minded and blighted to understanding why.

    Kill the beast, save the community, it's that simple.

  4. opening the floodgates, not just to cheap blue collar labor, but to foreign born (largely Asian) students and researchers

    For the moment, let's set aside the 'cheap labor' question, which is valid.

    Let's go back to PJBuchanan's thesis: that immigration is GOOD if and only if the immigrants are culturally compatible with US culture, i.e., Christian. (Even then, immigration should be rationed correctly.)

    The incoming Irish, Italian, Polish, and Germans--and Lebanese, and Armenians--were all Christian. They, too were 'cheap labor,' but were culturally compatible with the existing population, to a great degree.

    East Asians are not, nor are Chinese, nor any flavor of Mohammedan. That's not to say they aren't nice people, or hard-working, yadayada.

    It IS to say that culture counts far more than anything else.

  5. @Dad29
    "...culture counts far more than anything else."

    There is no evidence that a multicultural nation (with no predominant culture) is survivable.