A Bad Attitude Towards the Classics

A question for the readership:  How do y’all feel about this?

[Some Social Justice Rabbit confirming that she’s never read a seminal figure in her own putative field]

The political angle is obvious — as Wright points out, SJWs don’t create; they can only destroy.  SJW “fiction” is just a giant mad lib — all the gay black differently-abled Hobbits gamboling through the Shire in search of the One True Hillary 2016 Campaign Button.  The intellectual side is obvious, too — since they’ve limited themselves to only Goodthinkers with at least three Diversity boxes checked, they’re abysmally ignorant of 99.9998% of everything that has been done, thought, and said in the whole of human history.

But what about y’all, dear readers?  What’s your opinion on “the classics”?

I have to make a confession: I don’t really read “the classics” either.  As I am not a professional fiction writer, nor a Fan (Tru-, Wrong-, or otherwise), I find it sufficient, for cultural literacy purposes, to have heard of Jack Vance and possess a reasonable idea of what he’s about.  If I’m in the market for a sci-fi book, I’m likelier to pick up one of his greatest hits than anything written in the last 30 years, but that’s true with just about any figure in any field (if it has been hyped in the last three decades, it is undoubtedly SJW tripe).  But I don’t feel like an ignoramus because I haven’t read The Dying Earth cover to cover.*

And this extends even to things like philosophy.  When I was in grad school, the hardcore kids all read Foucault and Lacan and Baudrillard and whatnot.  In French.  And they actually read Foucault — his original books, cover to cover.  I just don’t see the point of this.  For one, you can read him, if you must, in English.  But you mustn’t.  That is, there are a million Foucault for Dummies books out there that will give you everything you need to know, for all practical purposes.

Unless you’re a professional philosopher, engaging him on an arcane technical point of philosophy, I just don’t see the need to read him cover-to-cover at all.

The only quasi-exception is classic literature — much better to read Shakespeare than to read about him.  But even here, a little judicious browsing is sufficient.  Read a few of Donne’s sonnets, and you’ve got the Metaphysical Poets.  Slog through a few lines of Essay on Man and you’ve got the Augustan Age.  A little Rousseau will give you the Enlightenment in all its smug, smarmy, bloodthirsty glory, and a few of the Lyrical Ballads will give you everything you need to know about Romanticism.  Read more of whatever appeals to you, but for pete’s sake don’t plow through The Collected Works of _____ because “it’s good for you.”

I think this is where a lot of conservatives go off the rails.  Since all the rabbits can do is Disqualify, they immediately throw their five degrees in your face and start spouting jargon.  But that’s actually all it is — jargon.  Here’s a simple test: Can you explain what you mean without the jargon?  Doctors, for instance, have a nearly impenetrable professional lingo, but they can tell you what they mean in plain English easily enough.  A myocardial infarction is a heart attack; your distal phalanges are those little bones at the ends of your hands and feet.  It’s easier to say “distal phalanges” than “those little bones at the ends of your hands and feet,” and that’s why docs use the term.  But a term like “patriarchy,” now… what on earth does that mean?  Heteronormative?  Cisgender?  To unpack “cisgender,” you need to know both “cis-” and “gender.”  To unpack those, you have to start by assuming that the world really works the way the Wymyn’s Studies harpies say it does.

Any jargon that can’t be explained without reference to other jargon is just question-begging.

These days, a liberal-arts education is little more than learning how to spout the proper jargon.  And that’s why you don’t really need “the classics.”  Foucault is just a wannabe-Nietzsche who liked rough gay sex.  Feminists are wannabe-Lenins whose only argument is “because vagina.”  The only response you need to any of them is “I hear your buzzwords, and I disagree; the world doesn’t work like that.”  And you’ll know, because you’ve read Marx for Dummies and Nietzsche for Dummies and you’ve seen the tiny grain of actual thought inside the lumpy, turd-colored pearl of SJW jargon.

There’s absolutely no shame, in other words, in not having read Aristotle’s Politics or The Critique of Pure Reason cover to cover.  A) They haven’t either, and B) you’ve read the For Dummies version, which is more than they’ve done, and you actually know what you’re talking about.  And if conservatives try to browbeat you for not having read The Collected Works of Hayek or whatever, well, the same rules apply.  The chances are much higher that a conservative actually has read whatever he’s citing — we read; they don’t — but the principle remains the same.  If you can’t summarize whichever idea of Hayek’s you’re trying to introduce into the debate in your own words, then the problem is you, you poseur.

That’s my take, anyway.  What do y’all think?

 

*For the record, I actually did take a crack at The Dying Earth, which was four stories set in that world in an omnibus edition.  I can see why people like it, but it’s not for me.

A Nostalgia for Kommissars

Given what we know about George R.R. Martin’s politics, you’d be forgiven for assuming that’s the title of Book 7 of A Song of Ice and Fire.  But it’s actually about this, from Gary’s comments on the previous post:

if we examine each individual … we shall find that at bottom he is filled with the influences of his environment, as the skin of a sausage is filled with sausage meat… . The individual himself is a collection of concentrated social influences, united in a small unit.

They had a certain vulgar talent for idiom, those old commies.  You’re all just society’s sausage meat, comrades, stuffed into the casing of your class position.

Wouldn’t it be nice if SJWs still spoke this way?  They share Nicolai Bukharin‘s politics, and they just adore his methods.  Why not ape his speech, too?  Ponderous tautologies, shopping lists, and faux-archaisms, after all, are one of the many reasons Comrade Martin’s books are nearly a thousand pages per.  If there’s any justice in this world, Bukharin is roasting in hell, but the old murderer had bigger balls and a better prose style than any of today’s sci-fi rabbits.

The Grand Unified Theory of Everything

Since I’m out of stuff to say, I might as well say it all as concisely as I can.  Here’s my Grand Unified Theory of Everything:

Liberals believe

It is not consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness

with all their hearts, minds, and souls.  It’s the only thing they believe.

Now, I’m not saying they all know this particular phrase.  As we’ve all noticed countless times, liberals — especially the ones with multiple fancy degrees — are poorly educated and have nearly zero intellectual curiosity.  I doubt one in a thousand of them has ever even heard the phrase; maybe one in five thousand has read a single word of Marx.  But it explains all the observed facts:

Their obvious distaste for constitutional government.  Constitutions deal with Rights.  You don’t have any.  Nobody does.  Capital-R rights come from God, who doesn’t exist, or from one’s status as a human being, which changes with society.  We only speak of small-r “rights” because that was the form of society in 18th century British North America.  We have only our “class position.”

Their immunity to cognitive dissonance.  I’ve puzzled this one over for years, but it’s actually quite simple — their social being changes; therefore, their consciousness changes.  Most people who haven’t read him think Marxism is about economics.  That’s wrong — it’s about epistemology (study of knowledge) and ontology (study of being).  Marx’s quote up there addresses both.  We only know what our social being allows us to know (epistemology).  That’s why liberal politicians “evolve” on the issues.  They don’t change their minds, or come to different conclusions — that implies that there’s a set of real, unchanging facts upon which they’ve cogitated and come to a different conclusion.  Instead, they’ve changed as Society has changed.  Yesterday’s lie is today’s gospel truth, because Society says so.

Their unabashed elitism.  Social Justice Warriors are the most elitist people on the planet.  We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all wondered how they get all the privileges while yelling at us to check ours.  “Some animals are more equal than others,” we mutter.  But actually, that’s true.  Remember, The Quote is also an ontological claim.  Marx believes there is such a thing as capital-H History, and that he’s plumbed its inner workings.  He knows the end state — communism — and the process by which it will come about (“dialectical materialism”).  Thus there’s a continuum, and they’re simply closer to the End of History than you are.  Their class position, their social being, is of a different order than yours.  You can’t see it — again, you can only know what your social being allows you to know — but they can.  That’s why they’re the vanguard of the proletariat, and that’s why they deserve to run your life for you.

Their fanatical devotion to abortion.  Fetuses don’t have a social being by definition.  Therefore, they don’t exist.

Their argument style.  Liberals have one, exactly one, “debate” tactic — point-and-shriek, a.k.a. disqualify.  By challenging them, you’re implying that you’re of the same class position / have the same social being.  But that can’t be true, because you don’t think like them (remember, History only moves one way).  So they have to prove that you’re lower on the class ladder — and that, in itself, is a refutation of all your arguments.  “Shut up, prole” is really all they’ve got.

Extend those out, and you’ve got every other aspect of liberalism.  Feel free to expand in the comments.

 

I’m Out of Things to Say

I haven’t posted much in a while, and don’t intend to post much in the future.  Partly this is because life is happening offline.  But another part is simply this: I don’t have anything more to say.  I’m  just repeating myself.

For instance, what can I say about this?  It’s sci-fi author Sarah Hoyt’s take on the “Sad Puppies” thing.

Of course the state doesn’t have control over every aspect of public and private life.  But it is undeniable that it’s seeking it.  More importantly, the people who want the state to have ever more power, those who are convinced that the individual can’t be trusted, those who agitate for every group to be considered as a group composed of equally privileged/victimized widgets, are pushing shock-troop like into every facet of our lives.  No facet can be free of social-justice ideology.  You shouldn’t be able to collect stamps or arrange flowers without being told to check your privilege and without being examined for thought crimes.  No fun, no relaxing, no mindless activity can remain free of ideology.  And absolutely no human relationship, be it friends, acquaintances or lovers can remain free of Marxist-Leninist ideology and classifications.

She grew up in a Socialist country.  She gets it.  But here’s the thing: Leftists have always –ALWAYS– been explicit about this.  I’ve quoted this a million times, because it’s leftism in a sentence:

It is not consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.

That was Marx, writing in Eighteen Hundred and Fifty fucking Nine.  We’ve known exactly what leftists intend to do with power for more than 150 goddamn years, and we still don’t get it.  Of course nothing can be outside the state — no pleasure, no diversion, no activity higher than the autonomic — because man’s social being determines his consciousness.  Wrongfun is thoughtcrime, because people who have fun in Unapproved ways think in Unapproved ways, and therefore exist in Unapproved ways.

How hard is that to understand?  That’s why they can’t let video game dorks play their own video games.  It’s why they can’t let sci-fi dorks write their own stories.  All of those things are social, and the social is the existential.

You are not you.  You are a worker unit, one of 6 billion identical worker units that make up Society.  And just as one malfunctioning cog can stop a whole assembly line, so one wrong thought, one wrong activity, one minute of Unapproved happiness can bring the whole grand edifice of Social Justice down.  They won’t stop, because they can’t stop.

If you don’t get it yet, read Marx’s quote until you do.  You can spend a lifetime unpacking all the sheer, anti-human horror of that one little sentence.

What’s left to say?

Puppies!!! Part II

Damn it, I really liked the “evolution makes Social Justice impossible” post, below… but this is too funny not to share.

George R.R. Martin himself — the biggest gun in the SJWs’ arsenal* — tries the ol’ “can’t we just debate the isssuuuuuuuuuues?!?” tactic, fails hilariously.

The comments are an especially rich source of lulz.  But seriously, though: See what I mean about this “SJWs are all autistic” thing?  Some knucklehead comes in white-knighting for Martin, says GRRM debating Vox would be like Bush or Obama debating some city councilman, so wide is their disparity in status.  Which would be both true, and an effective insult, if the President HIMSELF hadn’t called for the debate.  No cognitively normal person can fail to see that the President of the USA running from a debate with some city councilman he himself called out would only make the President look like a weakling.

But that’s the script, so that’s what they’re going with.

 

 

*Biggest, I mean, in terms of “influence in the sci-fi/fantasy field,” not in terms of sheer bulk.  Though GRRM has to be pushing four bills at this point, I’m sadly sure there are more massive SF/F authors out there.

Evolution and Social Justice*

Our Betters, the Liberals, believe the sacerdotal version of Evolutionism preached by Dawkins et al.  Not believing it, we’re told, is sure proof of stupidity.  Very well: I believe it.  But…. y’all know that makes Social Justice impossible, right?

We’re basically chimps.  We share 99% of our DNA with them.  We also share 99% of our behavior with them, because that behavior — competition, dominance, hierarchy, everything that falls under “survival of the fittest” — is what enabled our primate ancestors to survive and thrive and evolve into us in the first place.  That’s Evolution 101.

Social Justice requires us to deny this.  Social Justice requires complete equality of outcomes.  Thus, Social Justice requires us to override every single instinct we’ve evolved in the 2.8 million years since we stopped swinging in trees.

28228-Thats-Unpossible-Ralph-wiggum-PcuIWell, ok, there’s one way out of this dilemma: Forced Evolution.  Marx wrote most of his stuff before Darwin, but that’s what he was getting at in one of his most famous utterances:

It is not consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.

I think the High Priests of Evolutionism — socialists all — must agree that a permanent change in Man’s social being would have effects on his DNA.  They would surely agree that it works the other way: Coding everyone’s DNA for increased altruism would produce a vast change in society, most likely in a Social Justice direction.  No matter which end you attack it from, though, if Evolutionism is true, we must rewire those evolved competitive / hierarchical instincts to achieve Social Justice.

This, indeed, was the point of Forging the New Soviet Man.  Humans must be rewired to accept their place as interchangeable cogs The Collective.  To put it in Dawkensian terms, the New Soviet Man is the Kind Gay Uncle of the kin selection hypothesis, altruistically sacrificing himself so that his siblings’ genes may live.

And that’s where the Social Justice Warriors fail.  While they’re perfectly happy to run your life for you, they have absolutely no intention of becoming New Soviet Men themselves.  They’ll mate with whomever they please, thank you very much, and god forbid they ever get assigned a shift on the production line at People’s Heavy Tractor Manufactory #202.

[And yes, I realize that every Proletariat must have a Vanguard, comrade.  But who says you get to be in it?  You can’t even keep your story straight about Evolution, fer pete’s sake, and that — or so you keep telling us — proves you’re a mouth-breathing racist sister-humper.  Off to Siberia with you!  It’s only Social Justice….]

 

 

[A much simpler explanation for observed social behaviors in humans is neo-Malthusian r/K selection theory (Darwin got his breakthrough idea from Malthus).  As resources expand, so does r-psychology.  Most r’s become typical hedonistic, nihilistic liberals — Rabbits.  Some become complete resource-consumers and join the priestly caste, removing themselves from the gene pool entirely (the best educated in Western society are the least fertile, as has been true since at least Malthus’s time).  Others flip completely and become Kind Gay Uncles, again removing themselves from the gene pool while becoming complete resource-consumers.  The dwindling band of K’s become entrepreneurs, soldiers, or criminals; they are ideally positioned to survive and thrive when rampant rabbitry pushes the environment past its carrying capacity].

 

 

*This is a slightly expanded version of a comment I left at House of Eratosthenes.

Puppies!!!

I have to say, this “Sad Puppies” Hugo Award sci-fi thing is more fun than a barrel of monkeys in people clothes.  I think our three regular readers know all about it, but on the off chance:

The SJWs who run the Hugo Awards claim they’re not doing what SJWs always do — blackballing badthinkers.*  So sci-fi authors Larry Correia , Vox Day, and Brad Torgersen got a whole shitload of conservatives on the slate, and now the SJWs are threatening to destroy the Hugo Awards by voting “No Award” on everything, or rigging next year’s rules so obviously in favor of goodthink that they might as well name the Hugo the Golden Circle-Jerk Award for Excellence in SJW Propaganda and leave it at that.

You’d think some Christian bakery refused to make a cake for a transgender lesbian wedding, the freakout is so hyperbolic.

For me, the most fun part is yet to come: Watching the fallout.  My theory is that the SJWs are SJWs first and sci-fi fans only a dim, distant second (I know, I know — earthshattering insight, that is).  But still — “sci-fi nerd” is a pretty all-encompassing identity in its own right, especially for people who actually attend fan conventions and vote on awards.  It’s bound to be traumatic.  I wonder what they’ll do?

I suspect that the Sad Puppies have cut the pinkshirt contingent in half in one blow.  I’m not an SJW, obviously, but I do have experience being a rabid fan.  I used to be a huge fan of NBA basketball.  I wasn’t quite a sci-fi nerd-level fan of my particular team, but I was pretty emotionally invested.  But by about 2001, it was abundantly clear that the league would do just about anything to guarantee an LA / New York or LA / Florida finals matchup (go ahead and google “2002 NBA playoffs” — one of the first auto-commplete options is “fixed”).  My team simply didn’t have a legit shot at ever winning a championship under the current power structure.

To actually enjoy watching the NBA, then, I’d basically have to become a Lakers fan.  Which wasn’t gonna happen.  So I just stopped watching basketball, full stop.  I see highlights on ESPN now and don’t even recognize half the teams.

My guess is that a lot of erstwhile pinkshirts are going to take this route.  They love sci-fi like I loved basketball — a lot, but not enough to see my guys take in in the ass from David Stern every fucking season (I’m not still bitter about this).  Another group of ex-pinkshirts will probably go another way, pretending to enjoy the game purely on technical merits while not caring at all about particular teams.  In this scenario, sci-fi is the WNBA — nobody ever says “watch the WNBA, it’s so entertaining;” they always go on and on about how it’s a much “purer” game than the one with all the slam dunks and defense and excitement and whatnot.

The hardest of the hardcore, I imagine, really will embrace the Hugos as the Golden Circle-Jerk Award for Excellence in SJW Propaganda.  Each year, six or seven people with multicolored hair and seventeen piercings will get together to gush over crap like Ancillary Justice and “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.”  Did you hear the author doesn’t use gendered pronouns?

 

*I see this all the time in academia.  Eggheads swear up and down that they don’t blackball conservatives; it’s just that all conservatives are, by definition, too stupid and evil and dumb and evil and stupid to ever get an academic job.

Placeholder Post

Better Than SNUL, but just barely.

Barely good, wah-ah-wah-a-ah-ah…. oh, wait, that’s Better Than Ezra.

better-than-ezra01Anyway, speaking of groups that should’ve called it quits in the 90s (the 1890s, in this case), TakiMag’s Gavin McInnes has a nice post up referencing The Hypotheticals, the most overhyped supergroup of them all:

The Hypotheticals” as I’ve begun calling them, want to fire a black man today to safeguard black jobs in the future. This is a bizarre mindset that is all utopia and no logic. Like all far left politics, it hurts real people today in the name of helping hypothetical people in the future.

Such is Marxism.  It’ll never get funded — academia being what it is — but somebody really ought to study the links between Leftism and autism.  It has often been remarked that liberals love “The People” in the aggregate but despise individual humans (and, indeed, the human race).  Could it really be as simple as high levels of autism among leftists?

Think on it a sec:  Autistics fail the false-belief task, aka the Sally-Anne Test.  Briefly, the false-belief task forces the test-taker to assume another’s viewpoint.  The subject observes a doll, “Sally,” placing a marble in a basket.  Another doll, “Anne,” hides Sally’s marble in a box when Sally leaves the room.  When Sally comes back, the tester asks the subject “Where will Sally look for her marble?”

Developmentally-normal children older than 4 will quickly respond “in the basket,” since Sally doesn’t know the marble has been moved.  Children under four — and 80% of autistics — will answer “in the box.”  After all, that’s where the marble really is.  In other words, autistics can’t assume enough of another individual’s perspective to know that they themselves have privileged information.

The Hypotheticals can’t grok that the needs of actual people today must morally outweigh the theoretical needs of possible people, on my — ahem — hypothesis, because they literally can’t understand the needs of actual, existent individuals.  Because of their condition, they don’t process social interactions and can’t handle nuance.  To them, “Bob” is just a string of data to be manipulated.  Because they can see the data better than “Bob” himself can, they have no problem assigning “Bob” a shift in People’s Heavy Tractor Manufactory #202, taking away “Bob’s” cigarettes, or sending “Bob” for a spell of reeducation in Siberia.

They can’t grok that Bob is a real person, in other words.  “Bob” doesn’t see the optimal outcome of his own situation, because he’s not a situation in search of an optimal outcome.  To himself, he’s Bob, full stop.

This is why lefties so addicted to apocalyptic scenarios like Global Weather.  If you literally can’t understand the needs of actual, existent people, then naturally you can only consider “The People” — or, in this case, “The Planet” — in the abstract.  Global Weather completely discounts the needs of real people in favor of a hypothetical sometime down the road, so who cares what Bob or anyone else thinks?

This is why we’re so reliably informed that the climate will do this, the state must do that, etc.

It’s also why the dictionary is the sole source of metaphysical Truth. As Nightfly puts it so eloquently,

I bet you think all those “people’s” “democratic” “republic” tyrants really do have free elections of free citizens represented by democratically-chosen delegates – I mean, it’s right there in the name of their country!

Or, again:

Good news! The chocolate rations have been increased from 20 grams to 15 grams! The word increase means more! Rejoice, proles!

This is indeed baffling to the cognitively normal.  But think of it in terms of the Sally-Anne Test.  Anne knows that the word “increase” means “more,” just as she knows that Sally’s marble is really in the box.  Will Sally, therefore, believe that 15 grams is more than 20 grams?  If Sally has read the dictionary, she must!!!  And if she doesn’t, just keep cutting and pasting the dictionary definition over and over and over again until she does.

There are some holes in this theory, but it seems to work at first glance.  And hey, whaddaya expect from a placeholder post anyway?

In the Year 2525… [UPDATED]

 

UPDATED 3/28/2015: (Probably) not a Muzzie; definitely a frustrated, depressed loser.  Fox News:

The co-pilot Andreas Lubitz who steered an airline with 150 people on board into a French mountainside had been dumped by his girlfriend the day prior to the crash and was undergoing treatment for depression from a doctor, according to reports Saturday.

****

If I’m still around in 40 years, and if Western Civilization still exists in a recognizable form — both BIG ifs at this point — I’ll have a tough time explaining the Media Guessing Game to my grandkids.

Via Vox Day, the Germanwings mass murderer appears to be a Muzzie:

All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of “radical”, ie. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he – as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York – received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.

But as Vox notes, that’s vague and sensationalistic, and nobody hears him yelling “Allahu Akbar!” on the tapes that have been released so far.

On the other hand, this kind of thing is awfully consistent with Sudden Onset Jihad Syndrome.

On the other other hand, the Left and the media (BIRM) didn’t immediately start screaming “this has nothing to do with Islam!”, which is — so far– the surest tell that something is in fact all about Islam.  So maybe he’s not a Muzzie after all.

On the other other other hand (please allow me four hands for rhetorical convenience), the Left and the media (BIRM) also haven’t started screeching about misogyny, which — as Vox notes here — is the likeliest non-Islamic scenario.  If this guy were an airborne Eliot Rodger, you’d think we’d have heard about it by now.  So score one in the “probably is a Muzzie” column.

Of course, a third possibility exists — maybe he’s just a random, non-ideological psycho.  Alas, he’s German, so our completely objective, totally nonpartisan media is no help there.  Had he been American, of course, MSNBC would’ve called him a Tea Partier before the debris stopped falling.  At which point the usual rules would apply — if he ever complained about his taxes, he’d be Republican now and forever; if the words “Tea Party” suddenly disappeared down the memory hole, it would soon be revealed (on conservative blogs, nowhere else) that he was a card-carrying member of Communist Party USA.

So, yeah, kids… can you believe it?  In Grandpa’s day, you had to attack each and every “news” story like a deranged, coked-out archaeologist, jackhammering through seventeen layers of bias to finally figure out some rough approximation of the truth.  Because Our Betters in the media considered it their sacred duty to decide what us proles should and should not hear about events out in the world.

And that’s why your Granddad has been an alcoholic since 2008…..

 

I Have a Right!

Education is a human right. Share if you agree.

So this came across my desktop yesterday.

I think my head is going to explode.

Oh yeah. It’s free. *If* you’re accepted. And that’s a big IF.

Even in Europe, you have to be put in an academic track school by about age 12 to hope to make it in to one of these colleges.

Since this “Free in Finland” word has gotten out, Finland has had to clarify that while tuition is free, you have to pay your own way for room and board. And hey, if education is a right, aren’t food and shelter yet more basic rights?

Why does Finland HATE students????! “Finland Starves Students – Leaves Them in the Cold!” That would be the community organizing headline from the Chicago school of politics.

All colleges in Germany have had “free” tuition since way way back in … October. Jury’s probably still out on how sustainable it is, or the effect it will have on the quality of education you can get. As it stands, America pretty much has a headlock on top universities in the world so maybe there’s something to this not-so-public approach.


I think the main difference between America and elsewhere has been that your education was something you were expected to get — so much so that state charters mandated that a certain size plot of land in every township be set aside for a school which would be funded by the community. But the attitude was that an education isn’t something that is given to you or provided to you — since we as a people have required that you get one from the beginning, we’ve considered it a duty of society to provide the opportunity – up to a point.

I’d argue that we don’t have to provide you an opportunity for a degree in “Gender Studies”.

occupy girl2

It’s not “your” car anyway, because you didn’t build that.

This provision of opportunity is there with the expectation that you will be obligated, if physically and mentally able, to go out and pull your own weight when it is said and done – and perhaps if you do well enough create something that will help others pull theirs. But to the people at “US Uncut”, it’s about “rights”, not “obligations”. “Rights” mean somebody OWEs *me*. “Obligations” are for chumps. Now feed me or I’ll cr*p on your car. It’s not really “your” car, anyway, because you didn’t build that. Oppressor!

We do have an over-emphasis on a college degree as a credential in our society. College is fine — you can get a great education if you want one, and you can get lots of financial help getting one if you need it and show an aptitude for it. And I think there is something to a Financial/Education complex where they rub each others’ backs. Universities cost 5x more than they did in 1985, but inflation has “only” cut they buying power of a dollar in half. I think Universities charge more because they can get it, and banks make the loans because they can make money off the interest. Kind of like what health insurance did to health care costs.

The whole “10x what ‘they’ charge banks” thing is just emotionally charged rhetoric that takes advantage of, as someone once put it, “the stupidity of the American voter”. Any amount banks get charged for loans to them is ultimately passed on to the consumer, and student loan rates aren’t out of line with most other loan rates.

I think Mike Rowe & his Mike Rowe Works is on to something. Degrees are overrated, and inflated – in grades, cost, and subject matter. There is lots of honorable, even decent-paying work out there that does not require a college degree, and it’s work that needs doing.