Friday, December 04, 2015

Powerline finds the cause of the problem with higher education.
We’ve seen at several colleges—most explicitly at Amherst—the call to curtail free speech and academic freedom in favor of particular claims to “social justice.” I keep expecting someone to say any time now: “The much vaunted ‘academic freedom’ will be driven from the . . . university, for this freedom is spurious because purely negative.” Sounds about right, no? What’s missing from the ellipses above? The word “German.” Go plug it back in and re-read it, for this was the phrase Martin Heidegger included in his infamous rector’s address at the University of Freiburg in 1933, when he threw in his lot with the Nazis. It’s not the only parallel that can be drawn. The title of Heidegger’s address was “The Self-Assertion of the German University.” There’s certainly a lot of self-assertion happening on American campuses right now.
I would go with the simpler, non-ideological, explanation. There are two kinds of colleges. Colleges that educate (pharmacy colleges that train pharmacists, engineering colleges that train engineers, etc.) and colleges that make students happy. Colleges are simply making their customers, that want to be pampered and have a pleasant four year vacation, happy. Students are getting what they pay for.
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