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kleinbl00  ·  812 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Neoliberal Arts: How college sold its soul to the market

    I think the crucial argument here is that our educational system isn't serving an important purpose that it could (should) be serving, because it's being held back by market pressures.

What crucial purpose? Civics? Introspection?

    I published a book last year that said that, by and large, elite American universities no longer provide their students with a real education, one that addresses them as complete human beings rather than as future specialists — that enables them, as I put it, to build a self or (following Keats) to become a soul.

Let's parse that, shall we? First - "elite American universities." By definition, this means "a minority of American universities." For shits'n'giggles, a Google search of "elite university cost of tuition" gets me a hit of $70k a year. That's $10k more per year than the median income of an American family. The author makes no bones about this his original article was about fuckin' Yale'n'shit.

Second, "build a soul" (per Keats, FFS). The argument here is (1) kids who go to Yale'n'shit have no soul. Here's Keats, by the way:

    I will call the world a School instituted for the purpose of teaching little children to read—I will call the human heart the horn Book used in that School—and I will call the Child able to read, the Soul made from that school and its hornbook. Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul? A Place where the heart must feel and suffer in a thousand diverse ways!

That's the Vale of Soul-Making letter as excerpted in the Paris Review. Keats, in other words, was a firm believer in the school of hard knocks, not the school of fuckin' Yale'n'shit.

So really - Deresowicz's argument is that $70k/yr schools are no longer punishing the shit out of their students so they should go elsewhere.

    A Princeton student literally made this argument to me: If the market is incentivizing me to go to Wall Street, he said, then who am I to argue?

70 grand is 5 Subway restaurants. Per year. There's a fundamental value proposition here that Deresowicz is willfully, arrogantly ignoring:

    That means resurrecting one of the great achievements of postwar American society: high-quality, low- or no-cost mass public higher education. An end to the artificial scarcity of educational resources. An end to the idea that students must compete for the privilege of going to a decent college, and that they then must pay for it.

Okay fukkit we'll just turn everything into "elite."