If it isn’t obvious by now, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet over the way that universities operate. Shockingly, this article appeared in the Globe and Mail (not exactly a bastion of rational argument). But Wente nails this one. What she describes is NOT out of the ordinary, nor will her comments be surprising to any open-minded individual who sets foot on campus. As a side note, I ran across this article on social media accompanied by the ravings of a number of ‘liberal arts’ students. What I found there was indistinguishable from self-parody as comment after comment reinforced the main tenets of Wente’s argument.
Well, that was a much longer hiatus than what I had initially planned. I’ve been immersed in research, exams, and romantic languages for several weeks. That said, I’ve got a ton of material to share, and plenty of thoughts to get out. Expect a fair bit of material over the next while.
Just to play a bit of catch-up, here’s a short commentary that I put together back in May (or thereabouts) when this was whole issue was a little fresher. While the controversy has died down a bit, the underlying issues haven’t, so here’s my take on it.
The Kipnis Controversy
Laura Kipnis is right, and her critics prove it.
Kipnis talks about sex between students and professors, which seems to set many people on edge. But she’s an academic critiquing academia, so naturally this is the example she uses. She could just as easily have talked about the kindergarten teacher marrying the principal, the hygienist dating the dentist, Dr. Smith sneaking a quick kiss with Nurse Brown, or the CEO having a romantic weekend getaway with his secretary.
Scruton details the evolution of the modern university, and the de-volution of the university’s contemporary form. His description of the underground universities of Soviet-occupied Europe is fascinating.
Thomas Sowell on the ‘living wage’. The idea of arbitrarily raising minimum wages without regard to market forces or the real value of labour is a perfect encapsulation of activism conducted without regard to consequences. Low-wage jobs are like the on-ramp of earnings success: the steeper the ramp, the more people get stuck at the bottom.
Tuesday’s are when I’ve planned to share academic articles that I find to be of great interest. While the intent is to share pieces of fairly recent vintage, I think that I’ll go with a bit of a throwback for this week. Here’s Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations”. Detractors like to quibble with Huntington’s word choice and definitions, but considering that this article come from 1993, it’s hard to argue that the piece hasn’t held up.
N.B.- Provided you haven’t used up your free monthly article from Foreign Affairs yet, this link should work well for you. Otherwise, you’ll need to register or Google-search an alternate copy.