16
Sep
13

America’s Universities Produce Educated Idiots

My best friend, who I’ll call Mac (Makes Assloads of Cash) is a network engineer who plans on getting an MBA.  He has his choice of jobs anywhere in the world and always makes six figures.  He’s also the stupidest person I know.  He knows all there is to know about whatever he does with computers, but otherwise, is completely ignorant in every other way.  He has an atrocious vocabulary and is prone to making up words a la George W., has no knowledge of history, literature, art, philosophy, the major ideas and events that have shaped world development, is totally uncultured, shallow, doesn’t analyze, or reflect.  In short, he is a creature of our higher education system and is a good little brainwashed consumer.  He knows how to make money and spend it and that is the sum of his life.  He is the epitome of the Modern Educated Idiot that our educational system now churns out.

To be fair, that was the way he was when I first met him.  The reason we were able to be friends is that he appreciates the truth and isn’t afraid of criticism.  He’s Indian (dot, not feather) so he’s used to an angry woman yelling at him, criticizing him, and hitting him and was unfazed by my vehement, blunt tirades.  If you give him a good reason, he is more than willing to admit his mistake, which is rare enough, but even more miraculous, would CHANGE!  And although he was ignorant as a stump, he has intellectual curiosity.  Too lazy to read a book, but happy to have someone explain it and be interested.   As for me, although I am harsh and angrily blunt, he respected that all my rants were based on logic and reason.

It’s all those college papers.  For instance-my thesis statement “You are a fucking dumbass!”  Which is then supported by at least three reasons with evidence and examples, followed by “in conclusion” or “therefore”  “You are a fuckwit.”.

On the other hand,  I am the Classic Educated Idiot.  I was a history major who also took a lot of English lit, psychology, sociology, dabbled in drama, art, mythology and folklore.  Yeah, if it’s esoteric and has no practical application, that’s my forte.  I’m the head in the clouds, ivory tower dwelling intellectual academic type.  Everything I learned had nothing to do with the real world and real jobs.  I have no practicality whatsoever, no technical or math ability, lousy spatial relationships, and loathe business and commerce as the venal pursuit of filthy lucre like a cockroach, greedy and rapacious, eating and tainting everything in it’s path.  Of course, I’m poor as ass and have no career as the things I love to do and am good at have no value in this world.  Besides my antipathy, I also have no ability for the things that make money in our society.  Just like athleticism, it takes a certain type of person to have a talent for those things, and I suck at commerce.

So from his education, he initially saw me as a total loser as I wasn’t a career or commercial success and wasn’t rich.  From my educational standpoint, he was a pathetic, soulless, brain dead waste of a meatbag that was barely human.  Ah, the irony that we became besties!  But it works because we are a good yin/yang combination.  He’s good at the things I’m bad at and vice versa and we bolster each other’s weak points and benefit from the other’s strengths.

The problem with our higher education is illustrated by Mac and I representing the extremes in producing graduates and citizens that lack a complete education to create a well-rounded individual that can contribute both humanity and practicality.

Why do you suppose bankers, financiers, and CEOs are such rapacious, greedy monsters with no conscience?  They have no balance, no appreciation for anything besides making money.  If they are taught nothing of the humanities, of course those are the people who will cut funding for any arts programs since they have no appreciation for those things.

If our leaders studied history, perhaps they wouldn’t repeat the glaring mistakes of the past.  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” as the saying goes, and our leaders are doing exactly that.  They are looking to make big bucks in the short term without care for the consequences to people or society.  They ignore the fact that all these policies are the same old tools of oppression that caused untold suffering of the masses, and in the end, resulted in revolution of some sort.

If anyone studied history, the direct parallels between the Industrial Revolution and the social and economic conditions during the Gilded Age at the the turn of the century and today’s Technological Revolution are plain to see.   Vast income inequality, power in the hands of the wealthy industrialists that controlled the laws of the government keeping workers subservient and without rights.  The suppression of unions and the ability of workers to organize.  Crony capitalism and the use of government to further the interests of the elite and use of civil and military force against it’s citizens were rampant in 1919.  Check out the history of labor riots, race riots, immigration riots, and the state of America during that time.  As for globalization and exploitation of foreign workers?  Back then it  was known as colonialism.

The decline and fall of the Roman Empire had all the same elements as the conditions America is living with.  Globalization and displaced workers with high unemployment due to cheaper labor sources.  We have outsourcing and offshore companies, they had conquered peoples and slaves-but most of us are nothing but subjugated wage slaves.  The Roman Senate became a corrupt institution run by an oligarchy who took bribes to further the interests of  preserving the obscene wealth and privilege of a minority upper class.  Hmm, we even have the same name for that same corrupt institution-the Senate (gee, what a co winky dink) as well as the House, the Presidency, and an increasingly corrupt Supreme Court where judges hold their position for life.  Supplicants are now Lobbyists.  Rome propagated it’s own mythology as a Republic where all had the rights and privileges of citizens.  America has it’s bullshit Horatio Alger rags to riches mythos of a meritocracy.  Rome provided free bread to the unwashed masses to prevent riots from desperation and hunger.  Every society is three meals away from revolution as the saying goes.  Rome sponsored dazzling spectacles of chariot races, gladiatorial combats, and elaborate productions to keep  the populace distracted.  America has cheap fast food, a token provision of food aid, and the vast circus of the media to keep people beguiled with the trivial, distracted with the sensational, and fed misinformation and propaganda to keep people ignorant, apathetic, and keep voting against their own interests..  Rome had a massive immigration problem and was eventually sacked by pissed off immigrants living on their borders.  Theirs were Germanic, ours are Mexican.

We are constantly hectored to get a college degree.  But realistically, if we all got one, it would be worthless.  I’ve felt for a long time that an undergrad degree is the equivalent of a high school diploma in the 1950’s.  You need the piece of paper that says “I went”, but other than that, it’s worthless.  You can’t apply for a lot of shitty, low wage office jobs without it, but the return isn’t always worth it when the world is flooded by a mandatory degree.  More doesn’t mean better.

Besides, not everyone is suited for college, they don’t have the interest or aptitude for the type of learning and work skills you learn at university.  If everyone went to college, who’s going to build things, fix things, do all the practical labor that needs to be done in the world?  So is the future going to be filled with janitors that all have a college degree?

Universities also need to balance their teaching of humanities and arts with real world practical skills as well.  Absolutely nothing I learned in college is really applicable to real work.  In fact, it’s the opposite.  In college, you are encouraged to think outside of the box, be an individual, take chances, think for yourself, challenge accepted notions.  The real world mostly demands obedience and is totally rigid and you are a prisoner of group think, dumbing everything down to the lowest common denominator working in teams.

Other than going to grad school and becoming a teacher, there are no other outlets for me to use my history degree.  The divide in our educational system which is reflected in the values of our society shows in the type of pay we reward CEOs even when they fail, compared to how much we pay teachers, daycare workers, health workers who take care of people.

Without a venue for higher thinking and encouraging the arts, we are limiting creativity which inhibits new ideas of not only products and services, but for a different way of life altogether besides our slavish devotion to capitalism.  But then again, that’s what they want.  When ideas, principles, philosophy is absent, all that is left is materialism-that which you can see and hold in your hot little hands.  Bereft of higher thinking, we are reduced to mindless animals-consume, buy, own, eat, drink, sleep, fuck.

America has got to find a happy medium and well-balanced curriculum that creates well-rounded people with practical skills and preparation for the real world.  You  also have to give people the ability to think about things to have valude outside of consumerism, that values ideas and feelings as well as material goods.  Otherwise, you end up with the Unethical Educated Idiot and the Esoteric Educated Idiot.

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1 Response to “America’s Universities Produce Educated Idiots”


  1. September 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing your cool web site.


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