In the latest issue of City Journal, classics professor Victor Davis Hanson writes about the erosion of the study of the humanities and traditional university education in American campuses:
Over the last four decades, various philosophical and ideological strands united to contribute to the decline of classical education. A creeping vocationalism, for one, displaced much of the liberal arts curriculum in the crowded credit-hours of indebted students. Forfeiting classical learning in order to teach undergraduates a narrow skill (what the Greeks called a technê) was predicated on the shaky notion that undergraduate instruction in business or law would produce superior CEOs or lawyers—and would more successfully inculcate the arts of logic, reasoning, fact-based knowledge, and communication so necessary for professional success.
And good riddance to it.
If I were eighteen again and graduating from high school, I would not have majored in history in college. In fact, I would not have even acquired a 4-year degree at all.
Instead, I would have gone to a community college and acquired an associate's degree in computer technology in a track that would qualify me a network administrator upon graduation. It would not only have saved me tens of thousands of dollars, but earned me more money than my frivolous explorations of medieval Europe, the Latin language, and Biblical studies ever did or could.
Studying the liberal arts expanded my mind and made me ask important questions. And when you get to be an old man of thirty-three years like me and reflect upon one's choices, transcendent truths shine consistently through the dark years.
When I look at all that I have seen and experienced, I think that only one grand thing really matters in life: money.
I've long been drawn to causes, professions, and issues that make the world a better place; that contribute to a greater humanity. But this has all been foolishness and a waste of my youth and opportunities. These were all delusions that led me astray. All that matters is the security of me and mine, and that comes from money, and the power and freedom it purchases.
It's like John Lennon sang "Money is all you need." Or something like that.