The Czar is wont to make predictions, and today he makes another one.
Society has basically had enough with goofy leftism. 2010 saw a major political swing back toward something resembling common sense, although clearly there is much work to do. Movies and entertainment have begun a subtle but definite shift back toward fun and value-based themes. K-12 education has started to creak and groan as teachers unions cave. Economics is finally acknowledging austerity and free market capitalism beats out centrally planned maladaptations of Keynes every time. Overall, the pendulum is shifting back as Americans say Enough!
The last, and perhaps most dramatic, Leftist bubble to burst is nextand this one will be a doozy. We speak, of course, of academia.
Therein you find a true bubble: theory-based academicsthe reviled professional intellectual classwho chat among themselves, ignore the constant stream of misses, dismiss or even ridicule competing observations by their students, and who continue to churn out masses of graduates with little grasp of reality and few means to survive it.
By quashing dissent through browbeating, humiliation, or administration, the academics live happily in a world with only the slightest grasp of what life is. Arguments concocted of pure fallacy beat out pleas for a posteriori examples. The constancy of a decades-old textbook is much preferred over the ephemeris of actual news.
And why not? Academia is where most of the mess started in the United States. Fascism in the 1910s and 1920s, Progressivism in the 1920s and 1930s, Social Justice in the 1930s and 1940s, College Socialisms in the 1940s and 1950s, Liberalism in the 1950s and 1960s, Radicalism in the 1960s and 1970s, Political Correctness in the 1970s and 1980s, Activism in the 1980s and 1990s, and the beginning of Welfare Statism since thenwherein college tuitions have increased by hundreds of percents.
As the Mandarin said, there is no ceiling on college tuition as long as the government continues to pour unlimited amounts of money into academia. And with the Democrats now advocating a near- or wholly-complete subsidy of college educations (as a right; by 2030, pizza on Fridays will be a federal right as the Left continues to confuse rights with luxuries), there will be no cap on what a college can charge for tuition, room, and boardmany insitutions will literally have no idea what their operating costs are, but will simply write blank checks signed by Uncle Sam.
The Mandarin also noted the other day that we are at a tipping point, socially: eventually, and we are seeing it with the Occupy morons, academia will need to explain why they are mass-producing impoverished students. Throngs of puppetry science majors, graduates in Mayan poetry, critical thinkers of The Simpsons, and Hindu-Kush calligraphy masters are leaving schools with massive debt and no short-term or long-term job prospects.
This bubble has to pop. Schools are already aware that important people are scanning their balance sheets to determine where all that money goes, since the quality and variety of educational opportunities has not increased; neither have salaries. Where is it all going?
The universities already know how to transform students; the new generation of students entering colleges are a cold, cynical and bitter lot, who have the capacity to argue and challenge left wing nonsense. But the colleges have dealt with worse in the 1950s and early 1960sthese kids can be turned.
But the economics are killing them. A high school graduate going into factory work can earn more in the next ten years than the average college graduate. College diplomas, though nice (and the Gormogons admittedly have probably a dozen, combined), are no longer essential. Soon they will not even be necessarily desirable. And the whole system will come crashing down.
Unless some changes get made: tuitions need to drop dramatically. Course offerings need to drop in quantity and diversity back to more traditional Arts and Sciences. The Sciences need to return to fundamental hard sciences, while the Arts need to teach critical thinking again (as opposed to wry commentary and acrimony). Academic freedom needs to return, rather than enforced cadre building disguised as pro-social justice organizations.
But that is all a pipedream: academia will do no such thing because the warning signs remain unheard and unheeded in their dystopian Ivory Towers. As a result, look for the system to topple before it can self-correct.
Meast and Least for Week 14
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