Universities do a spectacular job of convincing prospective students go to thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to gain liberal arts degrees which are mostly an instruction in post-modern Marxism.
After graduation, many of these students have a hard time finding work that can pay back their loans on a sensible schedule. This problem is more acutely felt at the middle-tier schools, but it affects elite graduates as well, more so than many people would otherwise tell you. An elite degree alone will not get you a good job.
Social justice fanatics may be fanatical because they are justifying to themselves the amount of money and time that they spent on getting a Marxist degree that sets them at odds with their surrounding society. They feel that, unless they join the class struggle, their expenditure has been wasted.
This behavior tends to present itself frequently in victims of scams: the more that they have spent on getting into the scam, the more fervently that they want to believe in it.
The American universities have hoodwinked entire generations of young Americans who have diminished life opportunities due to the same bad policies advocated by the professors at those institutions. It’s more difficult for people to admit that they were fooled than it is for them to double down on the narratives promoted by the people who betrayed them.
This is especially the case for radical feminists, who in many cases have destroyed their chances for having a happy family life — they squeal the loudest because they have the most to lose from any reversal in their gains. At a time when the happy infinite credit regime is loath to give out home and business loans to anyone with a heartbeat, it’s mostly happy to extend credit in enormous amounts to students with no qualifications.
The woman with the master’s degree in gender studies knows how much it cost her to get that degree — more than a dozen diamond bracelets from Tiffany’s — and she has to justify to herself that it was as valuable as the time, money, and energy that she or her family sacrificed to get that certification and the indoctrination that came with it.
Most of this money goes into the pockets of administration bureaucrats and into university endowments, which are essentially hedge funds with more favorable tax treatment.
The passion that social justice warriors show for post-modern Marxism is partly because our system has rigged a bizarrely high valuation for advanced degrees in degree programs that would have been seen as politically correct in the Marxist-Leninist universities of the old USSR. They believe that it was valuable because they saw the high price tag, and noticed that it was the middle-class-responsible thing to do to trundle off to college to learn Marxist dialectics.
This is a social distortion of the kind that is common to all paper money regimes, because the industries chosen for inflationary favor tend to bloat far beyond what they would be able to get to without the mass credit issuance, or the guarantee from the government that the face value of the loan will be repaid.
When the flow of money falters to the social justice training camps, so will the social justice warrioring. Ironically, the best way to destroy the American university system as it stands today would be to remove the government guarantees from student lending, permitting the loans to be discharged in bankruptcy. This would curtail the infinite bloat of tuition and put countless leftists out of work permanently.
Xavi' (@SurveyingEvil) says
In the interim, an added effect of the desperation felt by contemporary Marxist in a market/society inundated with them, it necessitates the individual to Radicalize even further to be noticed amoungst the substantially rabid pack, all fighting for a wage. This benefits the individual directly by of course being able to survive, feed, clothe & repay ones debt, but acts as a loop, feeding the system. The “extreme” extremists visibility is heightened allowing their ideas farther range, which is of course beneficial to Progressivism as a whole in the deconstruction.
It just hit me when I read this part: “Most of this money goes into the pockets of administration bureaucrats and into university endowments, which are essentially hedge funds with more favorable tax treatment.”
The student loan racket is a transfer of government money to the universities teaching all this post-modernist Marxism. If there was no student loan program, there would be no nationwide Marxist indoctrination because such indoctrination isn’t profitable to graduates. They could not get loans for such studies in any market. Marxist indoctrination departments would have to close. Even many entire universities. That would be a good thing.
Instead of hot money going into McMansions, it goes into McMarx Sky-castles in the minds of these students.
As always, “follow the money.”
Reactionary Expat says
Haha. I like that term McMarx(ist). I’m going to start using that.
Pete Madsen says
A similar phenomenon is seen among scientists who stake their careers on the global warming nonsense.
Andrew X says
Can we stop overthinking this question?
Young people get into “social justice” and Marxism for the EXACT same reason young people get into heroin. With the same results.
It FEELS really really good (so I hear).
It crowds out ALL the difficulties in life. The genuine inequalities that have existed and will exist until time ends; the need for realism in addressing that; the inevitable downsides of where their own ideals will wind up; the discomfort of being forced to question their own cherished ideals; the need for HARD WORK(!) and discipline, mental and physical, on the part of virtually every human if they are to thrive in this world, etc etc.
Just go Marxist, and you get to pretend that you have the answers to all of that, and you get carte blanche to literally and figuratively form mobs to lynch and destroy (always a great rush) while setting yourself up as both morally and intellectually superior to most of those around you, and to virtually all who have come before. Whatta bargain!
And where does it lead the body politic? Exactly where heroin leads the body human.
But don’t worry. Once the crash and burn is over with, and the bodies are buried, a whole new crop of puppies will come along to buy into it all over again. Heroin, socialism, same thing, now and forever. It’s pretty simple, really. People are not that hard to predict.
Red Knight says
And if student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy, which financial institution would ever offer student loans in the first place? What would prevent students without any assets (i.e. the great majority of students who take loans in the first place) from just declaring bankruptcy on graduation?
The change you’re suggesting would not just steer away young people from worthless degrees, it would steer them away from higher education across the board. Higher education would become a luxury of the upper and upper middle classes.
On the other hand, the resulting decrease in the supply of liberal arts graduates would make them more likely to get meaningfully employed. There are jobs, even some well-paying ones, for which liberal arts degrees qualify you. There’s just not nearly enough such jobs for the masses of liberal arts graduates cranked out by the university system at present day.
A luxury that reinforces hierarchy? Sounds great.
Red Knight says
Not hierarchy as much as overall social stratification. Granted, if you think such stratification is a good thing, by all means, making education economically unavailable for the poor would achieve such an outcome.
The costs to society would however be significant. It would not just mean less surplus liberal arts graduates, but also less of all the economically useful kinds of graduates. Say goodbye to a significant chunk of the GDP. Meanwhile, what higher education does remain would be allocated inefficiently, as it wouldn’t go to the best and brightest but to whoever was lucky to be born into the right family. Chinless wonders on whom higher education is largely wasted would get it, and they’d consequently end up on high positions in society despite being utterly unfit for such.
This is a clever re-frame, but I’m not going to allow you to do it. Where did I say that education should be ‘economically unavailable’ to the poor? Is free education material not more available than ever before? Is it not easier than ever before for families to hire tutors for their children? None of this requires central-state management.
What is GDP? Why is increasing GDP a sensible political goal? What do you think that I think about supporting a piece of legislation just to boost GDP metrics?
What makes you think that this would be the case? Were the standards in higher education higher or lower than they are today in the 19th century, when education in the US was solely geared towards the middle class and better?
I don’t get too many liberals on this blog.
Red Knight says
And I’m not sure I’m a liberal, either. Just someone who pointed out what the problem is with making the same laws apply to student loans as to other debt. It seems like a significant number of people both on the left and the right object to the notion that student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The left opposes it on the notion that it consigns people who try to use higher education to get ahead in society despite a disadvantaged background into debt bondage. The right opposes it on the notion that it funds massive overeducation of liberal arts graduates at the ultimate expense of the state. Hardly ever have I seen either side show awareness of, how that very un-dischargeability is what enables student loans to exist in the first place, or explain how to prevent recent graduates from simply declaring strategic bankruptcy.
And I’m not sure how I’m reframing things. In my opening post I explained how making student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy would make student loans cease to be available for those who’d need them, and how it’d make higher education a luxury for the rich. You replied by calling that a great thing. If you didn’t mean to imply that it would be a good thing if higher education would become restricted to the rich rather than available for every social stratum, maybe you should have replied with more than a one-liner.
>And I’m not sure how I’m reframing things. In my opening post I explained how making student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy would make student loans cease to be available for those who’d need them, and how it’d make higher education a luxury for the rich. You replied by calling that a great thing. If you didn’t mean to imply that it would be a good thing if higher education would become restricted to the rich rather than available for every social stratum, maybe you should have replied with more than a one-liner.
It would be a better thing, perhaps not a great thing, but you’re focusing on a small point without showing any understanding of the broader context. You also evaded each of my questions asking you to clarify your position.
Promoting equality in education is not my goal, nor the goal of this blog.
Read more of the archives here and follow some of the links to other blogs:
Start here: http://www.moreright.net/books/Mencius%20Moldbug/Open%20Letter.pdf
Then go here: http://www.hestiasociety.org/site/library-of-nrx/the-neoreactionary-canon/
Red Knight says
Apparently there’s no reply button on any post in this thread beyond this one, so I’ll have to use it. Let’s see where this post ends up.
I didn’t answer your questions because I’m not sure they’re relevant, I’m not sure what we’re arguing about, since I apparently misunderstood your position, something I maintain is easy to do when you just post a one-liner to lay it out.
In another attempt for me to try to get what you’re advocating: Are you suggesting that liberal arts (and specifically liberal arts, not other academic fields) be left to be an elite pursuit for the independently wealthy, rather than a career option?
That first link is a whole 307 pages. Possibly quite interesting stuf, but I don’t acquiesce to the notion that such an epic should be mandatory reading to qualify me to post blog comments.
The reply issue is probably just the theme running out of space for indentation.
>That first link is a whole 307 pages. Possibly quite interesting stuf, but I don’t acquiesce to the notion that such an epic should be mandatory reading to qualify me to post blog comments.
We’re trying to maintain high standards of discussion here, although you’re excused for not knowing, as I don’t make it clear in the site architecture.
>In another attempt for me to try to get what you’re advocating: Are you suggesting that liberal arts (and specifically liberal arts, not other academic fields) be left to be an elite pursuit for the independently wealthy, rather than a career option?
It’s not really so simple as that. Degrading the standards and making them available for purchase is part of what created the catastrophe that we have now. However, most of the people who are able to meet the standards are going to turn out to be from wealthy families.
There is a big conservative literature about this particular topic, and one of my upcoming posts is going to excerpt a lecture that covers this specifically.
God is Laughing says
I don’t think that it’s sunk in for many of them that getting $15 at McDonalds isn’t going to fix their employment problems.
Then there are those few who pursue such a degree as an act of infiltrating the enemy camp, learning to know the enemy and deconstruct him/her/it with its own weapons. We must remember that the study of the humanities is not evil. It has simply been hijacked and corrupted by well over a century of progressive dominance. Prior to that, it was correctly observed that a classical liberal arts education in the canon of Western Civilization is necessary to sustain a free society.
That this is true is tacitly admitted by our leftist enemies by virtue of their vitriolic battle to destroy it. This began in the “Enlightenment”, which Peter Gay has correctly argued was a rejection of 2000 years of Western tradition for a return to ancient paganism. That which began with the likes of Hume, Voltaire, and reached is apogee with Kant, has continued with a host of post-enlightenment pseudo-intellectuals (from Fuerebach to Derrida).
The details are not so much the point here. We need to raise up a generation of historians, philosophers and social scientists who can do the hard, dirty, but necessary work of refuting and sweeping the floor with the left. Then with the help of state legislatures who appoint responsible conservative trustees to the boards of our state university systems, we will have a pool of conservative scholars, the stature of Sowell, Plantinga, etc. they can draw from to replacing the aging dinosaur refugees from the 60s who have a stranglehold on academia today.
Agree with paragraphs 1/2, disagree with paragraph 3 completely just in terms of the method.