There’s another upside to the downside other than enabling Wall Street to loot the public treasury. It was spotlighted by a headline in yesterday’s Times, “In Tough Times, Humanities Must Justify Their Worth.”
In other words, university Liberal Arts departments must demonstrate how the study of history, literature, art and music contribute to the nation’s GDP. To which I say, it’s about fucking time! The sooner we can turn America’s colleges and universities into high-end trade schools, the better.
The simple fact is that the Humanities are downright subversive to the interests of the Corporate State. As soon as a student starts reading history, he starts to realize that the “now” in never “forever”, and that capitalism is not an eternal product of destiny but simply part of an historical process that, like the feudalism that preceded it, will either collapse in chaos and ruin or piss itself out with nary a whimper.
In reading literature, he is able to give voice to the all of the vague discomforts and pains that lay dormant at the bottom of his soul. He learns to pay attention as he conditions his concentration by reading Dickens’ Bleak House, or Mikhail Sholokhov’s Quiet Flows the Don in their entirety.
All of this is inimical to the Corporate State. The State needs its proles convinced that there is no other “now” but the present “now.” It needs proles whose attention is measured in nanoseconds. They must be convinced that their manifold discomforts are best treated with medication and not articulation.
What our colleges and universities must produce are walking encyclopedias whose brains are crowded with discrete and disparate bit of data they are incapable of synthesizing into anything that resembles an original thought. They must teach a habit and routine whose staleness in blanketed by noble sounding rhetoric.
The intellectual cripples produced by our finest universities make up the imperial pogues who inhabit our Beltway. They are invaluable to the Corporate State because they create the policies that create the disasters that make possible the enrichment of our elite though juicy defense contracts and generous bailout schemes.
There is no way we can allow a vigorous Liberal Arts program to threaten this cozy relationship between ineptitude and chaos.