MAY 11, 2011. I’m not talking about pre-med or pre-law or the layout where a kid moves toward a PhD in physics.

I’m talking about so-called liberal arts, humanities, majors in history, literature, political science. You know, education.

Seems to me the diploma, which was once the key to a good job, is now a bad risk, when you consider how much it costs to complete four years of undergrad work. Public colleges: minimum $15,000. Private colleges: about $150,000.

And if a kid hangs around campus for four years and ends up not being able to write a coherent paragraph, well, that’s quite a tab he ran up. Like going to the most expensive restaurant in the city, ordering a meal, and winding up with three little carrots and a sprig of parsley in a puddle of sauce drowning three slim slices of beef in the middle of a very large plate—andeating there every night for a fewyears.

Let’s say Junior is awarded a BA, but he can’t read above 12th grade level, he can’t write well, he doesn’t remember his arithmetic, he’s never read the Constitution, he knows nothing about the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, can’t find Portugal on a map, doesn’t know the difference between a democracy and a Republic, his spelling is fairly atrocious, he’s clueless about logic, he can’t spot a piece of phony science, and he isn’t inspired to read on his own.

What does he have? Hmm. An intuitive loyalty to “green issues,” a love for Coors Light, a middling ability in Madden Football, memories of Jon Stewart, a list of top porn sites, an annoying sense of entitlement, and a car that needs repairs.

If the diploma isn’t his ticket to a better future, it’s a rather astonishing scam.

Of course, there is this: his parents were absolved of the need to watch over him for four years. However, a baby sitter would have been much cheaper, barring arrests and convictions.

I know there are home schools, but what about home colleges?

I could give him a quite decent college education in 18 months, by email and by phone, assuming his high school diploma was worth more than a roll of Bounty. I could do it for a fraction of the cost at Scamadoodle U.

The conspiracy to undermine American education has become a lot easier in the last thirty years. You just let kids hang around. You don’t teach them much. Of anything. You promote them from grade to grade, regardless of their performance. You graduate them, no matter what. That’s all you have to do. It’s simple. It’s brainwashing by neglect.

Gradually, you create an enormous underclass. And that’s one of the major objectives of any decent political conspiracy. It has to be. Build a pipeline from middle class homes through to a mental state of passive ignorant cynicism. For the kiddies. Topped by that little paper crown of entitlement-attitude, at age 21.

Who knew it would be so easy? All that crap Marx and Lenin and Mao spouted? It was never necessary. Just bag education. Create a wasteland of computers, cell phones, TVs, credit cards, condoms, throw in a few subliminal echoes of “We Are the World, Dude,” underwrite campus student groups who stage intermittent protests, and keep the beer flowing. Install shrinks’ offices for the troubled ones and drown them in antidepressants and Xanax.

They’ll get their command of English from ESPN anchors, their math from SpongeBob SquarePants, their history from “Great Aviation Battles of World War 2,” their political science from Netflix, their sociology from Facebook, and their diabetes from the mall.

With their diploma in hand, after their first job interview, they’ll be ready for food stamps and welfare.

This is how it’s done now. Population control by default, because where is a kid going to go when he hasn’t been anywhere? He’s going to feel out freebies wherever they can be found in the society. He’s going to skate. He’s going to become a cipher in the machine and try to keep up with the turning wheel.

Once we thought John Dewey and his cohorts were designing a sophisticated system that would “educate most children for the trades.” That’s over. Now all you need are a variety of glowing screens, fast food, drugs, and automatic promotion from grade to grade. It’s neat. It’s perfect. It’s hypnotic.

Inject some outrageous self-esteem microwave nuking —you’respecial and never forget that—and you’re on track for a kind of dystopia that takes collectivism to a whole new level. No politics necessary. Thinking? Completely passe.


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