Universities only goal should be producing artists of learning. At present, at least in the US, outside a few areas of science, they produce mainly shouters of PC platitudes, incapable of individual thought. Free inquiry has vanished in favor of eating and shitting orthodoxy.
Universities are now businesses; students, customers. Fear and trembling stalks faculties in terror of offending their customers, deviating from the party lines of their PC Guardians, or disappointing their bottom line bosses. Demanding work based on deep inquiry based on a knowledge of history, philosophy, and great works is gone. Thus, degrees in fractured subjects proliferate while hoards of half educated illiterates wave them in despair. Universities have become intellectual Ponzi schemes.
Perhaps one way to see what went wrong is to examine the fate of the once ubiquitous “English Major.” In 1970, about half of all undergraduates were English majors. There were as yet no “pre” majors like pre-law or pre-medicine. Undergraduates who wanted to become lawyers majored in English or maybe history. English majors were expected to do three things: read great books, analyze them, and write about them. A distinctly difficult triad.
In the last fifty years, Marxist/Feminist/Queer professors have destroyed the very idea that great books even exist, annihilated analysis by demanding absolute PC orthodoxy, and, in cahoots with the rise of destructive technologies, presided over an unprecedented decline in writing and reading skills. A perfect storm of barbarism.
English majors (the few remaining) mostly study “theory” about books they have never actually read. This has paralleled the explosion of MFA programs, basically four years of navel gazing group therapy sessions. Rigorous thought based on close readings of primary texts has evaporated. The same decline has gutted other liberal arts disciplines. The results can now be seen in the multitudes of moronic Millennials who, if they can think at all, do so only in code or emojis, often from the sanctuaries of their parents’ basements.
Universities have devolved into technical schools. This wouldn’t be so bad if their technical graduates were competent or their skills needed. But neither case is usually true. AI will make the army of computer based majors as unnecessary as alchemy students.
Those who have suffered the most from this collapse have been the students themselves, but they are too ignorant and indoctrinated to see how they have been scammed. They actually believe that being buried in student debt is normal and that their empty degrees are valuable. Sad.
Any plumber or carpenter who knows how to read and think independently is much better off than your average Ivy League English major or university graduate in general. Universities have become shell corporations producing inferior products.
Unless things change, and they won’t, it is better to learn a trade, read, write and think for yourself, than dive into debt to attend one of these expensive, dying, kudzu covered, dinosaur institutions.
Civilization can’t survive without thinking, well educated men and women. Right now, it doesn’t look good for civilization.