Monday, February 1, 2016

political bafflement

Why has being anti-French literature, anti-Greek-philosophy, anti-anthropology, and anti-non-vocational-education in general suddenly become such a popular conservative talking point?

Aren't these the very fields that have the most to do with preserving the knowledge and traditions of the past? What, exactly, do these people think they are conserving?


heu mihi said...

Marco Rubio, no one actually majors in *Greek* philosophy. So that's a red herring. And almost no one majors in French anymore already, sadly.

Seems to me that private SLACs and unis can clean up--and revitalize their humanities programs--by offering tuition discounts to humanities majors. The courses are, after all, typically cheaper to teach (lower salaries for Hum professors, no labs, little or no equipment).

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Ha! Good point. I think what they'd like to preserve is anti-intellectualism and family values. In other words, let's keep people stupid so their families can run their lives. smh.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Heu mihi -- Oh yes, I've noticed that weird little rhetorical quirk, too -- they take something that is a perfectly plausible course title, but is not and never has been a major, and refer to it as a "major" so they can pretend that there are humanities students who study nothing other than Greek philosophy or Victorian women's literature for four years.

Fie -- I think it might be even worse than that, actually; I suspect this column has it right, and what is really being conserved is the idea that certain kinds of education and culture belong to the elites, and are not supposed to be available to people from the "wrong" background. At least, that is the only sense I can make of the fact that Rick Scott's daughter actually HAS an anthropology degree.