Tuesday, May 28, 2019

liberal arts sissies

Liberal arts receives a drubbing, now and then, from the uneasy and impecunious and yet an article in the Washington Post takes on the issue of liberal arts vs. a college degree that is little more than a stamp of approval for the obscenely wealthy and examines it. Basket-weaving 101 -- check it out. A liberal arts education doesn't provide the voke-school certificate sought by the power-and-prestige-prone bourgeoisie.

No one who is rich ever got that way by being nice. Liberal arts appears nice and kind of lessens the sting somehow. The rich and powerful are not sissies after all.

And yet the well-heeled are anxious that their spawn should be 'rounded' ... or at least appear that way.

The article provides some thinking points.

As a p.s. of my own, I vote with the Christians: it is not money that is the root of all evil. It is the love of money that nourishes a love of ignorance.


  1. This discussion has been going on since ... forever.

  2. In any case, in my opinion, one’s education should never come down to a binary choice. College degrees or not, college right after high school or not at all, etc.

    I do wonder about parents’ over meddling, and students’ laziness and resistance.

    I wonder if the Über rich think they love money. Whatever “loving” money might mean.

    I think of money like electricity: a form of power, very useful, not too hard to transform, and potentially dangerous. Hmmm... education is like that, too.

  3. Changing the subject, anyone know how olcharlie is doing?

  4. (Spiritually) Pro or Anti Education?

    From the Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]
    Attributed to Lao Zi [Lao Tzu]
    Chapter 3 Keeping the People at Rest / Keeping the People Calm / Quieting People

    Therefore the sage, in the exercise of his government, empties their minds, fills their bellies, weakens their wills, and strengthens their bones. He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is universal.


    The Xueji ("On Teaching and Learning") lays out the educational philosophy of Confucianism and was influential in the development of China's education system in the pre-modern era. Its opening passages outlines the central role of education in the Confucian thought:
    If a ruler desires to transform the people and perfect their customs, the ruler can only do so through education!
    The perfection and transformation of people is accomplished through their understanding of the Tao ("way" or "path") and comprehension of Tao is of penultimate importance in Confucianism. According to Confucianism, the Tao can only be understood through learning and study, further underlying the importance of education. The Xueji explains that:

    Although the ultimate Tao is present, one does not know its goodness if one does not learn it.
    A final point of importance in education is in its role in the development of character and proper behavior. Only the learned are able to conduct themselves in a composed and refined way.

    To me Laozi seems to have assumed a society governed by an absolute autocracy that opposes education (for the people’s own good), while Confucius envisioned a society where continuing education lead to peace and prosperity.