About Going to College

A recent dispute among the well informed and well-meaning causes me to ponder. Scott Greer has demanded we Stop Telling Conservative Teens to Not Go To College,” in response to an on-air editorial by Tucker Carlson. In “Love Actually,” Emina Melonic offers support to Greer’s thesis with such worries as, “What if, as a result of these choices, they are unable to meet women who are suitable matches for them in terms of energy, ambition, and intellectual capacity?”

Perhaps this is not the most crucial issue of the day, but it is of vital importance to the near future, and thus worthy of discussion. My quandary has to do with why there is any dispute at all. Certainly, some exposition on ways and means is in order, but should there be any doubt that young intelligent men should avoid college as presently constituted. (That is, allowing for the few exceptions such as Hillsdale.) Let me count just some of the reasons:

  1. Colleges are demonstrably and actively destroying the personal values and personalities of male students. Re-education begins on day one—even before that in many schools with pre-semester “get acquainted” gatherings. 
  2. Colleges may teach hard sciences and needed background studies such as chemistry or math, but these are already infused with propaganda and serve, at best, as attractive candy for those who want to learn, but they must pass through a gauntlet of trials to reach the needed grade. 
  3. Colleges destroy the core values of the liberal arts. Period. 
  4. Colleges load students with debt that requires them to work, in large part, to support a corrupt system. 
  5. The horribly inflated tuition and attendant costs support a corrupt system. 
  6. Insofar as students do not have an overarching philosophical system to fall back on, most will quickly find themselves defending the corruption as a means of survival and self-justification, as they are swallowed by it. 
  7. This corruption extends as well to female students being subordinated to a phony “feminist agenda” that will poison their world view for years to come. 
  8. Men chosen in the male/female sexual favors lottery are trained to perform according to a bad, even evil, values system when they are most emotionally impressionable.

There are many more such points to make, and none of them are positive. Importantly, the quality of the studies themselves are severely tainted by this political jaundice. And most especially skewed are the circumstances of “Love, Actually,” as currently constituted on campus. This is not a healthy situation and should not be encouraged.

What would make much more sense is for conservative and libertarian thinkers to devise an alternative higher educational system, making use of modern technology, that might educate and enlighten young men and women as they work at practical jobs that would offer a good foundation to their dreams.

I refused to go to a normal college for almost exactly the reasons currently being offered for young men to avoid college today—but that was 60 years ago. It was already that bad then. My own choice of alternative was bad, but in my defense, there were fewer choices to be had in those pre-internet days. 

Nevertheless, I succeeded and lived a far better life as a consequence, as demonstrated by those high school classmates (the ones who were aghast at my choice), that I have been able to follow since.

I think the recent arguments of Scott Greer and Emina Melonic are misplaced. Their good intentions would be better directed toward new means of educational fulfillment. The ground there is largely open, and the established college system knows this and is deathly afraid of being left holding a bag of ashes. The growth of the homeschool system for the lower grades is doing a lot of the grunt work already. Hillsdale, for instance, already offers a plethora of excellent online courses for free! And these alternatives will grow and, if encouraged, will overcome the current system very quickly.

With the college debt crises at the forefront, now is an excellent time to highlight the evils of the current system and encourage young men to get out of the rat race and find their own lives. The system cannot be reformed. It must be reestablished on new foundations.

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About Vincent McCaffrey

Vincent McCaffrey is a novelist and bookseller. Visit his website at www.vincentmccaffrey.com.

Photo: Robert Knopes/Education Images via Getty Images)