Sunday, August 18, 2013

College as a Chump Move

Now the greatest heresy, that education makes you better.

Nope, in nearly every case here in the good old USA all an education does is make you status oriented. Even the meanest "commercial rec" graduate seems to have it in his head that his "education" puts him ahead of the pack.

My Eldest is seventeen now, taking classes over at the local community college instead of being subjected to the vagaries of a high school indoctrination.  I am trying desperately to keep his eyes on getting an education rather than getting a job.  Now, this is harder than one would think.  It is basically a way of approaching the college experience in a manner not tainted by the capitalist system that has hijacked the sector.

I am not having him keep his "eye on the ball" where the education that he so needs is defined by the diploma that will grant him the right to a job.  I am trying to get him to take classes that teach him about the world that surrounds and enfolds him.  History is good, English allows for an ability to communicate effectively, math teaches him complex thought.  I am trying to convince him that taking classes in subjects like geography and geology, will serve him as well as classes in psychology and sociology.

But he will also need classes like Psych and Soc in order to be able to parse the world around him. It isn't that these disciplines hold any great portion of the "truth", but they will allow him to ask the questions leading to better a understanding the people who inhabit the world around him. So those should probably be on the table.  I am also hoping that he manages to get into some of the trades oriented classes so that he can find something to do with his hands.  That is a much tougher sell.

But I have to recognize the idea that eventually he will have to enter one of the "programs" in order to get the ability to pay for his food, drink, and respite. But because a major part of education is to find a way to get by in a strange land, and everything has become a function of the peculiar guilds that run the world today:  You have to check off the boxes that they set up for their new apprentices.

But the idea that a college education is the sole, noble means of achieving a means of support has run its course.  The colleges today are diploma mills of the internet and a vulgar means of slipping small amounts of  money to barely qualified Adjunct Professors and large amounts of money to the administrators.  The overall business plan is to keep the "status" filter going by parroting on television commercials the idea that only college will provide.  The "colleges" then convince the young and stupid(1) to take out massive amounts of student loans.  The college administrators then pay themselves handsomely for the service that they render to the financial industry delivering the debt-slaves to the market. 

Even in Taibibi’s article, he goes on about how in law offices even the runners need four year degrees.  Well, who the fuck wants to be a runner in an Atlanta law firm?  The answer is, folks who are seeking status.  To be around the big people is worth any effort, because you might get invited to eat their leftovers one day.

If you are going to make it in this world, you had better figure out how to live outside of the rain shadow of the rich.  A plumber is well paid, an electrician is an excellent job, soldiering has always been honorable.  The vast bulk of college graduates merely run Excel spreadsheets as a tiny part in a play for the benefit of the rich.


  1. Yes, stupidity is a state that the young often inhabit, but rest assured, it is curable through being kicked repeatedly in the teeth by an uncaring world


DD said...

Shutting it down? Well, keep in touch, I'm still blogging at Squeezing the Hourglass.

Mayberry said...

Welcome back. Great post. I call colleges "dink factories" because that seems to be all they put out these days. I hope your son follows your advice, he will be a much better man for it. Definitely convince him to explore the trades. One of the saddest things I've ever seen was a PhD and a "Master Degree" dink, which between the two of them couldn't even manage to change a tire. Pathetic...