by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Inspired by a Rush Limbaugh monologue and this photo …
In case you’re a Latin or Greek major, languishing in some college and stressing out about your job prospects, let me tell you from experience: Keep conjugating those verbs and translating Horace, because it gets better.
I think Rush gave a legitimate critique when he frowned upon colleges that frame degrees as a free ticket to riches, and students who view them as such. A college degree improves your chances in some areas, but it is still just a piece of paper. There’s no substitute for hard work, both in class and after graduation during your job hunt.
But there’s no need for Rush to dump on one of the best kinds of education one can find anywhere. In an age when students are graduating with degrees in puppetry and queer theory, why would any conservative disparage the study of Western cultural and literary history?
I got a Classical education that included Latin and what is widely known as the “Great Books” curriculum. I want my children to get the same kind of education, in part because I don’t want them to be mush-heads like the brainwashed protestors who trashed and torched Oakland yesterday.
Radical ideologies like Marxism and Anarchism thrive on the self-satisfied ignorance of students (and professors) who think all history can be boiled down to some kind of petty resentment, and who don’t think about the long-term consequences of thefine-sounding utopian ideologies they adopt. Their narrow-minded fanaticism is less attractive, in my opinion, to anyone who has acquired a true appreciation for art, literature and culture that a Classical education affords.