Please Don’t Go To College — American Greatness

Please Don’t Go To College — American Greatness

In the year of our Common Era 1625, Cardinal Richelieu made this prediction: “If learning were profaned by being made available to all and sundry, it would be found that there were more people capable of creating doubts than of resolving them, and many would show themselves more apt in opposing truth than in defending it.”

Passing by, only for a moment, the shocking elitism, so appalling to our modern ears, how’d he fare?

The answer is obvious, as is the answer to the solution to the growing madness which surrounds us: Less, not more, education. And more elitism.

You’ve heard the slogan. “We want our college to look like America,” they say. They say it about college, about Congress, the bureaucracy, the bar, the professoriate, almost anything. The reply is: no we don’t. I don’t want my pilot looking “like America”. America looks like the furtive guy at the end of the bar who should have been arrested years ago. Or America looks like that nice old lady we just helped load groceries into her trunk. Pilots look nothing like that. I want my pilot looking like he has the skills, and the intelligence, to fly the marvel of engineering that is a jet aircraft. I also do not want those aeronautical engineers to look like America. I’m keen on them understanding differential equations, and what stress does to aluminum welds.

Go American Greatness to read the rest.

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  1. Pk

    At a prestigious research institution during one of those months celebrating whatever, I noted a poster that read “Innovation through Equality!” It wasn’t a joke.

  2. Anon

    “College” in the US was a place to park your upper-class son for a few years–as evidenced by the popularity of the “Gentleman’s C”–in that not too much effort had to be expended, but the end result would a sheepskin. Said son would then enter business and perhaps flirt with politics, and be able to leverage the ties he honed as a freshman.

    As college became more democratized, more people were able to go–but there were still gatekeepers. Students had to cough up tuition before they crossed the threshold–there was nothing like the college-loan scheme like there is now. In 1934, Arthur Miller could not go to University of Michigan until he could spot the $500 tuition (for the entire 4 years; tuition was much less per year then) before he entered. He worked in a warehouse for $15 a week to save up the funds.

    Which brings us to now. In many cases, students view college as a four-year party and that they “deserve” a break after the tedious work of making it to 18. Pity the student who thinks that they will enter college and learn something useful and help them develop as a human being.

  3. Hagfish Bagpipe

    ”In the year of our Common Era…

    “Common Era”? — put down that drink, man, it’s spiked with kool-aid!

  4. William Wallace

    There is no Common Era. It is a fiction to cover up the unpleasant Truth that the Lord Our God chose to stoop down and take on our human nature.

  5. Briggs


    That’s what’s funny.

  6. Hagfish Bagpipe

    Joker. Should have known.

  7. Cary Cotterman

    By the time I went to university, I already knew how to read, write, and do math. Later, in my profession, I learned everything on the job or through private study. None of what I needed to know to do my work came from college. Practically, I could have skipped those four years of school and done just as well. It was a waste of time and money, but I had to have the credential to get in the door. It’s a ridiculous system.

  8. Hagfish Bagpipe

    Citizen Free Press linked your “Don’t Go To College” piece at American Greatness, where, last I looked, 68 commenters covered in mud, blood, and beer — college graduates all — were having fun duking it out.

  9. Briggs


    Ah, thanks. I didn’t even know about them.

  10. Shecky R

    So basically, you want your pilot looking like Leslie Nielsen in Airplane… got it.

  11. Briggs

    Neilsen was the doctor, bright boy. Whoever is paying you is going to start noticing your mistakes, Sheck.

  12. John P Ruplinger

    Wonderful and prescient remark by Richilieu. That can be said of those who have engaged deeply in the difficult studies of theology and philosophy and have now taught for forty years. Doubts. nothing but doubts.

    Ludi delendi sunt has been my motto for a long time. I deeply appreciate the Ignatian method of education that was already lost by 1900.

    But I no longer think there is any going back. The universities do not teach the liberal arts any more (even the ones that seem solid). Reform is incapable. There is no ratio studiorum, that is a reasoned order and progression of studies. It reminds me that I was the only undergrad student in my fourth semester ancient Greek class (and that was the final level they offered) at my Jesuit alma mater. The old Jesuits had mastery of Greek by about age 15 or 16 already. O tempora….

    The only remedy for it is oil and wood.

  13. Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.
    In happier edu-news, Russia is going back to their expert-generating college format, lost these many years since we corrupted them back in the 90’s. And they successfully kicked out Soros and his minions, which is one of the real reasons for the current unpleasantness in Ukraine.

  14. Milton Hathaway

    “So basically, you want your pilot looking like Leslie Nielsen in Airplane… got it.”

    Strange choice there for an example, Shecky. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar moonlights as an airline pilot in the off-season, and no one notices except little Joey, taking gaslighting to a ridiculous extreme (hence the humor). These days the ridiculous gaslighting is a mediocre male swimmer claiming to be a woman to win otherwise unattainable medals, but no one is laughing.

  15. JH

    Life is so much more than whether other people of all sorts have opportunities to attend an Ivy League school or to work at a certain place, e.g., Weill Cornell Medical College. If you are considering whether to go to college, don’t let political rhetoric and gloom-and-doom people affect your future. A community college is a good start if you are not sure and have no parent-ship (or scholar-ship). You might not be what you want to be. A community college will allow you to know yourself better.

    You would need to go to college to learn calculus and differential equations unless you are a rare genius and your parent(s) can teach you math. Chances are you need to know other topics to excel. If you are good at math, doors of opportunities swing for you. Once you enter, it would be up to you to do well. Kill it on math, and do not be a mass shooter. Be what you can be, and be happy, good, and kind.

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