The far-out right-wing’s latest political ploy takes extremism to the extreme. Escalating their divisive series of “culture wars” (banning books, suppressing women’s rights, whitewashing history, demonizing teachers, etc.) – their current idea is to declare war on ideas! Specifically, they’re going after state university programs that teach creative arts and social studies, including history, languages, music, civics, literature, economics, theology, and other courses in the humanities that explore ideas, foster free-thinking, and expand enlightenment.
This is the kind of "thinking" that is ruining society, and our country. Nothing in education is as important as learning how to think, drawing upon a deep, wide knowledge of human history and accomplishments in literature, art, music, architecture and philosophy. This is the foundation for good government and a healthy society.
Monetizing everything is destroying our world, as seen most dramatically in the destruction of the environment and our fellow species, along with much else. The focus on "the economy" is really just a relentless effort, by those who care only to accumulate wealth and power, to grab all resources and power for themselves. This effort relies on destroying human intelligence and the ability to value things other than material wealth. The humanities cultivate these abilities, so they are the enemy.
Many of our Founders were highly educated in Greek, Latin, history, literature, etc as well as the science of the period. We that’s why they could produce our remarkable Constitution and government.
Jim, you've nailed it once more. I have a graduate degree in engineering, but I have spent my entire life trying to fill the gaps in my (liberal) education. If we don't know history, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes. If we don't know the great thinkers in our past, we are bound to fall victim to our own hubris. Life and being a productive member of society is about so much more than what we do to find bread and shelter.
This same assault took place in the 1980s against Geography Departments. I obtained my Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Michigan before the graduate program was abolished. Realizing the damage that lead dust caused to inner cities, I helped get the lead out of gasoline in the mid-1980s.
Howard W. Mielke.
Talk about deligtimizing knowledge! It started a while ago....when I was in high school, I was in junior and then senior choir, we had intramural sports, we had clubs, and our soccer and basketball teams were terrific. These extra activities were still in place when my three kids were in school. When they were in high school, they had the same homeroom because they were musicians and the band room was homeroom for all the kids that played instruments. Much of that is gone; and not for the better. Now I've moved to Florida, where intelligence, apparently, not "woke", goes to die. The county is building a new library out my way, I can't wait for it to open so I can become a defender of free access to books.
Our far-right wing-nuts would make the dictators of the 1930s proud. Do away with the free discussion of ideas and the foundations of a republic crumble, and the formation of enriched human minds ends.
The attack on culture is a part of the con job to distract from their main goal of stripping ALL Americans of their money and giving it to the wealthiest Americans and the wealthiest corporations. Because then they can get more money from them and remain in power. You scratch my back, I scratch your back. They just need to keep their base "enraged and engaged" and distracted from their main goal. Which is stealing from ALL Americans! And if ALL Americans really got wise to this they would collapse and be driven from office forever. But the con continues with their distraction and disinformation and misinformation to keep everyone confused and not wise to the con.
Another symptom of end-stage capitalism, in which every possible human good is assigned a dollar value, and the humanities get zero. As a writer with a daughter who's a music teacher, I feel this deeply. I experienced a fine humanities-based education (even though I majored in biology) back in the day, and it grieves me deeply to see our country going down this road. But, unfortunately, I can't say I'm surprised. I just hope the pendulum starts swinging back soon, though I probably won't live to see it. :-(
One of the most important things about the humanities is that they can help us learn how to think. It seems to me that the inability to think is clearly -- and regularly -- demonstrated by the leaders of this country, and by many of its citizens. Besides that, as if thinking weren't important enough, the humanities can give us knowledge and insight, if we're willing, into different ways of living, different experiences, different ideas and the ability to evaluate all those things.
This reminds me of the actions of Mao Tse-tung and his Chinese Communist Party's "Cultural Revolution" back in the '60's. Burned books and got rid of intellectuals. I guess Hitler did some of that too.
These far right people need the humanities more than anyone. They really need history. If they get their way we will have the distinction of being the dumbest people on the planet. A college education needs to cheaper and available to all students. Technical training can always be accomplished once a student is an educated person.
As a teacher I understand the value of Humanities.Without this we risk machine like learning…hey…maybe they are preparing us for AI?
You have to wonder what kind of education these people have...
They see no value in citizens, much less government officials, having a knowledge of history? Of foreign languages? Of economics, for heaven's sake?
How do they govern? By the Bible, Speaker Johnson says. You can't even understand the Bible without some knowledge of religion and history, which they want to cut out. (Or are they cutting out religion?) I guess if you want to learn anything that doesn't have a direct "practical" benefit, you have to go to a private college.
But the motivation is obvious: people who get a "liberal" education are likely to have empathy, to know about traditions like civilian control of the military (the military academies teach that--do these people want it cut out?), to question authority and the innate virtue of the rich...in other words to believe in a society very different from what these people want. You constantly hear that the colleges must be indoctrinating students because kids go off to college as obedient children and come home doubting what they've been told all their lives. No, the colleges are not indoctrinating students, they are teaching children to question (including their own beliefs), to think critically, to learn and understand things that they have not been exposed to previously. They are not being taught what to think; they are being taught to think. And that bothers a lot of adults.
Do we want to educate our kids or train them? Up to now, most people would say educate.
Even if everyone is "trained," we still need people who can read, write...be creative.
Remember the line from " Mr. Holland's Opus: "What are people going to read and write about?"
Even worse is that many college students agree with this outrageous
Concept snd resent if “forced”
To take a humanities course
Where does it stop???