The other day I had posted a career guide article which received
some heartfelt responses. This article in todays www.lewrockwell.com
has Gary North a regular contributor revealing as he says some dirty
secrets about the college racket and careers and success on the job.
Ron (and everyone)-
I'm no fan of the current college system, for different reasons; although I was a star student (1440 SAT, 43 AP credits, graduated in 2.5 years, major in Philosophy, minor in COmp Sci., overall GPA 3.9, within major 4.0... and I did work most of that time), I hit a wall of narrow, positivist conformity in grad school and dropped out of college in confusion. So let me be clear I'm not defending American universities.
But that said, Mr. North completes misunderstands- or opposes- the best reasons to go to college- to broaden the mind, experience the liesute that allows for the liberal arts, and be lifted above one's barrow prejudices and everyday interests. If you are primarily trying to social climb or make money, you shouldn't go to college- and colleges should stop serving such functions, and businesses should stop expecting college degrees. I gained immensely from my experience in a university, but not because of any direct job skills, but because my life is indescribably better for the degree it broadened my world. Education is constantly confused with training to earn a living. In all essentials I am in complete agrrement on this point with classical conservatives such as Leo Strauss and Allan Bloom; cultural liftists such as Paul Goodman and Allen Ginsberg advocated the same principle as well.
And remember that Mr. North's goals are not the same as mine. As a strict Calvinist who believes that idle hands are the Devil's workshop, Mr. North would see the young hurried on to business and family affairs because a moral society is ordained by and glorifies Gad, and busy material prosperity is a good way to anchor people to a moral social system. Mr. North's goal is not human happiness, and it isn't wide exposure to the best that has been thought and said. So one could agree with all of North's advice, and still think he's missing the point. Life is not about earning a living, and certainly not about being respectable, "moral", or vulgarly successful; earning a living is a means to life, one's own life, one's own happiness, which incidentally is the way to a society of kindness and color. I personally wish I hadn't wasted time with computer science courses and taken more flaky liberal arts. They would incidentally be far more releavant to my profession.
Forgive me if I harp, but I'm quite familiar with North's writings and those of his master Rousas Rushdoony, and one cannot understand his perspective without realizing the goals he is trying to achieve. I don't mean everything he says as false, but that he simply assumes standards of material, respectable, worldly success which I would say are lacking as primary goals, and in his case are subservient to values utterly anthitetical to my own, and any artistic or philsophical life on any level of human achievement.
And I know this last bit is no argument, but I can't help but find my benevolence strained by a writer who literally advocates my murder. I also can't help be a bit amused at the juxtaposotion. Gary North is an advocate of Old Testament law; an unabashed patriarch who hasn't forgotten about YHWH's political war against the cultures of ancient Mediterranea and Mesopotamia. Well, neither have I.
Odd thing, I agree with him completely on the value of apprenticeship.
"If their lives were exotic and strange...
they would likely have gladly exchanged them
for something, a little more plain;
maybe something, a little more sane...
We each pay a fabulous price
for our visions of Paradise
but the Spirit...
of a Vision...
is a Dream..."
- Rush, 'Mission'