Father Martin Inches Closer To The Brink
2 hours ago
Although one finds some real students in the sciences and occasionally even in the humanities, much of what goes on in college courses, and especially in education, social work and communications, rarely rises above the ridiculous. College learning has become devoid of ideational substance or real study requirements.But who should be authorized, I hear from college administrators, to say whether a student has acquired enough learning to receive a college degree? Apparently it should depend on what the provider and customers think the product means. It’s like intelligence, which we are told exists in multiple forms, all deserving equal respect? And unless a graduate hopes to go on to medical school, a prestigious law school, or some other professional school requiring in-depth learning, no one will care what that former student has learned, providing he/she comes with a degree. There are accreditation boards, but from my experience, it would seem that those doing the visitations have exceedingly limited understanding of a proper learning environment. PC indoctrination and minority recruitment are the major concerns of the Middle Atlantic Board that pays visits to my college.
It might be countered that colleges are providing a service for which lots of people pay and therefore it would be niggling to complain about a commodity others value. Unfortunately this argument doesn’t work. We are talking not about the sale of Snicker bars or baseball cards but about something more significant. We are describing the degeneration of what used to be higher learning into an ominous development with long-range implications. The more higher learning becomes associated with what is infantile as well as dishonest, the more deeply it affects our understanding of higher education, the sciences and the process of becoming an educated person.
College education is being turned into a prolonged yap session for college enrollees -- together with an expensive “college experience” that usually entails minimal study time. We have predigested material that the professor is supposed to provide, along with fun and games. Such inventiveness is necessary to make sure the coordinator of the “learning group” gets rave evaluations. Without such evaluations instructors upset their employers, who are looking for tuition-bearing bodies. A common complaint on the right is that education is becoming an exercise in memorizing cultural Marxist views. But I would add that students pick up this gibberish as a form of ersatz learning. It is easier to learn which groups White Christian males oppressed the worst than to study calculus or Latin. Most of the students I encounter can do A without much effort, but plainly not B.
Although PC is taught at elite universities, its function there is entirely different from what it is elsewhere. In the Ivies, for example, PC constitutes the ideological basis of the present managerial order. It is the sacral and legitimating teaching of the ruling class that has to be passed on to a new generation of priests, in order to maintain the system. PC and diversity as transmitted at the top are not at all what they are at the bottom. At less than distinguished colleges, they are the candy of the intellectually challenged or hopelessly mediocre, which is pushed for among other reasons to keep government agencies and leftist accreditation boards off the backs of college administrators.
Thu. September 16
Arrival in Scotland at 5:30 AM ET / 2:30 AM PT
Visit with Her Majesty The Queen at 6 AM ET /3 AM PT
Mass at Bellahouston Park at 12 PM ET /9 AM ET
Fri. September 17
St. Mary's University at 5:00 AM ET /2 AM PT
Meeting with Youth at 6:30 AM ET / 3:30 AM PT
Meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury
at 10:30 AM ET / 7:30 AM PT
Westminster Hall at 12:00 PM ET / 9 AM PT
Westminster Abbey at 1PM ET / 10 AM PT
Sat. September 18
Mass in Westminster Cathedral at 5:00 AM ET /2 AM PT
St. Peter's Residence at 12:00 PM ET /9 AM PT
Hyde Park at 1:00 PM ET /10 AM PT
Sun. September 19
Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman
Live at 4:30 AM ET / 1:30 AM PT
( Encore 9:00 PM ET /6 PM PT & 1:00 PM ET /10 AM PT )
Departure at 1:00 PM ET /10 AM PT
Can we be straight about the Blitz, now that it is 70 years since it began?
Most of us have two absolutely clear reactions to it. The first is that dropping bombs on women and children in their homes is a wicked form of warfare.
The second is that - despite all the horrors of being bombed - the British people were not demoralised or blasted into defeatism, but worked all the harder for victory because it was the only way to get back at the enemy who dropped death on them from the sky.
Yet as soon as anyone suggests that we were wrong to bomb German women and children in their homes - as I firmly believe we were - they are shouted down by cries of ‘They asked for it!’.
Actually, they didn’t ask for it at all. The children, as always, had no say in the matter.
And the people who bravely voted against Hitler to the last lived in the poor urban areas which we deliberately bombed.
And when anyone argues - as I do - that the bombing of German civilians was also an ineffective way of fighting the war, doing surprisingly little damage to the Nazi war effort, they are shouted down by apologists who seem to think that Germans responded to bombing differently from British people.
It’s not true, and those who have studied the facts agree.
Yet I am absolutely in favour of a memorial, large and majestic, in a place where as many people as possible will see it, to the young men who nightly climbed into their bombers and flew over Germany.
They believed they were helping to destroy a great tyranny. They trusted their leaders.
That is why they set off, hearts in mouths, in the full knowledge that they probably wouldn’t come back, and that they were likely to die in a specially horrible fashion.
Not since the Somme in 1916 had so much steadfast valour and youth been squandered by old men who ought to have known better.
On the Bomber Command war memorial, alongside the shattering number of names and the chokingly sad ages at which they died, should be the words ‘Lions, led by Donkeys’.