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Civil Society and Education

November 11, 2020

American colleges and universities are in retreat as they lost consciousness of the basis of the traditional order of Western culture and supplanted that knowledge with ideology and modern political religion.

In the 13th century universities literally “educated the West.”  That was made possible by discovery of classical Greek philosophy and understanding of equivalence of the Christian experience of the Gospels to the Presocratic and Socratic rejection of myth for Philosophy. These early philosophers discovered that the origin of the material world (ta onta) in transcendent divine reality, what the Greek philosophers called to theion.

Today instead of educating our youth, colleges and universities are radicalizing our young and excluding the voices of scholars who represent essential traditions of the West. The parallels between Spain of the 1930s and the United States are real.

Filling this “leadership gap” in America are conservative tax exempt organizations dedicated to developing sound public policies and filling the vacuum created by a “Left university” system.

Some of the best private sector organizations that strive to achieve serious reform of education are not led by scholars whose careers were shaped in higher education.

The head of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute is a Delaware Republican politician.

Only a single administrator at the Martin Center in Raleigh, NC, has an earned Ph.D.

The Independent Institute in California is lead by a knowledgeable business and economics professional with an earned MBA.

And The Imaginative Conservative organization is led by smart conservative laymen who understand both classical Greek philosophy and Christianity, but never earned the Ph.D.

Only the Claremont Institute evolved from academic leaders associated with the Great Books movement and the political philosopher Leo Strauss and political scientist Harry Jaffa. And the American Enterprise Institute is controlled by “neoconservatives”–former and current Democrats.

In a nation of 3,000-plus academic institutions, very few require courses in the history of the West, the American Constitution, and how a market system works. What was commonly called a “Liberal Education” exists in very few colleges and universities. Yes, the world of technology has changed, but a nation governed by technocrats will lose it purpose for existing and contining its traditions.

That Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropped out of college suggests that higher education today is irrelevant.

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