“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

“Top Dollar”

Cameron et al. quote Tony Blair saying that the reason why US universities are the best in the world is because people are prepared to pay “top dollar” for them.

Wrong. This was a Reaganite plan to strike despair into the hearts of the many.

The reason why American universities rock is because they, unlike Britain, took the Enlightenment seriously. That means that in order to have capitalism, you need good education. Which means you need a culture of second chances.

Non-Americans can sneer at comebacks on Oprah all they like. But my wife dropped out, redid her high school, went to community college, then on to university. Now she's about to start as a CPA at Ernst and Young.

Nothing of the sort is promised to young Brits. The shame of it. America is the land of the second chance. Listen and learn Europeans.


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Chad Weidner said...

America is the land of the second chance? Are you talking about life after bankruptcy? While I find this post interesting, you are a bit misinformed. Current tuition at Dutch universities is *far* below tuition levels in the USA. In Germany, it is even lower. America rocked in the 1970s. Now America is just another industrialized culture. Unsustainable and horrifically in debt. Don’t put the UK in the same basket as Europe in terms of higher education. The UK is closest to the US in many ways, especially in terms of the capitalist drive to make higher education only available to those who are rich or are willing to bargain part of their future. The only ones who will really benefit from such a system are the Chinese.

Timothy Morton said...

I didn't say it wasn't expensive. I said you could do it again. Show me the European country where education isn't a one way street. My brother (UK) is drastically affected by his decision to drop out of high school in a way that my wife (US citizen) isn't.