Schumpeter Thought Otherwise

Pointing out a UC Berkeley class on destroying Israel and erasing its Jewish history (and, presumably, population), a hopeful author writes:
But good will come of this. Since there are no constraints on what universities do, they are increasingly moving toward the extremes. In doing this, they undermine their own legitimacy and their bogus claims of serving a societal good or promoting civic virtue.

Eventually, such a system will collapse because the larger society will recognize that it is paying for its own delegitimation and destruction through courses that view America and Western Civilization as the roots of all evil in the world.
The great economist Joesph Schumpeter thought the opposite. He believed that this very feature of the university's education of the rising elite would eventually destroy the West and capitalism itself.

We seem to me to be closer to Schumpeter's vision with every generation. Indeed, in Schumpeter's day Marx was recognized as disproven; now the Marxists are resurgent, and whole fields that are utterly Marxist in their frames of interpretation and criticism often do not even realize how wholly they have been subsumed.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Look how long it took for the USSR to collapse under its own weight. A friend who is a student of history - and now teaches it - once said "Yes, rotten doors are sometimes easy to kick in. But someone must kick them in."

David Foster said...

Francis Bacon pointed out four hundred years ago that one reason for sedition and mutiny in any polity was "breeding more scholars than preferment can take off"...

(Honor: A History, by James Bowman)

A modern translation of "breeding more scholars than preferment can take off" might be "graduating more PhDs than have any hope of getting tenure."