Who’d go to university today?

They're staffed by pompous, vindictive crybullies peddling the absolute worst ideas around.

Darragh McManus

Topics Politics World

This is the time of year for applying to colleges and universities in the UK and Ireland. Most of us who went on to some form of higher education probably remember our own experience of the process. Not quite an ordeal, but stressful enough in its own way. Filling out the forms correctly and on time; choosing the right course; and picking the right institution.

The stress is presumably amplified for parents, given the value that is placed on attending university today. Society is obsessed with it, particularly here in Ireland where an absurd proportion – 62 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds in 2021 – have a ‘third level’ (university- or college-level) qualification.

So here’s a lesson for you, folks, free of charge and no hidden fees: don’t bother. Actually, that’s not strong enough: I would actively urge parents not to send their children to university anymore. Certainly, when mine are old enough, I’ll be counselling against, for a number of reasons.

There are exceptions to this argument, of course. If your teenager wants to be a petrochemical engineer or something equally practical, then obviously he or she will have to do a degree in chemical engineering. You can’t learn that stuff through real-world experience and a bit of reading. Likewise, if a young person wants to teach Ancient Hebrew or Classics, he’ll need a piece of paper from a university.

Otherwise, forget it. It’s an expensive waste of time. It not only fails to prepare kids for life and work, but, far worse, it also indoctrinates them with all of the absolute worst ideas around. So they’ll come out the other end unemployable, undeveloped, naïve and, somehow, more uneducated than when they went in.

There are other reasons why society should pivot away from this infatuation with going to college: academic study and office-based careers are not for everyone; the existence of so many degrees devalues all degrees; and it leads to apprenticeships being woefully ignored.

It should also be said that the famed ‘university experience’ seems to have changed beyond all recognition. It used to cover that period of life when you have all the freedoms of adulthood and none of the responsibilities. Some no doubt recall those years as probably the happiest of their lives. But it’s hard to imagine today’s 18- to 22-year-olds reflecting on their college years in the same way. When you hear about life for students now, it sounds like they have to do a 70-hour working-week. The only difference being they’re not being paid.

The main reason to avoid college, however, is that they are awful places. And they are often led and staffed by awful people: the worst kind of censorious, vindictive, dictatorial, irrational, hysterical, pompous, self-absorbed crybullies.

Was it any wonder that many of these clowns advocated harder for spurious, unscientific Covid restrictions than even our governments? Almost every university in the West went for mandatory masking, remote ‘teaching’ by video and vaccine mandates for students. Indeed, in several US colleges, vaccine mandates still remain in place.

Academia has always been populated with chancers, flakes and spoofers who, being so cosseted and protected from hard reality, have long wallowed in the most pretentious shite-hawkery: ‘queering the paradigm of abortion as relates to Lacanian reification of the other’, or whatever. And they have been able to get away with it because wider society tended to ignore these crackpots and take the mickey.

But now the crackpots seem to have real influence, with real politicians taking this stuff seriously. ‘”Queering the paradigm of abortion as relates to Lacanian reification of the other”, you say? Sounds worthy enough – here’s a million quid from my ministry. Spend it on a propaganda onslaught against five-year-old children.’

To be fair, a lot of academia’s gibberish is harmless enough. But some of it feels much more menacing. The fact that anti-Semitism is not only allowed but also encouraged on Western campuses – at a time of hideous hostility against the relatively tiny global Jewish population – is deeply troubling.

From the woman-erasing madness of gender ideology to the anti-Westernism of ‘decolonisation’ theory, some of the worst intellectual trends out there originate in the ‘soft sciences’ college departments. Students are being indoctrinated with this stuff so that they can later ‘affect change’ in the real world.

I don’t think there’s some great masterplan at work here. This is not a case of German left-winger Rudi Dutschke’s infamous ‘long march through the institutions’. What’s happened within academia, especially the humanities and soft sciences, feels more like the unintended consequences of pampered, solipsistic baby-people, indulging themselves and being indulged.

If young people want to learn loads, make something of themselves and even transform the world for the better, they should be encouraged to do so. It’s just that the best way to do all that right now is outside of academia.

Darragh McManus is an author and journalist. Visit his website here

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Politics World


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