Consider this a companion piece to last week’s post about why Modern Art is so bad. In this video from Prager University, Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute looks at the decline of the once-essential liberal arts education. As the text describing the video asks:
What in the world happened to the liberal arts? A degree in the humanities used to transmit the knowledge and wisdom imbued in the works of great Western artists, writers, musicians and thinkers like Shakespeare and Mozart. But today, that same degree stresses Western racism, sexism, imperialism, and other ills and sins that reinforce a sense of victimhood and narcissism. So, what happened?
Watch and learn the answer:
I’m embarrassed to confirm that my alma mater, UCLA, did indeed drop the study Shakespeare as a requirement for a degree in English.
But, hey, at least they get to study racism and imperialism, both of which are crucial to understanding great literature.
True, they still have to take course in English Literature pre-1500, 1500-1700, etc., but it is now possible to get a degree in English without more than a passing acquaintance with the greatest writers the language has ever produced.
I shudder to think of what’s happening in History departments, not to mention the rest of what was once called the “Humanities.” It’s one thing thing to critique Western civilization for its genuine flaws and dark moments, but it’s another altogether to make those the focus and frame of students’ understanding of a civilization and culture that’s produced so much that is wonderful and created so much good.
It’s a learned self-loathing that amounts to cultural suicide.
RELATED: Not all at UCLA were happy with this change. Prager on the intellectual and moral decline of modern universities. Heather MacDonald’s original article that lead to this video.