by Sarah A. Hoyt
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Not long ago, a friend—the same one who lost his job in Academia, in the Northeast last year for being too white, too Christian, too male—was surveying the people we know who are trying, however ineffectively to fight the good culture war and said “The kids are confused, mal-educated, not very well read, but full of fight and vigor. And their hearts are generally in the right place. We’ll be all right. We just have the scrappy band of losers to save the world, and we will save it.” (Which is part of what he’s working on.)
I noted the other day, when student loans were mentioned, that you guys have a really weird vision of the people who are in trouble due to student loans.
Now, look, yeah, sure, there are puppetry majors. There are also a never-end of English majors (and there’s a reason for that, which I’ll explain later.) And a bunch of other things, some of them that self-obviously were never going to pay.
But for every one of those, because I have a lot of fans, and kids who have friends anywhere from the early twenties to the late thirties, who have crushing debt from stuff they never completed through no fault of their own. STEM even. And if you’re bristling at the “through no fault of their own”, don’t. For one, I swear, though I can’t PROVE it (because like most of what the lefty cockroaches do it’s still underhanded) most of it seems to be covered up and individual excuses given, but it looks to me like if you’re a conservative, they’re going to kick you out without a degree one way or another. Sure. Not all over the country. Not every university has gone militantly stupid. And some conservatives and their families are too prominent to get kicked out, but I’ve seen waves go through where people I know are conservative all hit bullshit road blocks at the same time. And then other bullshit road blocks. And then more. To the point that, you know, one is happenstance, two is coincidence, three is enemy action.
And I love you guys, I do. Like ice-cream with sprinkles on top, but every time one of you talks about “working your way to school” I hit my head on something and scream. Yeah, I know one person who did that. It only took him 4x as long as it should have to graduate, but he did it. And I know people who attempted it, and their grades fell, and the degree dragged, and eventually they dropped out.
What you’re not taking in account is how much college costs these days. I have insight into it, because, by promise, we paid half of each of the kids undergrad.
Let’s just say if you’re unskilled, a state’s college tuition is now your take-home from a full time job. If you’re supporting yourself, that leaves food, place to live, car, gas, and BOOKS (which are ridiculously expensive) for you to find money for, somehow. (I understand this is different in Utah, and might be in other systems, but not in Colorado.)
Worse, because college (and to be fair, every level of school) is now full of button counting, time-consuming, group work (I saw this with my kids from first grade, and worse, if you were “gifted” they gave you more.) you’ll only be able to take half the courses per year, which prolongs the time for which you have to find living expenses, etc.
“Work to put self through college” is a pipe dream if you’re taking STEM. (It is possible, to an extent with English degrees, if you are naturally gifted. Just occurred to me a friend of mine did this recently. But trust me, it wasn’t easy.)
And no, the people saying “Well, most Americans don’t go to college, so this is subsidizing the rich” aren’t right. Because the people who were pushed/sent to college aren’t rich. (Hence the loans. The rich, largely pay for their kids to go and have “the college experience.”) They’re usually “smart” or at least did well in school. And they’re usually (though not always) strivers. That’s the only thing they have in common.
The people who are partying are either the children of the rich, or athletes with full scholarships.
These days scholarships also have bloody nothing to do with merit, btw. If you’re a woman it’s easy to get a scholarship. If you are interestingly tan, ditto. If you can tell a sob story and have the right opinions, you have a good chance. But pure merit? If they exist (and I presume in a country this size they must) we failed to find them. And when they exist and we found them… well, younger son was offered a full ride across the country. But he was 16, and where would he live? And how would we pay for housing/food/etc? which was more than local tuition? (In retrospect, we SHOULD have done that, but that’s a long story.)
Oh, and on useless degrees: a lot of kids take English degrees because they are given a snow-job on how valuable it is. “With an English degree you can be literally anything. There are companies dying to hire you.” And because it’s easy, if you also have to work full time.
As the possessor of an English degree (in my case ESL, and different, but you know) there are indeed companies dying to hire you. Retail and food service. But seriously, why wouldn’t the kids believe what they’re told by authorities? Isn’t that what we tell them to do? Trust the experience and wisdom of those who are older than they are?
But leaving aside the whole contentious issue of student loans—look, guys, if I’m right, the mummy is going to forgive them anyway. The least you can do is not throw fits, because driving away the kids is the worst thing you can do. No not all of them are brain dead, and a lot of them have been red pilled already—there is the fact that the whole “formal education” thing from pre-school to college, these days amounts to little more than a program of retirement for Beardo the Weirdo.
So, you know, these kids—at least those who didn’t grow up under the gimlet eye and book-flinging hand of someone like me—are very badly read, and sometimes almost painfully ignorant of everything real, from history to economics.
Take the “x number are socialists” I also stared at that and despaired, until younger son laughed. “Yeah, they think they are. Because we were told that everything, from street lights, to public roads, to police was “socialism”” and people who don’t know better, and think that a society should have SOME degree of public service, think they’re socialists. They’re by and large not.”
Or take the fact these people literally have no clue who fought in WWII. Or what the Nazis wanted, besides “they were racisssss and white.” Or–
Yeah, I know. You have an atrocious view of the kids, and some of it is justified. For some of them.
As I said, they’re uneducated, or worse mal-educated, and think they know things they don’t because “older people” taught them those things. They’re appallingly badly read (mostly because of the books that were pushed at them in school.)
Worst, the pedagogical methods used on my kids—and I bet you they’re worse now—were make-work and boring stuff, designed to crush love of reading, love of learning, initiative and … well, anything useful.
The one thing they got pounded with was “responsibility” Only it wasn’t. It was more make work, and a solid dose of guilt.
For instance, when son had to have knee surgery that kept him out of school for two weeks, the teachers were incapable of telling me what he should work on, because they didn’t PLAN that far in advance. At the same time, they told the kids the papers due for the next two weeks, and then didn’t remind them. Just had a box for them to be dropped in. And these papers, which were often painfully boring and stupid, counted for more than the grade. With each of the boys—because they are ADD AF—there was a semester they failed, and we’re looking at the grade going “but he had all As in the tests” and eventually found out they’d done ALL the homework, and on time even, but it was either still on their desk or (Younger son’s) their backpack front pocket, which is so full it barely closes.
At the time they did this, they were… under 12. And were, of course, getting hit with the hormone stick. But the same adults who couldn’t plan two weeks ahead, for jobs they were getting paid for, told us that “No, we don’t remind them. They have to learn responsibility.”
Mostly, the kids, at least mine, learned guilt. Because their teachers’ lack of planning was their problem.
But what you have to remember is that most of these kids are all right. Probably the vast, overwhelming majority are all right.
Oh, they have the same number of custard heads and evil bastages as any other generation. But we only hear from those. And the people who have been red pilled, the productive and smart ones? They’re keeping their heads down and slogging ahead. Because, see where “being discovered to be conservative” (or really to dissent from the choir) will have immediate results, and they won’t like them.
That is starting to change. Oh, heavens, way too slowly. But changing. People have won lawsuits for wrongful dismissal or political discrimination. Now, most of these are the most obvious/egregious cases, but the avalanche starts with a very few grains of sand.
The kids are all right. And we’re starting to take back the culture. Or the wouldn’t have had to fraud 2020 in such a blatant last-minute manner. Because the fraud was already immense and baked in. They should have coasted. Hence the potemkin campaign. But they didn’t.
And that must be our consolation: there are probably fewer young ones to rebuild than we think, and they’re probably just as ignorant and lost as we think.
On the other hand, there are people making a living from teaching various things on youtube, history being one of the subjects I know of. And the kids (and elders like us) are paying for it.
They are trying to engage in the great relearning.
So, the best time to plant a tree or teach your kids properly is 10/20/50 years ago. The second best time is now.
If you can take them out of public school, do so. (And don’t trust private schools without tons of research. Yeah, there are still good ones, but most are as bad as public, if not worse.)
If you can’t, follow the plan in Have Spacesuit Will Travel (and what we did) and teach them at home, after and around school.
If your kid is considering college, look really closely at what they’ll be studying, look at rates of graduation, send an elder to audit interesting courses (most states have free or very low price classes after 55.) It’s an investment, and you should know the likely return.
And if you don’t have kids, and there’s this mass of kids (and I mean anyone younger than you, out there) engage. Talk to them. I don’t know, distribute books. (I am the book fairy.) Or start a you tube channel teaching your specialty.
If you do interesting stuff: building, sewing, machine repair, start a you tube channel or a blog (the same goes for history, languages, whatever) and send me the link to publicize.
As the left is fond of saying “The children are our future” (and the white horse of Napoleon was in fact white.)
But the future they tried to mold these kids for is impossible, and the possible part of it would be horrific.
I don’t care what you think of them. They’re the ones who will be building the world, once it’s obvious the model of centralized control/production/everything else is now counterproductive.
Teach. Teach in every way you can.
Seed the seeds of the future. You can’t control how they bloom, but you can seed. And do what you can to nurture.
I believe the kids will do us proud.