C.S. Lewis–he knew which way the wind was blowing.
[Thanks to Susan for the tip.]
We should listen to great writers, even fantasy writers, when they warn us off doing stupid stuff that will make bad things happen. They are very often right. But we hardly ever listen, do we?
Check out this essay by Jared Whitley in townhall.com, March 27: “How C.S. Lewis Predicted the Woke Nightmare” (https://townhall.com/columnists/jaredwhitley/2021/03/27/how-cs-lewis-predicted-woke-education-could-turn-democracy-into-dictatorship-n2586801). These predictions are to be found in “Screwtape Proposes a Toast,” an addendum to Lewis’ famous The Screwtape Letters. If you haven’t read that yet, you really should.
Lewis realized that “the term democracy can be warped into destroying excellence, first in the halls of education and then to society at large, to make sure everyone stays ‘equal’.” Bingo! Bullseye!
And how do you water down excellence? Pass/Fail courses. Dumb down the curriculum. Meaningless stupid courses that stultify the brain. And, indispensably, “all, or nearly all, citizens can go to universities”–because if practically everybody has one of those watered-down college degrees, what’s the degree worth?
“Corruption of language” is also important. Suddenly words mean anything you, personally, want them to mean–and no one can understand what anyone else is talking about.
It’s always easier to build down than to build up. We’ll never find a way to make everybody smart, but we can certainly make a lot of people stupid. Our whole system of public education is living proof of that.
The university was once the repository of humanity’s collective wisdom and experience.
Now it’s a moron factory.
Why does that make me think of another cautionary tale–The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells? Whose books, by the way, were a lot wiser than he was.