The Great College Suckerpunch

When one person punches another totally without warning – often in mid-sentence – he has just delivered a suckerpunch. The suckerpunch is also a metaphor for a confidence trick, typically one that leaves the “mark” (i.e., victim) penniless. And the global and academic left has turned college into a great suckerpunch for most of its students. Once, a wise student could get value out of college by majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Even that has become doubtful today – and this was never true of most other majors. In point of fact, college today has become a laboratory of indoctrination, promising the student a future the powers-that-be never intended to deliver.

What was college supposed to provide?

Jane Pauley once recorded some video clips for Intuit’s Quicken program, offering financial advice. Her most memorable advice (other than “What you don’t see, you can’t spend”) concerned the three reasons to borrow money:

  1. Go to school,
  2. Start a business,
  3. Buy a house.

“School” meant college or university, on the theory that one borrowed against future income. That might have applied thirty years ago when she said that – but not today. In fact the cracks were already starting to appear in the Seventies, with students graduating with useless degrees. Useless, that is, in the non-academic job market – while academic careers were closed to them.

Many students failed to realize that major tracks in humanities (including languages) and social sciences were literal pyramid schemes. One would major in, say, history, and go on to pursue graduate studies in that discipline. They hoped to earn their Ph.D. and parlay that into a professorship. But academic positions can never accommodate all the undergraduates who major in their disciplines! A lucky few would get those professorships. A few slightly less lucky students would become museum curators. As to the rest, the academic system dumped them onto the non-academic job market with no marketable skills. They might as well have gone to trade school and learned how to do something useful. Instead they’ll be lucky to become the ditchdiggers their parents scornfully told them they’d wind up becoming.

How one once could get real value from college

About five years ago, CNAV warned of this problem, back when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was promising the moon in forcing taxpayers to assume and repay student loans. (That’s the very thing “Resident” Biden is now doing, in a desperate – and illegal – bid to buy student votes.)

As we said then, the most cost-effective way to use a college education is to:

  1. Excel in your science and math classes (and other major areas, too) and earn advanced standing. Which means: acceleration credit when you reach college.
  2. Major in STEM.
  3. Cash in your acceleration credits and get your degree in three years, not four. And at some institutions, take advantage of combined-degree programs.

You will save twenty-five percent of the cost of a bachelor’s degree. More than that, you will save time. Then you can get the high-paying job that will pay off your student loan in record time.

Beyond STEM, degrees in political science might prepare someone for law school. But law school has its own problems, as this analysis will cover shortly. For now, let this suffice: law schools typically turn out more graduates than can actually make careers in law. That has been a problem for decades.

So what do law graduates, or other poli-sci graduates, do instead? Find a Big Cheese Political Donor and run for the House of Representatives. Or “ace” an audition for a leftist political candidacy, as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cartez (D-N.Y.) famously did.

The Marxist infiltration

Which brings us to the worst problem with college today, especially in America but also throughout the Western world. Karl Marx, of course, bequeathed his intellectual poison to a cadre of people who resented the boss-employee system of the Industrial Revolution. They regarded this as no different from the lord-serf – or master-slave – relationship. Why, they asked, should anyone other than a “democratically” chosen public leader direct great projects, or the feeding, watering, clothing, and sheltering of the subjects of a civilization? And by democratic they didn’t necessarily mean by election. As in the old Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, it could mean co-optation from among loyal Party members. And the mission of the Party was simple: to make New Man, that would serve with a public spirit, without fretting about his “reward.”

The Bolsheviks in Russia succeeded in organizing the peasants and the factory workers – and promised a Union of Peasants and Workers to run society. Such is the origin of the classic hammer-and-sickle symbol of Communism. Communist intellectuals tried the same thing in the United States and throughout the Western world. They achieved only a temporary success in creating a militant – often violent – labor union movement.

From labor to college

Two things stopped them:

  1. People still dreamed of being rich, not of becoming New Man and joining a New Society.
  2. A madman took their socialist message and gave it a German nationalistic flavor. He then directly attacked the country that meant Communism in that day – the Soviet Union – while also attacking the rest of the Western world.

Fortunately for something called Russia, Generalya Zima – General Winter – saved Russia, as “she” had when Napoleon attacked. But after the war, Westerners were more interested in prospering than in leveling society. Eventually even the most militant labor unions elected anti-Communist leaders.

So the Communists turned their attention to the colleges and universities. The first Great Student Riots, by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Youth International Party (Yippies), and others, resulted. Within eight years a cadre of tenured radicals had taken over most university departments. And also the law schools, with a theory called Critical Legal Studies, that says all law is politics.

But not all departments succumbed to this influence. STEM departments resisted such change, because STEM is about hard, uncompromising reality. Even mathematics, the most abstract of the STEM disciplines, must remain consistent to be useful. Extensions like “the Imaginary Unit” (the square root of minus one) survived because they had real-world benefits. Engineers appreciated the boon that “complex numbers” gave to sinusoidal analysis, once an important part of electronic design. (Complex numbers are sums of real numbers and multiples of the Imaginary Unit.)

Outworking of the Marxist Influence

But perhaps that concession of mathematics to the treatment of abstractions beyond reality proved a dangerous wedge. If even mathematics can go beyond reality, why not the rest of the “hard” sciences? How else to explain why academic hospitals have become laboratories for “mad scientists” like three infamous Victorian scientific villains? Viktor Frankenstein sought to “bestow animation on lifeless matter.” Henry Jekyll sought to work out the chemical basis for criminal behavior and ended up transforming himself into a criminal. Dr. Moreau (whose first name H. G. Wells never gave) sought to “humanize” wild animals. The ideologies of these admittedly fictional characters survives today as the impetus behind:

  1. Genetically Modified Organisms now appearing as designer foodstuffs to replace traditional dietary staples,
  2. Psychiatry now trying to assign a chemical or genetic basis to all bad behavior, and
  3. The Transgender Ideology – or the notion that gender is fluid, therefore operationally meaningless. This has produced what amount to vivisections almost as gruesome as those that Wells described.

Even that is a suckerpunch. GMO foodstuffs are non-nutritive and even poisonous. Psychiatry, having apologized for all bad behavior, can offer no specific cure. And no person, transforming himself into a herself or herself into a himself, will ever be fertile. Of course not – because that’s not the plan. The plan is for humanity to die out.

Beyond biology and medicine – the political scam

Beyond these horrors is a wider, more far-reaching confidence trick. College today, under the Marxist influence, insists that a command economy can still succeed. Command economy appeals to the same foolish question: why should a private industry leader undertake to provide “basic needs” to people, or to run great “wondrous” projects? The spectacle of Elon Musk running his own space program, intending to settle humans on other worlds as a hedge against an event like the Cataclysm (i.e. the Noachic Flood) is anathema to those who have taken over the college system today. Two reasons explain this. First, a private individual has no business running a space program. Second – again, That’s Not the Plan. The Plan is for humanity to die out.

So what do these powers-that-be promise college students today?

  1. Command economy can work; all the college community need to is figure out how. Then:
  2. This command economy will have places for all the college students to become its commanders.

This is the worst suckerpunch. Never mind that the command economy can never work beyond a simple nuclear family. (And even the nuclear family incentivizes its children to perform household chores, through the allowance system.) In fact, the elite have no plans to welcome all college students even as junior officers in the command economy. Instead they will commission Artificial Intelligences to handle low-level administrative tasks. Eventually they will write one Big AI to handle all production, distribution, rationing, and even the administration of justice.

Cracks in the system

But the system has already begun to crack. Not that the students have begun to realize that the ultimate goal is for all humanity (except the elite) to die out. That’s too abstract a concept for these students, thanks to the “dumbing down” of primary and secondary education.

But many of student age have laid aside the false stigma against “people in trade.” They’re going to trade schools – and when they hear of Biden’s plan for taxpayer assumption of student loans, they are declaring their rebellion. They knew that college was a scam, or at least promised what common sense told them it couldn’t deliver. So now they will refuse their assent to the Biden Plan – by voting against him.

Lately, those in charge of the Marxist model – which requires a dichotomy between oppressors and oppressed – revived student riots in the context of the most atrocious attack by one people against another since the Holocaust. In designating Jews as oppressors, they actually sided with those who committed an atrocity. Never mind those (including, sadly, Covenant Theologians, especially in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths) who now say that attack was a false-flag pseudo-operation. (Meaning that the Israel Defense Forces killed some of their own people to drum up sympathy.) The organizers (and financiers) of today’s answer to the SDS actually promoted sympathy with those who committed the atrocity. That has brought a countervailing movement on at least half the college campuses. The recent “Battle of Chapel Hill” provides a prize example.

Looking ahead

Six months ago came proof that college does not prepare students for work. This applies not only to subject-matter education but also to work-habit education. Furthermore, employers everywhere are warning students who take part in antisemitic demonstrations, that they need not apply.

Even earlier came the realization that the College Board promotes “woke” ideology in its Advanced Placement course offerings. Thus far CNAV has seen no evidence that AP STEM courses suffer from such distortion – yet.

All this to say that more responsible adults are finding out about the problem, and its scope. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) recently did what he hinted at doing more than a year ago. He has introduced the Classic Learning Test as an acceptable substitute for the College Board’s SAT (which once stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test but which now is a mere initialism). The CLT site gives details:

Thanks to legislation passed in 2023, Florida students can use CLT scores to apply to Florida state universities, earn Bright Futures scholarships, satisfy graduation requirements, and earn dual credit. Florida state also funds all school districts to administer the CLT to 11th graders.

With expanded options for admissions testing, Florida students now have greater opportunities to showcase their academic potential and reach their college goals.

That’s a beginning. Furthermore, the CLT organizers list more than 250 colleges who now accept their scores. These don’t include the Ivy League. But today several employers are blacklisting the Ivy League anyway, given what’s happening on their campuses.

Thus a Parallel Academy is already forming. That, and a more realistic expectation of what college can do for someone, will break the suckerpunch scam.

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