Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Citizenship in Crisis

Travis D. Smith, from up north, thinks that the ISI sponsored study "The Coming Crisis in Citizenship" should be taken seriously, and he does. And I am glad. His long (Sunday op-ed kind) essay is very much worth reading. Just his comments on Canada--useful for the whole on understanding American citizenship--are worthy of two cofees! Enjoy, and pass it around.    

Discussions - 3 Comments

When I read things like this I have to ask "just where have you folks (in the academy) been the last 40 years???" The failure of the "humanities" and the "liberal arts" is complete. Really, how could it be any worse? The academics I know tend to point to a few bright spots in their own departments and ignore the 99%. The American academy is now nothing more than a technical(i.e. ’harder’ sciences and business school. Let’s have the simple courage and common decency to say it...

I wonder how much of this can be laid at the feet of the students and our culture (and not just lefty professors and trendy curricula). My experience with young people today is that they don’t dig to fill the unfortunate gaps in their educations. We I was a college student, lo these many moons past, I struggled to fill gaps when I discovered them (being appalled at my own ignorance). I thought it was fun! I’ve never understood how people could find history, politics, demography and the like boring. I thought it was exciting, and yet I had time for boozing, girl-chasing, rocking out, etc. Guess I don’t get it.

There seems to be so much in our culture that one must "know" whether it is ultimately useful or not. Perhaps it is a question of what the young think they must know, and not just the young, dain, I know several of our generation who could not pass the ISI’s little quiz, much less the citizenship test cited by Peter Schramm up ahead on the blog. I tell my students that they have the mental capacity to read and know far more than they think they can, having filled their heads, instead, with the details of the lives of celebrities, what is current on TV shows, how to win the various staggeringly detailed levels of video games (some of them can survive in those fantasy lands with remarkable skill and yet have not bothered to find out how to live real life, at all.) and all sorts of things that they have come think far more relevant to their lives than how the wide world works or has worked.

Yes, dain, there was pleasure in learning EVERYTHING, which is a never-ending pleasure, because of change. But surely you knew friends for whom those latter things you mention were the sum and whole of experience, and whose experience and knowledge is still limited, though not necessarily to that sphere? It must be nostalgia week, on the blog, as here you are, also remembering your (disreputable?) past.

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