What would happen if we completely abandoned the humanities in higher education? The world would be very bleak! (see interview with Michael S. Roth)
This subject is related to my previous post on public education, but here the focus is on the humanities since much of the animus towards higher education is directed at the humanities. Conservatives insist that they are a luxury that we can no longer afford. This is a new stance in the conservative platform as pointed out by Andrew Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America. Hartman thinks that new conservative position is “not only because most conservatives now dismiss the value of the humanities,” but as a product of “the traumatic culture wars, when left and right angrily battled over radically different visions of a humanities education.” Read Hartman’s discussion of this topic here:
History News Network | The Conservative War on the Humanities.
2 thoughts on ““The Conservative War on the Humanities” | History News Network”
The issue is that the conservatives are completely right; the humanities are essentially a luxury we cannot afford…BUT…the liberals are also right; the humanities are a necessity for long-term cultural growth.
At the root of it, conservatives and liberals disagree upon where we’re currently at on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Either that, or the liberals just believe that the nation should pay for those people who chose esteem and self-actualization over the more tangible and immediate needs. Or both; it’s gets murky in my mind at that point.
I think the Humanities are a necessity that modern ‘conservatives’ cannot afford, which is of course just one of the reasons they are a necessity.