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Deciphering the Sad-Sack Story of a Classical Studies Scholar

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Have you seen some of the notebook entries? Not the signs on the protest march.  Some of these so-called college students at Occupy Wall Street and other places around the country are writing their sad-sack stories on notebook paper, like this, and then they're holding it up and people are taking pictures of it.  They're lamenting the worthlessness of their education, there's no future, they've invested all this time and money in their student loans and there's no jobs (crying) basically.  You've seen those.  This is an example.  But I think, ladies and gentlemen, I have detected here what's really going on with all this and how these sad-sack students are just a bunch of dupes and in fact useful idiots.

Now, I'm gonna have trouble reading this.  This is a camera photo of a protester's scribbling in a loose-leaf notebook here.  "I graduate college in seven months with a useless degree in Classical Studies.  I have worked very hard and am on track to graduate with Latin.  I am in a Greek organization with many volunteer hours under my belt.  My job prospects, zero."  So basically here's a person who's taken Latin and is about to have a degree in Classical Studies and doesn't have the slightest idea, her job prospects are zilch and she's ticked off. 

Now, do you think somebody going to college, borrowing whatever it is in this case, $20,000 a year to get a degree in Classical Studies ought to be told by somebody at a school that it's a worthless degree? (interruption) Well, I don't know what the minor was.  It might be Latin.  It's a lousy picture; I can't read the woman's printing or handwriting.  But at any rate, why is it that no one in her life told her that getting a degree in Classical Studies would not lead to employment?  In fact, how many college students do you think believe that just getting a degree equals a high-paying job?  Probably a lot of them.  Not that you can blame 'em.  That's what they've been sold on.  That's what they've been told.  Ergo, that's what they expect.  A college degree equals success, riches, whatever.  Not work.  This is key, now. 

Snerdley's in there laughing at me, but stick with me on this.  Get the degree.  The degree and the diploma are all you need.  That's the guarantee.  So this student says she wants the degree -- I'm assuming it's a she.  There's no picture of the student, so I don't know.  But this person goes in there, wants to get a degree in Classical Studies.  Now, I think the colleges ought to be held accountable here.  You show up, you want a degree in Classical Studies, you need to be told what that really means.  "Well, how do you want to use your degree in Classical Studies?  Do you even know what it is?"  "Well, yes, I want study the classics so that I can be an expert in the classics, so that I can then study them further, like, and, you know, help others."  "Really?  Okay, how much money do you expect to make doing this?"  "Well, as a college graduate with a Classical Studies degree, maybe a Latin minor, $200,000 a year, enough to pay off my student loans in the first four years and then after that who knows." 

"Can you tell me where do you go to apply for a job with a Classical Studies degree?"  "Well, anybody who's interested in studying classically, I would think would be interested in my services because I'm going to be an expert."  At that point somebody at the university ought to say, "Babe, you are wasting your time in a nothing major.  We are stealing your money.  You're gonna be qualified for jack excrement when you get outta here."  But they don't.  Now, this is part of the trick, this is the ruse, and it's actually clever.  Snerdley's in there laughing uncontrollably.  I know I'm a naturally funny guy, but follow me on this. 

So here you have Miss Brain-dead freshly out of college with her Classical Studies degree who thinks that she wants to go classically study and that people also want to study classics studiously and classically, and she's going to be very hirable, very marketable and so forth.  Gets out in the real world and finds her only chance is Occupy Wall Street and to write a note for a TV camera about how worthless her degree is.  Well, that's what she does here.  Her job prospects, zero.  Yeah, they are, and they have been since you declared that major, and somebody shoulda told you that from the moment you declared the major in Classical Studies. 

Tell me, any of you at random listening all across the fruited plain, what the hell is Classical Studies?  What classics are studied?  Or, is it learning how to study in a classical way?  Or is it learning how to study in a classy as opposed to unclassy way?  And what about unClassical Studies?  Why does nobody care about the unclassics?  What are the classics?  And how are the classics studied?  Oh, cause you're gonna become an expert in Dickens?  You're assuming it's literature.  See, you're assuming we're talking classical literature here.  What if it's classical women's studies?  What if it's classical feminism?  Who the hell knows what it is?  One thing I do know is that she, the brain-dead student, doesn't know what it is, after she's got a major in it.  Because all she knows to do with it is go down to Occupy Wall Street and complain and write a note for the cameras. 

As I say, this is deviously clever.  Socialists, liberals work under cover for decades taking over higher education, and then they dilute it and they make higher education anything but higher.  There's really nothing special about it unless you go specific into the law or medicine where you really have to know it.  But most of these majors are useless, such as black women studies, women's studies, whatever studies.  Postmodernist theory in the new modernist world, whatever they get a degree in. 

The socialists that run universities dilute the education, they offer useless majors, and then they lie about the quality of these useless majors.  They lie about the happiness and the jobs and the money that awaits you after you get the degree in something like Classical Studies.  Then -- and this is where the payoff is -- after a generation or two of such students, after a generation or two of such worthless degrees, after generation or two of deceived students with worthless degrees out in the world finding themselves very unhappy, very unemployable, and without money to do all the fun things they want, what do they then demand? 

Socialism as a remedy. They demand that everybody else take care of them -- and, my friends, this is not an accident. I think this is part of a strategy that the left has had, part of many strategies they have used in taking over the education system. We know they propagandize; we know they indoctrinate; we know they dumb down. They also teach the preference of communism; the moral superiority of liberalism, socialism, communism. They teach that capitalism is immoral and unjust. They promote all of this worthless education, and then these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed know-nothings get out of school with what they think is their ticket -- and it's a ticket to ride nowhere.

What do they then demand? That everybody else take care of them. Ergo you get Occupy Wall Street. Ergo you get young generations of students asking for government control of everything because it was so unfair. They did everything their parents told them. They did everything told them to do. They went to school, they got a degree, and these evil businesses won't hire 'em! These dirty, rotten CEOs are stealing all the money and they're giving it to themself in bonuses and salary but they won't give it to the college graduates who rightfully deserve it who've worked hard and have applied themselves. They got great degrees like classical (raspberry) studies!

They're un-hireable, unemployable, and that's just unfair and unjust -- and ergo, here comes the clamor and the clarion call for socialism, for government to fix it. I would love to steal this technique. I'd love to take over education and steal this technique and put our values in here and reverse some of this stuff, 'cause this is part and parcel of what is happening in higher education today. For all of you young skulls full of mush out there -- and I realize that many of your parents are quite angry with me over the past ten days because of this thought that I have been trying to encourage you to punt college, and forget it. You don't need it.

It's not what I said. I said, "Be very careful. If you go to college, do not do classical studies. (interruption) What the hell is it anyway? (interruption) Somebody can...? (interruption) You sent something down to me? (interruption) Well, good. Department of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania? You sent that to me? (interruption) You sent it to me in an e-mail? Okay, so I won't be able to get to it 'til I go to commercial break. So it's worthless to me right now. You can tell me...? (interruption) I expect it to be worthless after I read it and it's worthless, I can't go through it because I'm in the middle of a segment. Anyway, H.R. found the Classical Studies department at the University of Pennsylvania. He sent to me what it is. I can't wait to find out exactly how right I am about this.

In fact let's take a break. I'll take a break, an EIB obscene profit time-out (and I did not need a college degree to know how this works).

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I got an e-mail from a friend of mine who's a renowned newspaper columnist whose name it's probably best I don't mention (for her sake). She says, "Rush, I have a degree in Classical Studies. It's Greek and Latin. I worked my way through college. I only borrowed a thousand dollars to do it. I can't agree with you that the degree is worthless. In a world with so many less-than-literate people Classics majors have an edge." I can understand that. But where? I really question some of these people graduating with a major in Classical Studies if they really are learning anything. We know that people graduate high school unable to read the diploma. You all remember the story of Dexter Manley? Does the name Dexter Manley ring a bell?

Dexter Manley was a great football player, primary for the Washington Redskins, and I think his university was Oklahoma City State. I know he's an athlete. But he discovered well into his professional career he could not read. He graduated from a Big 8 university school, a Big 8 Conference school. Now, I know it's athletes and stuff. But this woman -- or this person -- who wrote the note complaining about zero job opportunity, does not appear to be representative of somebody who's seven months away from a degree in Classical Studies. Classical Studies. Try this. Did a lot of research during the break. Karl Marx was a classical studies scholar. Karl Marx, philosopher, political thinker, studied Latin and Greek -- as did Churchill, I found out.

Marx received a Ph.D. for a dissertation on ancient Greek philosophy entitled The Difference between the Democratean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature. Now, you'll note nobody hired Marx, so what he had to do was figure out a way to destroy humanity on his own -- and he was able to do it, but nobody hired him. His classical background is reflected in his philosophies. Indeed the term "proletariat," he coined from the Latin word referring to the lowest class of citizen. So Karl Marx was a classical scholar, ancient philosophy and literature. Here's what the University of Pennsylvania says about their department: "Welcome to the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

"For over two centuries Penn has offered a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs representing all aspects of the broad field of Classical Studies, from languages and literature to history, archaeology and cultural studies. The Department encourages interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to teaching and research and maintains productive ties with a variety of programs, including Religious Studies, English, Comparative Literature, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Linguistics, Italian Studies, [Pasta], History of Art, and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology." Now, I don't know about you, does not make me want to sign up for a major in this.

This sounds like my all-time favorite comedian Irwin Corey answering the question, "Why do men wear shoes?" which he said was a two-part question. Johnny Carson asked him, "Why do men wear shoes?" and Professor Cory said, "Well, a brilliant, brilliant question, Sir Carson! It's a brilliant, two-part question. The first part of the question is the word 'why.' Why what? Why now? Why then? Why anything? Why the unanswerable quest for knowledge and thirst for knowledge, and we should all ask 'Why?' every day, every night, every morning, every day -- and with women, we do: 'Why?' Do men wear shoes? Yes." (laughing)

That's what I was reading when I read the University of Pennsylvania description of Classical Studies. Anyway, it still doesn't change my theory of what's going on here. You steer people to useless degrees. They come out, don't know how to do 'em, use 'em; don't even know what they're qualified to do, don't even know where to go -- and when it doesn't work out then you demand the government take care of it, demand socialism or a job retraining center or some such thing. (interruption) What's the question, Snerdley? Program observer has a question. (sigh) Yes. Yes, that's very true. Useless people would be useless regardless their degree. No question about it. Useless people...

There's no degree that's gonna change a useless person into a useful person. No college degree is gonna turn anybody into a useful person. In fact, one of the big problems, I think, that a lot of people have with a college degree is that they expect it is the ticket. Not the work. That it is the ticket. Victor Davis Hanson, by the way, he's another classicist. He teaches classical studies. He is an expert on ancient Greek history, by the way. But he's a farmer. Victor Davis Hanson is a farmer, and he is a writer, columnist and so forth. He's at the Hoover Institute, the campus at Stanford; writes for National Review Online and other things and that's where he derives his income. He doesn't go to the Classical Studies office.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I just realized here we better get some phone calls mixed into this show or there's gonna be a balance problem.  My newspaper columnist friend has assured me it's okay to use her name, so it would be Debra Saunders at the San Francisco Chronicle.  I met Debra for the first time in Sacramento back in the 1980s.  Yeah.  I hear from her mostly when I have made a grammatical error and she corrects me.  (interruption)  Walter Isaacson, you know, I bet people don't know this.  Well, no, people know it because it got reported.  But when Walter Isaacson ran CNN they wanted me to do a Sunday morning show on CNN and a Sunday morning football show, the two would go back-to-back.  It caused all kinds of internal consternation at CNN when employees there found out it was in the works.

And when Roger Ailes heard about it he said, "It's the first time I've ever heard of a CEO needing a security detail in his own building," speaking of Walter Isaacson.  Ailes gave that line to Maureen Dowd at the New York Times.  Walter is now at the Aspen Institute, and I've stayed in touch with him.  Debra at the Chronicle, she's not mainstream media, not in the sense that we use the term mainstream media.  It's a mainstream publication and she ranks high there, but her head's still screwed on straight.  And nobody knows grammar like she does.  I hear about it, you know, when I screw up. 

Okay, let's go to the phones.  We're gonna start in Salt Lake City.  David, great to have you on the program, sir, hello.

CALLER:  Mega dittos here from Salt Lake, Rush.  Good to talk to you.

RUSH:  Thank you very much, sir.

CALLER:  I read the best thing yesterday and it just had to make me chuckle.  Our friends down at the occupy movement are trademarking the name Occupy Wall Street.

RUSH:  Yeah, I saw that myself.

CALLER:  So you're telling me the anti-capitalists are capitalizing on being anti-capitalist?

RUSH:  Exactly right, and they're also trying to figure out a way to keep the homeless from coming in and stealing their food.

CALLER:  It's so great. 

RUSH:  And we've also learned that the homeless are being directed to Occupy Wall Street by the cops. The New York Police Department's telling the homeless where Occupy Wall Street is and to go down there, they got booze and food. It's the homeless person's delight, and the homeless are showing up and so the cooks at Occupy Wall Street say, "To hell with it."

CALLER:  What we need to do is these classical study people, we need to send them to me, and I will pay them how to study the classified ads to get a job after college.

RUSH:  (laughing)  Well, you know, it's obvious as I look into this Classical Studies business it is obvious at one time it was something of great esteme, something of tremendous import and value.  I have to think like everything else in higher education today that it's been dumbed down.  In fact, about Victor Davis Hanson, he actually created the classics program at California State University Fresno in 1984, and he was a professor there until recently.  He created it because of the deterioration in the whole field because of how it's lost whatever specialness that it once had.  But I think there's all kinds of theories to explain what's going on in higher education.  For example, it's not new that college graduates don't know anything.  That's not really that new. 

Now, I think it is relatively new, two generations, that worthless degrees are being constructed and taught and awarded.  But generally what's happened is that American employers have taken these ill-educated graduates and they've turned 'em into productive employees after a lot of investment.  But in this economy, in the Obama economy, employers don't have the money, they don't have the wherewithal, and they don't have the confidence or the money or the time or the patience to go out and hire uneducated people and turn 'em into something.  Because they can't get a handle on what faces them next year with Obamacare, what other regulations might be awaiting them. 

So this woman, or person, whoever it is, I'm assuming it's a woman that wrote this note, Occupy Wall Street, lamenting the fact she's gonna have zero job opportunities with her Classical Studies degree, the villain is Obama.  There will be a time where the economy will be able to absorb these people again, but it's down the road a bit.  'Cause after you get a degree in Classical Studies, what do you need?  You need Reality Studies.  And Reality Studies is what you get when you get out of college and you start going to work and you learn what you don't know.  And if you don't have the ability to admit that you don't know anything, then Reality Studies is gonna be a cold slap upside the head, and it isn't gonna be pleasant.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Julie in Prescott, Arizona, I'm glad you waited. Great to have you here.

CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Mega dittos. I've been listening to you since I graduated college in 1989, and I'm really excited to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: Yeah. The reason I'm calling is I heard you talking about classical education, and I know you're talking at the university level, but I have three kids that I pulled out of what were considered top-notch, blue ribbon public schools --

RUSH: Yeah?

CALLER: -- in beautiful carmel, California. We moved because of schools actually to find a better education for our kids, and they are in a classical Christian school. I can't even tell you what this school is doing for these kids. Yes, they're learning Latin -- which I know, it's a dead language (giggles), but -

RUSH: No, no, no. It's all about culture.

CALLER: Well, they're learning to think, Rush.

RUSH: That is a key!

CALLER: They are learning to become critical thinkers.

RUSH: That is a key, and the left doesn't want anybody critically thinking about anything. They want 'em blindly accepting.

CALLER: And that's what we left. We left just indoctrination. I couldn't be more proud that my kids are debating and at home we get into conversations and they're learning to outdebate their mom and dad at this school, but I couldn't be more proud.

RUSH: Well, I'll tell you what: You're probably as responsible for that as the school they're attending. A lot parents, particularly today totally abandon any responsibility. "Ah, I have school. That's school's job to teach my kid. It's the school's job to do all that. It's too hard for me to do it." I think it's a lost notion that parents are the single most formative people in children's lives, for good or bad; and it's very rare that a school is going to change that. Anyway, I'm glad you called Julie. I appreciate it. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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