these Reformers immediately suggest radical reforms,
demanding that they be implemented without delay.
And when, finally, they finish their work
it will be a miracle if anything survives at all.
Students have also been afflicted with the sanctimonious foolishness of presentism, in which current social and cultural fads, beliefs, and ideologies are superimposed upon the past. The actions of our predecessors are judged in the light of our own dogmatic assumptions, as if these were perennial – the end point of history – and not merely transitory. Thus, Shakespeare is regarded as a straight white male patriarch asserting his cultural authority, to be replaced in portrait and curriculum by black radical lesbian Audre Lorde, by any criterion surely one of the worst poets ever to put pen to paper.
To believe that cultures without writing or the wheel or antibiotics or technology or science are equal or superior to a culture that gave us the Magna Carta; developed cures for smallpox and polio; discovered electricity; put a man on the moon; invented the computer; and produced a Homer, Dante, Dostoevsky, Bach, Michelangelo, Newton, and Einstein is, not to put too fine a point on it, the very depths of fatuous imbecility. But this is the agenda of the academic left: to create a dumbed down, alliterate and illiterate, and politically indoctrinated generation, which had already arrived at the ivory gates incapacitated for disciplined study, intellectual rigor, and scholarly accomplishment.