I don’t agree with much of this, but James Altucher’s “Ten Commandments of the American Religion” is thought-provoking. Here’s part of his answer on the Second Commandment: Thou Shalt Go To College:
There are so many exciting alternatives to college. I list some of them here. I’m excited for my children, because I hope they have experiences that will change their lives forever rather than going into the rat race so they can end up ignorant, in debt, and working at nonsense jobs so they can pay off the gangsters who have guns pointed right at their heads.
One anecdote: the guy who caught Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit is a sales clerk at Verizon with $150,000 in student loans. Why couldn’t he get a better job with his college degree? Why did he give Jeter the ball back? Jeter is going to make $100 million in the next few years. This guy could’ve paid his loans back and been free. Freedom is everything. But he wanted to be a “good guy.”
The American Religion needs you to be in debt; needs you to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to read the same Plato you could’ve read in the bathroom at your local library. “You’ll have a better life,” they say. “Your life is secure now.” Right, you are fully secured by the shackles they hand you on graduation day.
Via Joe Carter, who asks his readers to come up with their own list of Unquestionable Edicts of American Life (That Ought to Be Questioned). Do you have any?
One that comes to mind right away is, “Thou Shalt Support the Troops” — this, given that “support the troops” actually means “not question the war.” It is right of people to want to avoid the shameful Vietnam-era experience of despising returning American soldiers. That should never be repeated. But you don’t compensate for that mistake by behaving as if “supporting the troops” requires one to support the war they’re ordered to fight. Though I do not agree with Altucher that no American war was worth fighting, I do believe that often, and perhaps more often than not, opposing wars our government wishes to fight is the best way to support the troops. (Over to you, Col. Andy Bacevich.)
Think of some more, y’all.