education is not interested in high standards.nHigher education occasionallyntolerates and sometimes even rewardsnscholarship, intellectual curiosity, andngood teaching, but only after morenimportant things are taken care of.nThese include filling the beds, increasingnthe cash flow, and lobbying thenlegislature. Scholar-teachers are the sacredntotems or icons of the system, to bentrotted out for the edification of donors,nparents, and the average faculty mem­nBRIEF MENTIONSnber. The university’s real interests lienelsewhere. I learned this from a distinguishednpapyrologist in the classics departmentnof a major university. Thisnman, who ate many a reluctant but freenmeal in the process of being paradednbefore the dean’s guests, was recommendednfor a distinguished professorshipnjust before he retired. Had it comenten or fifteen years eariier, he said, itnwould have meant a great deal; as it was,nhe knew pretty well where his worknWHAT HAS GOVERNMENT DONE TO OUR MONEY?nby Murray N. RothbardnAuburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute; 119 pp., $5.00nMurray Rothbard, according to his enemies, is no economist, because he is not anrigorous scientist. Rothbard ought to take that as a compliment. Whatever elseneconomics is, it is not the “dismal science.” It is not a science at all, except in the sensenthat all forms of systematic humane learning {e.g., theology, grammar) are sciences,nand its practitioners are for the most part conceited optimists, whose ignorance ofnhistory, literature, and philosophy render them incapable of learning anything evennfrom their own experience. An argument with an economist usually begins withnthe “layman” saying something obvious about the uniqueness of mother love ornthe importance of wilderness, only to have the economist shoot back withnsomething about different people “maximizing utility” in different ways — as ifnsuch statements actually meant something. Economists are like sheep dogs: theynare very good at handling their assigned tasks, so long as they never get the ideanthat they’re in charge. When a dog makes that mistake, he begins to eat the sheep.nMurray Rothbard is no rogue economist, subordinating human concerns toneconomic calculation. He has always been a historian and, above all, a moralistnwhose obsession with human liberty has made him enemies across the politicalnspectrum. His little book on money, first published in 1963, provides a clear andnentertaining account of money and banking from the perspective of the Austriannschool, as well as a nutshell history of American monetary policy. Rothbard isnlearned but never pedantic, simple without ever trivializing his complicatednsubject. The book has converted many of the most skeptical readers to the doctrinenof hard money and ought to be put in the hands of every present and potentialnvoter in the United States. If that sounds too much like coercion, then order thenbook.n32/CHRONICLESn— Thomas Flemingnnnstood in the university’s scheme ofnpriorities.nHigher education in America hasnbecome a system of virtually uniformninstitutions serving a mass clientele, andnincreasingly devoted to the propositionnthat a perfect worid is one made safe,ncomfortable, and profitable for mediocrity.nThe subversion of educationalnstandards is dangerous to America’snlong-run prosperity and happiness, butnit is essential to the short-run prosperitynof higher education. One could evennargue that institutions that spend atnmost about 25-30 percent of their cashnflow on education are not really schoolsnat all: they are holding companies,nphone companies, real-estate investmentncompanies, hotels, social servicenagencies, research and fundraising offices.nIn that context, “affirmative action”nis the latest and most powerful of anseries of weapons deployed in higherneducation’s war on intelligence andnintegrity; “cultural diversity” is an economicnconcept that defines one aspectnof the fiiture the universities think theynare investing in. One of D’Souza’s mostnengaging characters, Vice-provost Gillisnof Duke, more or less told him so; butnD’Souza seems not to have taken himnseriously.nFor some five years, under cover ofndoing good to the worid’s wounded, thenmyriad nerds of academe have beennenjoying sweet revenge for every injuryninflicted on their fragile self-esteem bynthe very idea of academic distinction.nNow there_are signs — the success ofnD’Souza’s book is one of them — thatnthis latest campaign to subvert academicnstandards is overreaching itself. Onenshould not, however, expect an academicnrenaissance: intellectual subversionnhas more forms than one, and thendenizens of academe are gifted inventorsnof them. Meanwhile, rhetoric uponnthe place of the humanities in thencurriculum is less useful in grasping thensignificance of D’Souza’s data thannsome apothegms of the marketplace,nsuch as, “If you subsidize a thing, you’rengoing to get it.” D’Souza’s cast ofncharacters consists mostly of peoplenwhom America has rewarded well withnprestige and money. Someone is satisfied.nBut then, as someone else said,n”No one ever went broke underestimatingnthe taste of the American people,”nand contemporary academia spends itsndays in that kind of estimation. <^n