In the Winter 2015/2016 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, William Voegeli argues,

Conservatives have been firing shots across the bow of higher education for years, but the Ship of Fools has never turned back, or changed course.  It’s time either to surrender or to shoot a round into the engine room.

While the sentiment is noble, the metaphor is wrong.  For the universities are not akin to ships, moving through uncharted waters toward horizons of higher truth.  No, American institutes of higher learning are plagues of locusts.  Firing a single shot at them is as effective as squishing one insect in the swarm.

Even less so, actually.  Last year, we witnessed the continuing evolution of the strange career of erstwhile Mizzou pop-pornography professor Melissa Click, who was fired from the University of Missouri for physically blocking a student journalist from videotaping a leftist campus protest.  Just months later, she was offered a position at Gonzaga University after simply mouthing in public the same Maoist threats that one finds larding the pages of contemporary American “scholarship.”

Shooing at one bug merely frees it to descend on another village’s crops.

The proper countermeasure to the American universities today is not pinpoint budgetary artillery fire: It is pesticide.  The academy as it now stands is beyond redemption, and must be destroyed.

There are those who will claim that I surely go too far.  But consider just a few examples from my own alma moocher, the University of Wisconsin, which guzzles some 1.3 billion in taxpayer dollars per year, not including the $517 million in student tuition and fees that are largely borrowed from the government, using tax dollars as collateral.  In 2015, Sara Goldrick-Rab, shill for the Obama administration and then-UW education professor, tweeted that Gov. Scott Walker was psychologically akin to Adolf Hitler before Twitter-stalking incoming UW freshmen and taunting them for applying.  Professor Rab, who is very concerned about college affordability, demonstrated her commitment to keeping costs for students down by taking a higher-paying job at Temple University this year.  April Haynes, miraculously hired by the history department during the latest round of UW budget negotiations (when the university was screaming that it could not possibly absorb any more cuts), brought glory to the state of Wisconsin by penning the deathless classic Riotous Flesh: Women, Physiology and the Solitary Vice in Nineteenth-Century America, which—finally—brings scholarly attention to the subject of female masturbation in the early American republic.  Not to be outdone, the history-department chair recently sent out an email boasting of his own gullibility in acquiescing to a lady professor’s (I use both terms loosely) demand that she be referred to as “he.”  The university as a whole routinely encourages its members to follow suit in this odd use of the rational mind.  We are to mistrust our eyes and focus only on the slowly swinging pendulum of the gender fakirs, lulling everyone’s reason to sleep while whispering, à la Guru Nanak, “There is no female!  There is no male!”  The professoriate, now in the florid phase of an industry-wide mass psychosis, are dangerous to themselves and a menace to society.

But when it comes to academia, the above actually constitute the good news.  For the professors are sober and farsighted compared with the undergrads and graduate students, who have as little patience for the world’s failure to satisfy their every carnal desire as they do prospects for gainful employment after graduation.  What riches these specimens offer for the anthropologist willing to forsake Micronesia for the campus cafeteria and lecture hall!  Jackboots down below and pacifiers up above, the fascist cream puffs who lash out at oppression wherever they (don’t) find it transmogrify, in the blink of a tear-dimmed eye, into cringing victims of the awful, awful age of peace and plenty into which they have had the misfortune to be born.  One moment, they are Yale undergrad Jerelyn Luther, giving a tongue-lashing to a professor whose wife had the unmitigated gall to suggest that Halloween costumes should be fun.  The next moment, they are cowering in safe spaces—kneading putty, coloring pictures, petting kitty cats—and posting their epic meltdowns on YouTube for all of their glass-jawed peers to see.  Who are these people?

Whoever they may be, the universities gorge themselves on them, stuffing them in to the gills with promises of cheap liquor, luxurious amenities, and easy sex, all of it on the installment system, with no money down and no payments until the party ends.  Students stagger out of universities drug addled, racked with sexually transmitted disease, and manacled with debt.  They have been told for four (or six, or eight) years that “the system is rigged,” and then they leave the groves of academe to find that the “system” to which their professors had been referring was, in fact, the state university system itself.  The universities are sending out escadrilles of tattooed, amorphously angry zombies in deck shoes and tight jeans, little gnostic imperialists programmed to shatter the old order and to make resistance either untenable or unthinkable.  If you want a vision of the future, imagine The Vagina Monologues shouted into a megaphone—forever.

One can hardly blame the little dears, though.  Emerging from the primordial soup of postmodern pubescence, the morally mutant young strain to see some glimmer of light, some distant beacon of guidance to lead them up into the heights for which their souls (magister dixit, “Ha!”) were created.  Instead, they get the predatory rapacity of college administrators, sirens calling whole legions of seekers to their doom.  While the professors are the main force in corrupting American youth, their one redeeming feature is that their intellectual pride prevents them from giving full rein to their greed.  The administrators, though, unburdened by any such pretense to scholarship, are free to milk the callow Milquetoasts for all they and their parents are worth.  The average state university chancellor salary is nearly $430,000 per year, plus very cushy perks.  But this does not take into account the hive of factotums toadying up to them.  It takes money to make money, after all.  “Investing in America’s future” takes on a whole new meaning when one makes even a cursory examination of the retirement plans and compensation packages enjoyed by this merry band of high-rolling nomads.

Isn’t there something Keynesian about all of this?  College tuition has outpaced inflation by four to six percent over the past 40 years.  It is now 1,122-percent more expensive to clear one’s slate at the bursar’s office than it was in 1978.  The greater our expectations for college degrees, the more we are charged for them, and the less they are worth.  “Expanding access to college” and “making college affordable for all” has equaled, quite by design, “having the populace permanently vote Democrat in an attempt to weasel its way out of debt.”  Not that Republicans have been any better, of course.  But what difference does it make?  If you are in hock to the state, inflation quickly begins to look like your only hope.  The machine is finely calibrated.  It will take you precisely your entire working lifetime to get free of your student loans, which is otherwise to say that a lifetime is how long it takes for inflation to dwindle the astronomical down to a more human scale.  By which time you are dead.  “YOLO,” said Keynes, more prophetically than he knew.

The education system built on Keynesian empty promises is no longer an education system at all.  Go back and review any high-school textbook from the end of the 19th century.  We have far more education than those poor pre-Sexual Revolution schmucks did, and we are also much, much stupider.  The reason people feel the need to earn higher and higher degrees is that those degrees are now simply fiat currency, like the greenback.  No wonder it costs a quarter of a million dollars to study Bolivian Queer Folkart at Bowdoin these days: Neither the dollar nor the diploma is worth anything.  One seriously considers starting a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Paper.

The administrators have learned to surf this inflationary wave, though.  The kids keep pouring in from the provinces, keg-standing hedonists snake-charmed in by the throbbing sounds of debauchery—who also happen to be the keys to unlocking their parents’ bank accounts.  The money these Rumshpringas funnel from dad to the dean funds the truly Bourbonesque lifestyles of the academic aristocracy.  The taxpayers, naturally, underwrite the maintenance of sprawling campuses toured by semiliterate sports fans on Saturday afternoons in autumn.  Campus libraries, meanwhile, are at the bottom of the budget list.  (All the books are by racists anyway.  Speaking of which, it would be very interesting to know how many professors would support burning all books not written by minorities.)

This suggests the question: As an employer, is it preferable that an applicant have a criminal record or a bachelor’s degree?  With the former, there is at least the likelihood that the applicant has learned some marketable skill.  Also, whereas one leaves a prison speaking of having paid one’s debt to society, one leaves a college shouting about what one is owed by society, and how society is finally going to pay.  Rome inexplicably waited for the barbarians to come pouring in over the gates, but the United States, in its relentless pursuit of increased efficiency, has decided to nurture an army of civilization-wreckers right here at home.  Well, at least we are finally beginning to think locally.

While we are thinking locally, we might as well act globally, and fast.  It seems that there are still a few Americans who do not spend their days studying such things as “Mapping the Hobosexual: A Queer Perspective” (about the class ramifications of molesting the homeless) and “A Poetic Mycology of the Senses: Four Poems About Mushrooms” (which both does and does not speak for itself).  Those Americans whom, for shorthand’s sake, we might call, simply, “the employed” have at their disposal a tool invented by the Progressives but which now lies dormant in the old Governmental Overreach Warehouse: trust-busting laws.  The universities are monopolies of the worst possible kind, unanswerable to any authority save astigmatic French atheists and exacting far more harm upon the population than the most devilishly price-gouging capitalist could ever have dreamed.  They are brazen monopolies of freeloading liberalism just begging to be broken up.

Let us not forget that public land-grant universities were founded on the very essence of the gnostic imperialism that is in ascendancy on campuses today.  Keeping to their Keynesianism avant la lettre, the universities were funded by speculative scrip titling them to land just lately stolen from the Indian tribes farther west.  (The Indians no longer needed that land anyway, being either dead or else happily enrolled in Progressive public schools.)  The passage of the Morrill Act in 1862 was made possible by the fact that there was hardly anyone left in Mr. Lincoln’s government to oppose him, the Southern states, finding his smugness insufferable, having politely left him to his sycophants.  This is all, of course, exactly as one finds the universities today: sanctimoniously issuing writs and rescripts in an environment of near-total ideological domination, and all for the purpose of sending unwitting yes-humans out into the non-Progressive wilderness for the forcible re-education of the unenlightened.  As memorial to this new deal, Mr. Lincoln’s statue still sits atop Bascom Hill in the heart of the University of Wisconsin.  When the latest gaggle of unwashed gong-clangers descends on the square to protest the appalling paucity of gay marriage in Uganda, one could swear that Mr. Lincoln’s statue twitches ever so slightly, and smirks.

But if the universities are busted up, what will happen to the good professors?  What about engineering and the sciences and the doctors and the people who help us look for coded signals in the cosmic background radiation?  Who, in short, is going to replace our hips, beam Sex and the City to Alpha Centauri, and save all our infrastructure?  Let us leave aside for a moment the fact that many of the doctors practicing today are murderers or accomplices thereto, having gone through a “family planning” rotation at some point in their medical training in which they at the very least assisted in the trepanning and de braining of a living fetus.  Let us leave aside, also, the fact that universities, including the University of Wisconsin, enthusiastically traffic in the infant cadavers that are produced thereby.  Let’s also leave aside, pro arguendo, the fact that at most universities literally everyone, or very nearly so, votes Democrat, despite—no, because of—the Democratic Party’s enthusiastic support for Our National Holocaust.  Come, let us not discuss trivialities, and instead let us stick to the hard question: What is to become of all the good professors?

A lifetime in a monastery or a convent would be a good start.  But for those who wish to continue preaching anticlerical blasphemies in a thoroughly secular environment, Jesuit universities may be hiring.  Failing that, the well-heeled dupes who donate millions of dollars each year to public universities may be interested in funding a professorship of Lesbian Cinema or a chair of Latino/a Beauty Culture.  The possibilities are endless.  The One Percenters who made a killing on Wall Street and who want to do a little good in the world with their bloodstained pile are always looking for a way, say, to bring the blessings of sodomy to the children of Africa or educate the young people of Appalachia in the fine arts of the filmed orgy and the “performance piece.”  (Carolee Schneemann, whose “Interior Scroll” introduced a long-deprived humanity to the art form of paper extracted theatrically from one’s labia, has been an honored professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, Rutgers University, and the California Institute of the Arts.  Donations to all of these bastions of higher learning continue apace.)

Whatever happens, the taxpayers must end all support to these places, and must evict everyone from the buildings and sell the assets off to the highest bidder.  The loan guarantees, the grants, the tenure, the endowments, the retirement benefits, UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s $95,000-per-year speechwriter—all of it must go.  Let the mad and the avaricious peddle their brummagem as they please, but let the taxpayer subsidization of each state’s Kool-Aid Archipelago end today.  Delenda est academia.  And teachers unions—you’re next.