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Ed Driscoll

Quote of the Day

July 15th, 2013 - 6:10 pm

A democracy becomes hopelessly weak, and the general good suffers accordingly, if its higher officials, bred up to despise it, and drawn from those very classes the dominance of which it is pledged to destroy, serve it only half-heartedly.

— French historian Marc Bloch (1886-1944) in his book on his nation’s defeat to National Socialist Germany, Strange Defeat: A Statement of Evidence Written in 1940, as quoted by Steve Hayward of Power Line in a post on the decline of historical scholarship in (socialist) academia titled, “Can History Be Restarted?”

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Whatever good reasons there may be to "restart" the study of history, the cold hard fact remains that you have to offer something to a young person to give them a reason to follow that path. For too long, the lesson students learn is that "there is no future in the past." A very limited few can remain in the self-perpetuating cycle of teaching history to future history teachers, but outside of that there are no career choices. A student who majors in history has the choice of either becoming a school teacher, college professor (very limited opportunities, low pay, etc.), or going into a field outside their major. Employers do not value the history degree, or any lib arts degree, the way they used to fifty years ago. As important as the study of history is, people still have to support themselves, so they obtain business degrees and so on. (Yeah, I know the modern wisdom says all students are gender studies majors who can't get jobs, but I don't know the FACTS that show that to be true.) I was a history major and I have worked as a manufacturing manager for over 20 years now. I never regret my course of study, but it took me quite a while and a lot of luck to get into a field where I could put my learned skills to work. Even then, I have had absolutely no need for my historical expertise in my career.
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