1) We have an education by reaction, after something has happened, not by planning.
2) We are experiencing "educational inflation": the general education level is decreasing with the growth in numbers of students and universities. A bachelor's degree in 1920 is worth a master's degree in 1970 is worth a doctoral degree in 2000. Luckily for us, cumulative research ensures continued theoretical progress, especially in the natural sciences.
3) According to a recent study, standards of mathematics in Sweden fell by a whole year over a period of just five years. When the Social Democrats were confronted with these findings, they abandoned their own education policies and permitted mass privatization of the education system. A competitive culture drops all political point-scoring in times of crisis.
4) Universities have become a tool and a playground for politicians' whims. They want us to solve society's problems technically by encouraging development of a series of new studies within the social sciences. Left unchecked, this development will lead our universities astray, making them more political than they were in the 1960s and 1970s.
5) Many universities today are run by people who received their education in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the institution was a playground for post modernist ideas about relativism (Foucault), obscure definitions of materialism (Bataille), deconstructionism (Derrida), and declare-the-death-of-everything-ism (Lyotard). As far as reason goes, that is a lost generation. They almost wrecked our meritocratic model. Luckily for us, the new competition from China is forcing our leaders to think about our competitive advantage. We cannot afford any more political adventures.
6) Beware of academics who are anti-elitist, who show exaggerated interest in the discipline of pedagogy, who talk about "learning processes", "learning meetings", "quiet knowledge", and "problem-based learning". These ideas, which have no practical significance in the real world, serve to conceal an aspiration to gain control over the academic environment by creating a new socialist priesthood.
7) Feminism is an example of "oppression studies" (Thomas Short), whereby any political interest or orientation (political, gender, ethnic, or sexual orientation) claims the right to a share of attention at the university because of some allegedly unique perspective on reality, in line with the motto "this is science because my perspective is different". Similar studies can be imagined for any group who feel discriminated against, indeed for any group at all.
8) Old books are often good books. In those days one could not afford to waste paper. Today everyone is an author. Slim, short books are better. What is clear can be said in a few sentences.
9) The Anglo-American-led world of academic scholarship is full of fashionable terminology, where one word quickly gives way to another as on a factory production line. New terminology is developed that has no meaningful content at all. When everyone has forgotten what these words meant, when they no longer refer to anything in the living world, they start functioning as simulations, as imitation.
10) Our schools and universities are no longer transmitting our Western intellectual tradition. Content has been replaced by process, or pedagogy. It is not what you say, but how you say it.
11) Over specialization has come close to eradicating the humanist tradition from our universities. The ability to make syntheses has come close to disappearing along the way. Students are no longer required to read the classics but are fed "best-of" books, assembled out of little extracts from here there and everywhere, too many and too fragmentary to make a lasting impression on young minds.
12) The emergence of "cultural studies", initially in Britain, was designed to promote the study of popular culture at the cost of "high culture". "More and more, courses in literature seem like amateur exercises in sociological and anthropological sermonizing." (Kimball 1998: 63)
13) For deconstructionists, the humanities are taken to be just a game. As Hermann Hesse commented in his 1943 magnumopus, the Glass Bead Game, they are "a mode of playing with the content and values of our culture ..."
14) Deliberate obscurity has become the hallmark of deconstructionism, a trick whereby we are led to believe that a text contains more intellectual content than we can see and understand. The problem - the fact that we do not understand - lies in us, we are told, not in the text.
15) "Tenured Radicals [a book by Roger Kimball] is about the privileged beneficiaries of the spiritual and material achievements of our history who, out of ignorance, perversity, or malice, have chosen to turn their backs on the culture that nourished them and made them what they are. It is about intellectuals who have defiled reason with sophistries, and teachers who have defrauded their students of knowledge." (Kimball 1998: 237)
16) The only place left to study the humanities today is at home, in your parents' library (if you are lucky enough to have parents who possess one). That has been the way of the German educated class for generations. (It is the reason why there are so few good books in second-hand bookshops in Germany; private libraries are bequeathed, not sold.)
17) Every society moulds its people. Our modern democracy favours openness taken to an extreme, and in consequence the whole idea about everything being relative has gained sway. There are no right answers, because that would imply that someone must be wrong. There is just one exception: extremists are by definition wrong. So "knowledge" progresses by majority consensus.
18) A population which is not allowed to believe in anything beyond what has been generally accepted, which is not allowed to demonstrate enthusiasm outside sports stadiums, is a people who will easily be seduced into a materialistic lifestyle.
19) "There is no enemy other than the man who is not open to everything" (Bloom 1987: 27). There are two kinds of openness: openness to indifference (as in not wanting to pass on judgment or take on a stand) and openness to new knowledge.
20) Relativism has extinguished the real motive of education, to search for new knowledge.