The other night AL brought the musings of fake hillbilly JD Vance on education for the officer corps of America’s All Volunteer military (AVF for All Volunteer Force) to the blog’s attention. I’d already seen his “jenius” on display earlier in the day.
We should eliminate the university degree requirement from the officer corps. It’s dumb to make people get a BA before becoming officers anyway, and it may just make the military leadership less woke.
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 13, 2021
Ordinarily I’d ignore Vance even as he’s receiving financial backing from Peter Thiel who seems to have a sweet tooth for Holocaust deniers, white supremacists, and neo-fascists and enjoys bankrolling them.
But in this case I just want to point out, as someone who has spent a lot of his career involved in professional military education, that the whole reason the Liberal Arts and the liberal arts education was created was to educate the young men who were destined to become the officer corps of their day. Take it away Professor DeLong (emphasis mine):
But originally the “liberal arts” had the most direct vocational objectives of all:
Wikipedia: The Liberal Arts: The liberal arts… are those subjects or skills that… were considered essential for a free person… participating in public debate, defending oneself in court, serving on juries, and most importantly, military service…. Grammar, rhetoric, and logic were the core liberal arts. During medieval times… these subjects (called the Trivium) were extended to include arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy…. Together the Trivium and Quadrivium constituted the seven liberal arts of the medieval university curriculum…
From which I deduce:
- The original “liberal arts” make up a vocational program–an education suitable for some landlord scion who is going to be a player in civic governance.
- Timothy Burke, Professor of History at Swarthmore, does not teach one of the seven “liberal arts”–and by calling what he teaches.
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to present JD Vance: fake hillbilly, funded by a neo-fascist, enlisted Marine Corps Public Affairs* veteran, and someone who apparently paid little to no attention to anything while attending THE Ohio State University and Yale Law School the producer, along with Harvard Law, of America’s worst elites and notables since the 1820s.
* Here is a simple pictorial explainer of Public Affairs.