The Myth of Egalitarian Higher EducationPosted: October 13, 2011 | Author: Greg Linster | Filed under: Higher Education | 6 Comments »
Many modern higher education advocates suggest that it’s educational opportunities (not inherent genetic differences in intelligence) that cause some members of our society to succeed more than others. This, however, is downplaying the role genetics plays in intelligence. I believe intelligent people will find a way to financially succeed even without higher education. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are two such famous examples, but there are countless others.
At the root of it, many higher education advocates think that everyone should go to college because it will make society more egalitarian. Plato would have disagreed; he realized that not everyone is cut out to be a philosopher king. What’s important to note is that many of these higher education advocates usually have some sort of financial incentive to purport such egalitarian non-sense.
Does formal higher education really make people intelligent? Many people contributing to the dialogue surrounding higher education seem to believe the answer is ‘yes’, but I believe this is incorrect. Egalitarians desperately want to try to attribute differences in intelligence to factors like education and not genetics. However, the importance of genetics in determining one’s intelligence is too often downplayed.
Consider the following question: Is Johnny, an intelligent Harvard graduate, intelligent because Harvard made him intelligent or is he intelligent because he chose to go to Harvard? Those who believe that Harvard made him intelligent are committing the popular post hoc logical fallacy.
Despite all the egalitarian rhetoric, some people are in fact more intelligent than others and where (or if) they got their college degree has nothing to do with it. Intelligent people aren’t necessarily intelligent because a school made them that way. Intelligent people usually go to great schools precisely because they are intelligent. People who aren’t interested in learning won’t magically become intelligent or lifelong learners just because they pay $100,000 for an “education”. Rather, they’ll just be financially poorer for it.