But it would be as easy to ignore the libertarian threat to higher education, which may be just as pernicious. The libertarian threat to higher education in the name of productivity is seen in the “public policy” think tanks influencing Republican governors to “disrupt” higher education by holding it to the standard of measurable competencies, sometimes beginning and ending with salaries offered to graduates. Their target is both the humanities understood by the ideological left and the humanities as understood by traditional conservatives. Remember here our Mr. Ceaser’s alliance with the sociological left against UVA’s Board of Visitors’ efforts at disruption against the unproductive liberal arts and toward online education, MOOCS, and such. Bauerlein often seems to be allying with the disrupting libertarians against the ideologues, but it’s hard to tell whether his efforts actually help conservatives. We can see that both forms of conservative alliance are tricky and questionable, because “our allies” our hostile to “our narrative.”
Peter Lawler, in the context of challenges facing conservatives, speaks to higher education in America. It is so easy for some to see the fight as Liberal vs. Conservative when the varying positions just don’t divide out so simply.