"Old Mister Bunny had no opinion whatever of cats. He took a tremendous jump off the top of the wall on to the top of the cat, and cuffed it off the basket, and kicked it into the green-house, scratching off a handful of fur. The cat was too much surprised to scratch back," wrote Beatrix Potter in "The Tale of Benjamin Bunny," a red-in-tooth-and-claw sequel to the better known "Tale of Peter Rabbit."
"Gone from university life was the larger tragic sense," writes Victor David Hanson in a must-read City Journal essay re the consequences — both intended and unintended — of the utopianist denial of human nature that is at the undead heart of the insidiously pervasive liberal/progressive project:
A therapeutic curriculum, which promised that counseling and proper social attitudes could mitigate such eternal obstacles to human happiness as racism, sexism, war, and poverty, likewise displaced more difficult classes in literature, language, philosophy, and political science. The therapeutic sensibility burdened the university with the task of ensuring that students felt adjusted and happy. And upon graduation, those students began to expect an equality of result rather than of opportunity from their society. Gone from university life was the larger tragic sense. Few students learned (or were reminded) that we come into this world with limitations that we must endure with dignity and courage rather than deal with easily through greater sensitivity, more laws, better technology, and sufficient capital.
"Classical learning dedicated itself to turning out literate citizens who could read and write well, express themselves, and make sense of the confusion of the present by drawing on the wisdom of the past," continues Hanson:
Students grounded in the classics appreciated the history of their civilization and understood the rights and responsibilities of their unique citizenship. Universities, then, acted as cultural custodians, helping students understand our present values in the context of a 2,500-year tradition that began with the ancient Greeks.
But in recent decades, classical and traditional liberal arts education has begun to erode, and a variety of unexpected consequences have followed …
Political correctness, meanwhile, turned upside-down the old standard of inductive reasoning, the linchpin of the liberal arts. Students now were to accept preordained general principles — such as the pernicious legacy of European colonialism and imperialism and the pathologies of capitalism, homophobia, and sexism — and then deductively to demonstrate how such crimes manifested themselves in history, literature, and science. The university viewed itself as nearly alone in its responsibility for formulating progressive remedies for society’s ills. Society at large, government, the family, and religion were hopelessly reactionary.
Now the doctrine of "feeling good about oneself" — replacing on-the-ground experience and genuine achievement as measures of self-worth among the "educated" — has thoroughly infiltrated "our mainstream universities, promising free thought but in reality indoctrinating their students." Good to know there are still stalwart Americans like Sarah Palin in touch from Day One with our own human nature and nature "out there" keeping the homefires burning.