Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quigley on Georgetown, 1967

The Hebrews and the Greeks, who are our cultural parents, and our own western civilization descended from these two, have always agreed that the only sin, or at least the greatest sin, is pride, a particularly aggressive type of self-deception. And anyone who is concerned with the health of individuals knows well that neuroses and psychoses are basically simply forms of self-deception, combined with an obstinate refusal to face the facts of the situation.

This kind of illness is prevalent in all American higher education and in all the sub-divisions of it, existing, indeed, in a more obsessive and virulent form in the aspirant "Great Universities" than in the so-called "Great Universities" themselves. It is to be found in its acute form in Catholic education, in Jesuit education, and at Georgetown.

Of course, that is not what we are being told. Today, in education, as in government and in everything else, the propagandists flood us daily with rosy reports on how well things are going. Larger and larger expenditures of manpower, money and facilities (such as floor-space) are devoted to telling the world about the wonderful job being done in every organization worthy of the name from the Johnson Administration down (or up) to Georgetown University. Fewer and fewer people are convinced, or even listening, but in the process the money and facilities (if not the manpower) which could have been used on the goals of the organization are wasted on propaganda about what a wonderful job is being done, when any sensible person with half an eye can see that, every year, a poorer job is being done in the midst of self-deceptive clouds of expensive propaganda.

But beneath these clouds, ominous cracklings can be heard, even at Georgetown. If they come from within the University, they are drowned out with another flood of words, denials, excited pointings to a more hopeful, if remote, future, or by the creation of some new organizational gimmick, a committee or a new "Assistant Something-or-Other," to deal with the problem.

If, on the other hand, these criticisms come from outside the University, they are ignored or attributed to jealousy, sour grapes, or to some other unflattering personal motivation of the critic. When these criticisms come, as they often do, from some departing member of the faculty, they are greeted by reflections on his personal competence or emotional stability, both of which had been highly esteemed as long as he remained here. As a result, most departing faculty, to avoid such personal denigration, depart quietly, but they depart. Their reasons for leaving are then attributed to the higher pay to be obtained elsewhere, an explanation which fits in well with the Big Lie at GU, that all its problems would be solved if the University only had more money. Anyone who knows anything about the situation knows perfectly well three things: that Georgetown's problems would not be solved by more money and have not been, but, on the contrary, have grown steadily worse as the supply of money has increased; that resigning faculty have been leaving because they were discontented; and that the chief cause of that discontent has not been inadequate pay, but the generally chaotic and misguided Administration of the University....

Professor Carroll Quigley
"Is Georgetown University Committing Suicide?"
The Hoya
April 28, 1967