Who Will Lead America?
“Oh, that’s different.”
That’s the puzzled response Holy Cross student Chase Padusniak often hears after responding that his major is “English and medieval studies.” Chase reports in his article on page 19 that most people are confused by his pursuit of wisdom in college.
As Chase writes, “People no longer respect the humanities.” But they should.
In a high-profile report, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences asked this question: “Who will lead America into a bright future?” The answer: citizens who are broadly educated and understand America’s civic and cultural roots.
The report notes that the number of students receiving a true liberal arts education is dwindling. Now more than ever, the task of leadership falls on students who can connect the dots between history, literature, philosophy, and economics and thereby effectively promote the principles that make America great.
ISI students are emerging as campus leaders willing to confront the chaos that results when these principles are forgotten. As you’ll see on page 3, university administrators trying to enforce liberal orthodoxy run into ISI campus newspapers and ISI student leaders yelling, “Stop!”
If you’ve ever wondered about the “value” of an education in the humanities, consider renowned University of Chicago professor Leon Kass, who answers students’ questions on page 20. Professor Kass began his career in medicine and biochemistry but soon “found something missing,” he says: an understanding of our humanity. The sciences took a narrow view that was dehumanizing.
Dehumanization is no longer confined to the sciences, as Providence College professor Anthony Esolen shows in the cover story (page 8). In highlighting the dangers of what he calls the subhumanities, Esolen offers an important reminder that simply taking classes in the humanities is not the same as seeking out what the American Academy of Arts & Sciences called an education “in the broadest possible sense.”
As you read through this issue of the IR, keep in mind that as others cease to get a true education, the opportunities for you to rise as a leader multiply. I hope the articles that follow spur you to read more, to study with great professors, and to get more deeply involved with ISI. By doing so, you will not only arm yourself with the writing, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills employers seek; you will also gain a much clearer sense of the way the world works.