Alt Left: About Those “Worthless Social Science Degrees”

The argument that social science degrees are absolutely worthless for getting a job in modern society has been coming up for decades, but it has grown louder in the last ten years.

Supposedly these degrees are absolutely useless in terms of finding a job, so they are a  waste of money. Further, they are a waste of society’s money.

This argument mostly comes from conservatives, but some liberals have taken it up too. I’d like to point out that the roots of this argument lie in laissez faire free market neoliberal capitalism. So all of you making this argument are in bed with Milton Friedman. I hope you’re happy.

This is so because the only degrees that are said to be worthwhile are those degrees that are useful in a sociopathic hyper-individualistic anything goes free market economy such as we are blighted with here in the US.

The only degrees that are worthwhile are those that will get Bill Gates,  Jeff Bezos, Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, Howard Schmidt, Jeffrey Epstein, Steve Jobs,  or other semi-sociopathic heartless maniac billionaires to hire you for whatever capitalist scam they are cooking up at the moment.

And everything else, everything that doesn’t allow you to be a cog in a lying, cheating, thieving corporate world, is completely and utterly useless. Because the Market is everything and everything is the Market.

In such a society it should not be surprising that conservatives, mostly conservative males, say that anything other than a math, science, tech, business or management degree is utterly worthless.

Japan is thinking of phasing out all of its social sciences in the next decade or two. There have been many calls to reduce or eliminate social science programs at US universities. These calls go right along with the total commodification of life that we are experiencing.

Furthermore, they display a contempt for knowledge and the scholarship needed to obtain it as a core value of human existence. Why are we here anyway? How about to learn? That would be one of my arguments. Not that most folks have any use for much learning, but the species as a whole does. It’s a value. No you can’t slap a dollar sticker on it and it often has little or no monetary value.  In modern society that means it is utterly worthless. Why? Because it doesn’t make a buck.

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5 thoughts on “Alt Left: About Those “Worthless Social Science Degrees””

  1. Furthermore, they display a contempt for knowledge and the scholarship needed to obtain it as a core value of human existence. Why are we here anyway? How about to learn? That would be one of my arguments. Not that most folks have any use for much learning, but the species as a whole does. It’s a value. No you can’t slap a dollar sticker on it and it often has little or no monetary value. In modern society that means it is utterly worthless. Why? Because it doesn’t make a buck.

    As I said in a recent comment on a recent article (on this blog), a Humanities degree is profitable to someone who can utilize marketing (knows the skill and has the cash). In that case, they can run a blog, make a living, and maybe get rich.

    O.K., yes it’s a shame they are phasing out humanities – so pretty soon you’re just going to have a bunch of rough types with no humanity. Huh, isn’t that what we see on social media memes all the time? 😆

  2. I have great respect for the humanities. I see great value in studying psychology, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, philosophy, and such. (Some of the less traditional “social science” fields I’m not so sure about.)

    And yet, a college education costs money. Even “free college” costs money – the people doing the educating are still going to have to be paid by someone. When people are paying for something, they want to think that their money is well spent. People also want to think that their time is well spent – that they’re better off going to college than doing any of a number of other things they could be doing.

    It’s natural for everyone involved to ask, “Is this worth it?” I don’t know if there’s any way around this.

  3. There’s nothing wrong with blue collar work – and, actually, despite cultural left insults (and possibly white racist ones – to be honest), the blue collar worker laughs in the end – as he just may have way more money than the nerds.

    I mean, so many college students are wasting so much time to get a degree, postponing marriage (further leading to US white and black population decline) – and then finding they have to get blue-collar work anyway, or some nursing thing – just to pay the apartment!

    1. You’re right, this happens. I know a smart young woman who graduated from a very good university with a degree in Gender Studies. She is now in nursing school, which she enjoys.

  4. I think real critique is by conservatives who view social science degrees as merely leftist indoctrination certificates. I agree. Also, many, conservative or not, think they are lending scams. People, who in olden times never would have gone to college because they were either too poor or too stupid, can borrow $100,000 to and go to a second-rate school, learning nothing practical, and then be financial fucked for decades. A social science degree from an Ivy League college will get you a job. From a state school, much harder.

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