Tuesday 18th June 2019

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Laboratory Rats And Their Masters

May 25, 2018 Featured Today No Comments


I recently heard a story which upset me more and more the longer I thought about it. It concerned a young man getting ready to go off to college. The young man’s father is a very successful executive, and his son has been accepted for admission to his father’s alma mater, a very prestigious (and expensive) university. Now, when I was getting ready for college, back in the dark ages, getting admitted to the college of one’s choice was enough.
Not anymore. Now, I’m told, you need to get into “advanced placement” in your field in order to get a head start and have an advantage over others, so this young man signed up, at his local high school, for a class to prepare him to take the university’s advanced placement exam. An excellent teacher was in charge, and all was going well, until one day the students learned that their teacher had been killed in a car accident. Soon after, it was further learned that his death was a suicide. There was no one immediately available to take over the class.
Now, you would think the first reaction any human being would have to all this would be horror and sadness at this appalling human tragedy. But the first reaction of the young man’s mother reportedly was, “Oh no, now I might not be able to get my son into advanced placement! His whole career could be down the tubes!”
The mother, by all accounts, was known for trying to live through her children, rather than getting a life of her own. If so, she will doubtlessly be micromanaging her son’s college career, then go on to do the same with his post-college life. One hopes for some healthy rebellion here. Otherwise, I can see some grim possibilities ahead.
When I hear about things like this, the image that comes into my mind is that of laboratory rats frantically trying to find their way through a maze, wearing themselves out and making themselves sick. The human laboratory rats put themselves through all this because they have been fed lies by our elites — first, about the meaning of life (it’s all about amassing as much money and power as you can), and second, about the rewards for obedience (jumping through all these hoops will get you money and power). And what if there is actually no piece of cheese waiting for the rat even if it manages to find its way through?
This kind of thing is very hard for someone of my generation (I started college in 1960) to truly comprehend. The closest I ever came to advanced placement was during freshman orientation when I had the opportunity to try to get into the honors freshman comp class. It involved writing an impromptu essay. On the day it was scheduled, I was exhausted from running around the campus engaging in orientation activities, and I decided that, rather than sit in a classroom, trying to stay awake and write an essay, I preferred to go back to my dorm room and take a nap.
The results of this misguided decision were devastating! I had to take the regular freshman comp course, taught by an excellent professor, Dr. James Lucier, who, I feel quite certain, taught me far more than I would have learned in the honors course.
But today, things like this are taken with deadly seriousness. Kids apply to many, many schools (I applied to one). They and their parents are obsessed with getting into a prestigious school, even though there is solid evidence that, for every prestigious school, there are many less prestigious ones that are academically on a par with them, sometimes better (usually cheaper, too).
The reason people want to get into prestigious schools is so they can make connections — i.e., so that they can learn to see other people, not as friends or neighbors, but as means to one’s own advancement. Eventually, in such an environment, using, rather than cherishing, people will become second nature.
All of this is, of course, closely tied to the “higher education” industry’s enormous expansion and its increasing control over the American people. When I was in college, only a minority went there. Others finished high school, found jobs, got married, and started families (having children had not yet become a “life-style choice”), and got on with life.
We were only beginning to suffer from the problem of protracted adolescence and its devastating effects on the social order — such as young people who took an inordinately long time to make the transition to adulthood and often never did. But somewhere along the line, “someone” decided everyone, or nearly everyone, should go to college.
As the supply of people with college degrees increased, it became possible for employers to insist on a college degree as the minimum requirement job applicants had to meet in order even to be considered. The result is that many, many young people spend years in college being bored to death when they could be beginning their adult lives as members of communities and families.
The idiocy of such practices is underscored by the reality that the typical bachelor’s degree today in what is laughingly called “liberal arts” has no relevance for any jobs the students might seek. In addition, graduates end up saddled with crushing debt. The result of the latter is that they don’t feel they can afford to start families and end up living with their parents — hence adulthood is put off even longer, years beyond graduation and maybe never happening at all.
And the universities prosper. They multiply and expand, because an artificial need for their product has been created. Not only do they create many jobs for the parasitical entities known as college administrators, but they make their unfortunate students captive audiences for political indoctrination by left-dominated faculties. And the money keeps rolling in. When college loans became the norm, one of the first things these corrupt institutions did was to raise their tuition, which just keeps going up, year after year.
Another thing that has changed since I was young is that parents did not generally, in those days, put the kind of pressure on their children that they do now regarding college and careers. For one thing, they usually had too many children to have the time or the money to do the kinds of things they now do (I am thinking especially of Catholics, but even Protestants then had bigger families than they do now).
But they did, I believe, genuinely want their children to live their own lives, and didn’t feel as much the need to run their lives as many parents do now. They were satisfied, more or less, with their own lives, and were kept busy enough with these lives so as not to feel the need to live through their kids.
When I told my father, lo, these many years ago, that I was going to major in philosophy, he, being of a practical cast of mind, made it clear that he was less than thrilled. What he did not do was try to stop me from majoring in philosophy, perhaps even forbidding it. He wanted me to live my own life, and, in truth, as I spend my life doing philosophical work proper (publishing in journals of philosophy), as well as doing the work of a Catholic journalist, which is closely allied to it, I would have to say that it has turned out well.
I have never made much money in the process, and have had to live by other kinds of employment, but it has been worth it. When the love of being, which is the source of philosophy, possesses you sufficiently, it is a joy and a vocation which surpasses any career.
To all this, I will add one more thought, related to the above. I have never believed in careers as such. To my way of thinking, work should be about, not self-aggrandizement, but service. That means, not careers, but vocations. St. Augustine said that there are two loves, in radical opposition to each other — the love of self and the love of God (from which love of neighbor flows).
Careers are based on the former, vocations on the latter, summed up in the Great Commandment: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:29-31). As we have shifted away from the Christian vision of life, we have come to see work, not as service to God and neighbor, but as service to self.
What the parents who obsess about their children’s future are really seeking for them is that they will be able to make bundles of money and lord it over other people. That is not what Jesus taught:
“You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).
(© 2018 George A. Kendall)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Vatican’s doctrinal office expected to release document on gender theory

Vatican City, Jun 14, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s doctrinal office is preparing a document which will address Church teaching and the anthropology of the human person in the context of so-called gender theory, according to a Vatican…Continue Reading

Illinois bishops oppose abortion law, disagree on Communion for pro-choice lawmakers

Baltimore, Md., Jun 14, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- While two Illinois bishops are unified in their strong opposition to the state’s new abortion law, they differ on the question of prohibiting to receive Holy Communion the Catholic state legislators…Continue Reading

‘The Decalogue’ for Nuncios (Pope Francis’ Full Address to Meeting of Papal Representatives)

The following is a ZENIT working full English translation of the discourse Pope Francis prepared and delivered today, June 13, 2019, to all the Papal Representatives, meeting in the Vatican from June 12 – 15,  2019: **** Dear Brethren, I’m…Continue Reading

Vatican rejects idea that people can ‘choose one’s gender’

The Vatican on Monday released an official document that rejects the idea that a transgender person has the right to “choose one’s gender,” according to reports. The Washington Post reported that the Catholic Church said in the document that the right to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell awaits verdict after prosecutor stumbles in appeal hearing

June 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The two-day hearing in Cardinal George Pell’s appeal before the Victorian Court of Appeal against his conviction for alleged child sex abuse in Melbourne, Australia, in the 1990s ended Thursday with a positive impression for the defense.…Continue Reading

Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis announces synod

St. Paul, Minn., Jun 7, 2019 / 06:04 pm (CNA).- Minnesota’s largest diocese will hold a synod— a meeting designed to help the bishop shepherd his local flock— during Pentecost Weekend 2021, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced yesterday. It will be the…Continue Reading

Jerry Falwell, Jr., Rev. Kevin Cusick and the Satanic War Against Sex

Some entity or other doesn’t want me writing. First, my carpal tunnel has flared up something fierce. It hurts me to pet the beagles, much less to peel them off the dirty plates they’re licking inside the dishwasher. My favorite…Continue Reading

Biden Buckles, Flips on Hyde Amendment Under Pressure From Democrats

Former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment Thursday after facing intense backlash from within his own party. Biden, while speaking in Atlanta, first reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade

Biden names pro-LGBT ‘Equality Act’ as top priority if elected

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Passing the radical pro-LGBT and pro-abortion Equality Act “will be the first thing I ask to be done” if elected president, Joe Biden said at the annual Human Rights Campaign gala Saturday. The…Continue Reading

Pontifical university bans top scholar who accused Pope Francis of heresy in open letter

ROME, May 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – One of the English-speaking world’s greatest living scholars of Classical philosophy was told he has been barred from all Pontifical Universities after he signed an Open Letter along with a number of prominent clergymen and scholars…Continue Reading

Pope Francis responds to heresy accusation, China concerns


Vatican City, May 29, 2019 / 10:05 am (CNA).- Pope Francis said he reacted “with a sense of humor” to the accusation of heresy made against him earlier this month. “It does not hurt me at all. Hypocrisy and lies…Continue Reading

Parish priest assails Catholic prep school’s decision to allow same-sex union announcements

The pastor of a Catholic parish in the Washington suburbs has publicly slammed the decision this month by Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School to allow announcements of same-sex unions in its magazine for graduates, calling it a scandal that was a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Archbishop Viganò clarifies points arising from new interview

ROME, June 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In the wake of two recent pieces in the Washington Post relating to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an article and an extended interview (the first the archbishop has granted since his initial allegations concerning Pope Francis), renewed insinuations and smears have been directed at the former diplomat of the Holy See. In his June 10 interview, the archbishop claims that the actions so far taken against McCarrick are chiefly…Continue Reading

Pope backs carbon pricing to stem global warming and appeals to deniers

Carbon pricing, via taxes or emissions trading schemes, is used by many governments to make energy consumers pay for the costs of using the fossil fuels that contribute to global warming * Pope Francis tells top energy executives to act now * Pontiff urges world to heed scientific findings

U.S Bishops Approve the Revised Passage on the Death Penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults

BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the revised passage on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults. The full body of bishops approved the revised passage by a vote of 194 to 8 with 3 abstentions at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Baltimore, June 11-14. On August 2, 2018, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Holy Father’s revision to the teaching on the…Continue Reading

Democrats Fail to Get Enough Votes to Force Americans to Fund Abortions

House Democrats failed to garner enough support Monday for a measure to force American taxpayers to pay for abortions. The Washington Examiner reports the amendment came from a group of progressive Democrats who want to remove the Hyde Amendment from a Congressional spending bill. The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions in Medicaid. The Democrats pushing the measure were U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, Barbara Lee, of California, Pramila Jayapal, of Washington, Diana DeGette,…Continue Reading

Cdl Burke, Bp Schneider issue ‘declaration of truths’ to correct rampant ‘doctrinal confusion’ in Church

ROME, June 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, together with several other bishops, have issued a public declaration of truths of the faith to remedy the “almost universal doctrinal confusion and disorientation” endangering the spiritual health and eternal salvation of souls in the Church today


Floral Artist… Heads Back To U.S. Supreme Court To Protect Her Freedom

OLYMPIA — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing floral artist Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take her case after the Washington Supreme Court ruled against her on June 6. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the state High Court’s previous ruling against Stutzman and ordered it to reconsider…Continue Reading

Canada And The Erosion Of Conscience

By DONALD DeMARCO Pro-abortionists have consistently argued that a woman should have the freedom to follow her conscience. Granted that this notion of conscience is incomplete since it may not be properly formed, nonetheless it gave pro-life people the assurance that this right to one’s conscience would protect doctors who are opposed to abortion from…Continue Reading

Are Abortion & Gay Rights American Values?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “My religion defines who I am. And I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life,” said Vice President Joe Biden in 2012. “I accept my church’s position on abortion as . . . doctrine. Life begins at conception. . . . I just refuse to impose that on others.” For four…Continue Reading

New Vatican Document . . . Says Gender Theory Is “Cultural And Ideological Revolution”

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — A Vatican department has issued a sweeping denunciation of so-called gender theory, and affirmed the principles of human dignity, difference, and complementarity. “In all such [gender] theories, from the most moderate to the most radical, there is agreement that one’s gender ends up being viewed as more important than being of…Continue Reading

Archbishop DiNardo… Accused Of Mishandling Clerical Sexual Misconduct Case

HOUSTON (CNA) — The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference has been accused of mishandling an allegation of sexual coercion made against his former vicar general. A Texas woman says that Daniel Cardinal DiNardo permitted the priest, who she says sexually coerced her, to transfer to another diocese and continue in ministry, after she was…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Latest From Fr. Cusick . . . Modesty: A Woman’s Voice

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK For readers following “the tweet hated round the world” story, more on the aftermath in this week’s column. Being removed a degree from Twitter after deactivating my personal account, and looking back at comments on the social media platform, is like being dead. People talk about me in the third person: “We miss him,” “Hope…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Commenting on the Vatican accord last year to give the Communist regime in Red China a say in the naming of new Catholic bishops, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City offered these trenchant comments in a recent bulletin: “While the Holy See invokes two thousand years of diplomatic experience, China beats…Continue Reading

The Barbarians Have Won

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner has contributed numerous columns to The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, and The Wanderer. He serves in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. This is a two-part article.) + + + Précis: Known as barbarians or heathens, the powerful enemies of the Church are both internal and external. There are many…Continue Reading

Jesus Is The Wisdom Of God

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Most Holy Trinity (YR C) Readings: Prov. 8:22-34 Romans 5:1-5 John 16:12-15   In the first reading today we see the personification of Wisdom. We are told Wisdom was present with God before the Most High began His work of creation. The only way someone could be present with God before “the beginning…Continue Reading

The Joy And Beauty Of Sacrificial Love

By JAMES MONTI There is something profoundly intimate about chapters 13 to 17 of the Gospel of St. John — the apostle’s meticulous account of Our Lord’s Farewell Discourse at the Last Supper. For those who might wonder where the Sacred Heart of Jesus is mentioned in the Gospels, they can find it in these pages. For it is here,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marcellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat

By CAROLE BRESLIN The end of the 18th century in France was a time of persecution for the Catholic Church with many priests and religious driven from convents and rectories, and others put to death. As more and more priests were martyred, the Church searched for good young men to replace them. In the history of the Church, there have…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ferdinand III, King Of Castile

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of Third Order Franciscans contains some surprising persons. It includes Popes Leo XIII, Pius X, John XXIII, among others. It also includes St. Thomas More, St. Francis de Sales, and a number of royalty such as St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, and St. Louis IX, King of France. In addition,…Continue Reading