Commentary: The End of Globalization

In the 1990s, William Strauss and Neil Howe predicted a “Fourth Turning” around 2020, meaning the final reordering of a once-in-a-generation global order. Their thesis is not necessarily pessimistic, although a “positive” resolution is not guaranteed. Either way, their thesis is inconvenient to progressives, who promise linear progress, not generational cycles. 

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Recommended: Great Books to Resist Cultural Indoctrination

Those classics that are called the Great Books are most closely associated with Mortimer J. Adler and Robert Hutchins.1 When Hutchins became president of the University of Chicago in 1929, he hired Adler to teach philosophy in the law school and the psychology department. Upon arriving, Adler, rather brashly he admits, recommended to Hutchins a program of study for undergraduates using classic texts. Adler had taught in the General Honors program at Columbia University begun in 1921 by professor John Erskine. Hutchins asked him for a list of books to be read in such a program. When Hutchins saw the list, he told Adler that he had not encountered most of them during his student years at Oberlin College and Yale University. Hutchins later wrote that unless Adler “did something drastic he [Hutchins, referring to himself] would close his educational career a wholly uneducated man.”2 Hutchins remained president for 16 years before serving as chancellor until 1951, and the following year, they did something drastic.

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