Mark Edmundson And William Deresiewicz : The Crisis Gripping The University System Of The United States

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In their papers on higher education in America, academics Mark Edmundson and William Deresiewicz write on the alleged crisis gripping the university system of the United States. Utilizing the terms ‘consumerism’ and ‘neoliberalism’ pejoratively, they muse on how each system has adversely affected higher education institutions throughout America. While both terms used are quite similar in nature, Deresiewicz is more pointed and explicit in his characterization of neoliberalism as opposed to Edmundson’s vague, winded description of consumerism. However, after an in-depth reading of Edmundson’s paper, one can deduce that he possesses the same disdain for free markets that Deresiewicz openly flaunts. Before one explores both professors’ writings, one should examine the history of free market capitalism briefly.
The establishment of a free market economy with the creation of joint-stock companies in the modern-day Netherlands by enterprising investors during the 1500-1600s spelt the beginning of capitalism, an economic system which has, since this period, brought untold prosperity to billions throughout the world. Its proliferation throughout Europe is one of the primary reasons why in the centuries thereafter it became the sole hegemon on the world stage, with its greatest embracer, Great Britain, holding sway over a fourth of the globe by the mid-nineteenth century. Since these European centuries, liberal economic thought has spread throughout the world, with vibrant,…

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