Yes, American higher education is dystopian-like. If we use 1984’s societal structure as an example, the separation between the proles and the outer party members is similar to the distinction between college graduates and high school graduates / drop outs. There is a higher authority (employers / inner party members) that places a narrative on society painting high school graduates as less than or less worthy because they weren’t able to or didn’t want to go. Although there are differences between high school and college graduates, they are more similar than college graduates and their employers. However, by pushing this perspective, the “higher authority” is able to demonize and belittle high school graduates / drop outs and encourages those of higher education to also partake. As a result, a divide comes between the two lower groups, and instead of banding together against the one festering the problem, they remain hostile.
Non-college graduates are less financially stable, more likely to be unemployed, have less access to health insurance, and have a shorter life span that college graduates.1 However, the top 1% in America owns about 30% of America’s wealth.2 College graduates are so worried about losing the benefits and advantages they have over non-college graduates, convinced that that somehow makes them superior, that they lose sight of the real problem: all average workers in America are oppressed, manipulated, and exploited in the name of consumerism and capitalism to gain unbelievable amounts of money for the companies they work for and fill the pockets of their stockholders.
- Edelson, David. “How Does a College Degree Improve Graduates’ Employment and Earnings Potential?” Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities, 27 Feb. 2020, https://www.aplu.org/projects-and-initiatives/college-costs-tuition-and-financial-aid/publicuvalues/employment-earnings.html
- Beer, Tommy. “Top 1% of U.S. Households Hold 15 Times More Wealth than Bottom 50% Combined.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 10 Dec. 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/10/08/top-1-of-us-households-hold-15-times-more-wealth-than-bottom-50-combined/?sh=9712b1451795