“…it has generally held true that the accredited learned class and the seminaries of the higher learning have looked askance at all innovation. New views, new departures in scientific theory, especially in new departures which touch the theory of human relations at any point, have found a place in…the university tardily and by a reluctant tolerance, rather than by a cordial welcome…the men who have occupied themselves with such efforts to widen the scope of human knowledge have not commonly been well received by their learned contemporaries.”
“The presumption that there can ordinarily be no sound scholarship where a knowledge of the classics and humanities is wanting leads to a conspicuous waste of time and labor on the part of the general body of students in acquiring such knowledge. The conventional insistence on a modicum of conspicuous waste as an incident of all reputable scholarship has affected our canons of taste and of serviceability in matters of scholarship in much the same way as the same principle has influenced our judgment of the serviceability of manufactured goods.”
Although conspicuous consumption has overtaken conspicuous leisure as a means of asserting one’s position in the world, displaying knowledge of the classics has ‘until lately had scarcely a rival’ Veblen thinks that college athletics may have overtaken a classical education.
“…but lately, since college athletics have won their way into a recognized standing as an accredited field of scholarly accomplishment, this latter branch of learning — if athletics may be freely classed as learning — has become a rival of the classics for the primacy in leisure-class education in American and English schools."
“Classic speech has the honorific virtue of dignity; it commands attention and respect as being the accredited method of communication under the leisure-class scheme of life, because it carries a pointed suggestion of the industrial exemption of the speaker. The advantage of the accredited locutions lies in their reputability; they are reputable because they are cumbrous and out of date, and therefore argue waste of time and exemption from the use and the need of direct and forcible speech.”
I hope you have enjoyed this series. I know some folks found it hard work; it was hard work to write as well but I'm glad I tackled the challenge and finished what I started.