Morris Berman, The Twilight of American Culture (Norton, 2000), p. 122:
Latin mottoes adorn the crests of many of these schools, boasting of "light" and "truth." [WFV: Harvard's crest shows Veritas] The reality, however, is something very different, as thousands of these institutions have literal or de facto open admissions policies in the name of "democracy." The democratization of desire means that virtually anyone can go to college, the purpose being to get a job; and in an educational world now subsumed under business values, students show up -- with administrative blessing -- believing that they are consumers who are buying a product. Within this context, a faculty member who actually attempts to enforce the tradition of the humanities as an uplifting and transformative experience, who challenges his charges to think hard about complex issues, will provoke negative evaluations and soon be told by the dean that he had better look elsewhere for a job. Objecting to a purely utilitarian dimension for education is regarded as quaint, and quickly labelled as "elitist" (horror of horrors!); but the truth is that there can be no genuine liberal education without such an objection.
Berman is right, but what is the solution? One solution is to move liberal studies into cyberspace, and into the blosgosphere in particular. The irony should not be missed. This, the most 'democratic' of all media, may well be the best place for those of us who wish to preserve the good and wholly justifiable elitism according to which inquiry and the activation of the intellect are ends worth pursuing for their own sakes.