The egalitarian ideology of our time, writes the philosopher Philippe Beneton, in Equality by Default, cuts the human heart and soul out of the profession of the teacher. “Why give priority to classic literature,” he asks, “when Pascal is no better or no worse than any other author, when his style of writing is just one technique among others?” The teacher becomes a technician—and often a not highly skilled technician at that, as witness our millions of young people who cannot calculate a 15 percent gratuity for a restaurant bill, or who cannot name the nation south of the Rio Grande. The great mission of education as “the formation of taste, of character, of will, of civic spirit” is set aside. “How can a school educate,” he concludes, “when it refuses to distinguish between an educated person and an uneducated person? How can it shape a human being when it no longer knows what a human being is?” (emphasis mine).