Harvard's Problem Isn't Just DEI
Look, I’m all in favor of Bill Ackman helping defenestrate Little Miss Diverse Claudine von Gay.
Of course it was monstrous that Harvard thought it was virtue-signalling the world by appointing its First Black Woman President.
Of course Bill Ackman is right to put a long diatribe up on X about what a vile and monstrous thing DEI is. And how the “oppressor/oppressed framework” is a buncha baloney. And shining a light on
the philosophical underpinning of DEI as advanced by Ibram X. Kendi and others, one is either an anti-racist or a racist. There is no such thing as being “not racist.”
Yeah, and you can take that vile fascist racism, Kendi, Hannah-Jones & Co., and put it where the sun don’t shine.
But let’s go bigger.
I say that the whole idea of high-status universities conferring high status on their graduates is a vile and monstrous thing.
Item: in the 4-3 decision of the Colorado Supreme Court kicking Donald Trump off the ballot, the four justices voting in favor all went to Ivy League law schools and the three justices voting against all went to the local law school in Denver.
Golly Geewillikins! Who woulda thunk it?
So, is the point of high-status universities to make sure that everyone heading for high status positions knows that reciting the Narrative is the way to fame and fortune?
Well, of course. If you are the ruling class you need a good selection procedure to make sure that the candidates for high office and the all-important middling stations in the bureaucracy are the “right sort.” Used to be that students were selected by placement tests. Only, of course, back in the day, Jewish students might do too well, as east-Asian students today do too well. Today, I understand, “extracurriculars” are really important. “Extracurricular” is a word that means doing regime-approved activism.
I suppose that in the short term all this makes sense. The rulers want youngsters coming up the system to support their agenda and their power. Tactically it makes sense.
But strategically? Probably not. The experts on elite reproduction all agree that a particular ruling elite is not immortal. Eventually it gets replaced. That’s what the “Fourth Turning” chaps are all about and Peter Turchin in his Ages of Discord.
Now, I’d say that what every ruling class needs is bright and sensible young chaps that aren’t afraid to buck the Narrative and are equipped with the cojones to deal with inevitable crises. But in the real world, most ruling classes just want good pliable youngsters that will do what they are told, and keep the ship on course never mind those icebergs on the starboard bow.
Also, I suspect that the truth about politics and government is that it is a thankless job that requires a ruthless appetite for power, and a willingness to put troublemakers out of the way.
And I suspect that politics always needs new monsters to slay. Maybe that’s what Jeffrey A. Tucker was on about when he wondered about why our rulers keep upending their initiatives, switching from loving the Soviet Union to hating Russia, going from pushing industrialization to hating it. Politics is War World, and you can’t have the same enemy and the same war forever; people get tired of the same-old same-old. You need to change your glorious vision, and inspire the troops with a new castle to demolish.
So really, it makes sense for our rulers to switch from class warfare to race warfare.
Only thing is that I don’t think it helps an institution to promote middling nonentities. I don’t think it is a good idea to have eternal bureaucracies. And I don’t believe that women are good at hierarchies. The good thing about the corporate system is that eventually a corporation goes broke and gets broken up and its useful parts get grafted onto something else: that was what Mitt Romney was doing at Bain Capital, to the outrage of all good people. Much more difficult to do that with educational and government bureaucracies.
But put yourself in the position of our rulers. If DEI is reaching its sell-by date and climate change looks a bit rocky, then what is the New Thing for ambitious youngsters to get with and that maintains the tried and true oppressor/oppressed binary?
I don’t know.