libera voce/libera mente

"free voice, free mind"

Sunday, April 17, 2005

What's at Stake

Much more is going on with this Larry Summers flap at Harvard University than the Battle Between the Sexes.  The entire future of U.S. higher education, and therefore perhaps the entire future of the U.S., may be at stake.  It all comes down to the role of the intellectual elite, and the promise of entering (and serving in) it via august institutions such as Harvard, and how this process interacts with the Power through Victimhood crowd.

That the president of our most distinguished and once-long-ago most elite institution of higher learning can't even ask a considered question meant to spark useful debate is proof of the absolute destruction the Political Correctness movement has wrought across our entire educational system.  That the 'vote of no confidence' taken against Larry Summers amongst the arts and sciences faculty at Harvard was spearheaded by the head of the Afro-American something-or-other serves as conclusive proof.

A major difficulty Harvard faces right now is delivering on its lofty promise of a gold-standard college education.  God knows we expect it when we spend $40k a year to send our brats there.  Nowadays the talk is all about how rancid and putrid that once-thought-spectacular education has become.  Why?  Political Correctness, my friends.

Larry Summers was brought in to fix this (among other pressing issues).  This means he must do battle with these Forces of Mediocrity.  To do so he must establish a framework of discussion.  Can he make the obvious and all-important point that the intellectual elite cannot encompass the down-trodden, the thumb-sucking, the you-must-give-us-our-slice-of-the-pie crowd.  Instead it must do what the intellectual elite does best, establish new vistas to shoot for and help us get there.

We are in an intense competitive battle with the Rest of the World.  We must have our best minds, unfettered by politically-correct mediocrity-pointing madness, to do this battle proud or we will disappear as an important nation in the world.

Are we ready for the consequences of failing in this fight?