uziq wrote:i mean it’s not like the author didn’t use his time at harvard to start a website, which is widely read and we are all discussing, which posts left-leaning critique and investigative journalism. no, he just went to harvard and enjoyed years of privilege and was a total hypocrit. i can also count several books he has published, presumably in his 20s, all in the same progressive vein. and the piece makes several references to how, when pete was meeting dignitaries on campus, the writer was waving pickets or protesting. what would he need to do to satisfy you? throw a stick of dynamite? (i'd never heard of the writer before this piece, in any case, and i'm not sure why he needs to be some intellectual paragon; it's a fairly light piece in an online magazine...)
i’m sorry but i just don’t understand this attitude at all. many of the most elite institutions have fostered left/progressive/anti-establishment views. it’s not hypocrisy at all if you consider that a university is meant to be a space for idea-formation and to openly debate and contest values. it’s pretty clear that a university is a big enough place to accommodate many types of students: whether that be first time yale JD’s who are ex-cons, now writing poetry for black america, or english jews who go to school in the states and found online magazines, or your typical prep-school, my-dads-was-a-princeton-man WASPs.
your point is a bit like asking why feminists or post-colonialists ever go to oxford, because most of the colleges have been only for men, and many of the universities’ colleges and scholarships were built on the back of colonial extraction etc etc. it’s just such a surface-level and asinine grasp of the way the world actually works; and such a wilful misreading of how political principles work, too. news flash: marxists don’t all throw themselves into bottom-tier state education and work in canning factories. it's not the era of the spanish civil war.
it’s fairly obvious from the piece that the author is not the same type of person as buttigieg. ‘champagne socialism’ is pretty much a blacklist term for me where i immediately know the person using it is probably some smug idiot who reads right-wing sunday papers and tries to reduce his tax contribution. it’s rhetoric only ever used by established interests.
is noam chomsky a champagne socialist because he’s been tenured at MIT for most of his political life? was foucault a mere champagne socialist because he took membership at the collège de france, and was a haute bourgeois by origin?
Oh Chomsky is a case you could certainly analyse in depth on this point. In the 60s his actions to ignore anti-war protesters at MIT, his defence of the institution (which was almost completely funded by and working for the DoD at the time) and of the people he worked with even if they were involved in ballistic or chemical weapons development, while simultaneously decrying American militarism, defence research and interventionism doesn't reflect all that well on him. Chomsky was especially keen to turn a blind eye to matters that would otherwise receive his strongest condemnations if he liked the people involved or if they were personal friends of him. I see that this sort of argument riles you up especially when it's against a viewpoint you agree with, but you need to realise that people can both have good points (in this instance though, I'm certainly not a fan of chomskyism) and be hypocrites, and can be criticised for it.
It's a point on moral sincerity, the exact same thing for which Buttigieg is attacked here. You and the writer seem to hold him responsible for all the misdeeds that took place in which McKinsey was involved, even though he worked there for only 3 years probably as a junior business analyst or associate at best. But how could someone with his background possibly justify working for McKinsey of all places, the World's Worst Companytm
Well, as we are going through the McKinsey-is-the-devil narrative, let me quote the writer of this article on his thoughts with regard to Harvard as well:
Few people amass these kind of résumés if they are the type to openly challenge authority. Noam Chomsky says that the factors predicting success in our “meritocracy” are a “combination of greed, cynicism, obsequiousness and subordination, lack of curiosity and independence of mind, [and] self-serving disregard for others.” So when journalists see “Harvard” and think “impressive,” I see it and think “uh-oh.”
But there’s another fact about the world outside the Harvard gates that is instantly apparent to most newcomers: It has long had a substantial population of homeless people. In fact, it’s a scene as grotesque as it is eclectic: Directly outside the Corinthian columns of the richest university on earth, people wrapped in dirty coats are begging for a buck or two from passing students. Most of the university population has trained themselves to ignore this sub-caste
He didn’t consider, and still hasn’t considered, the moral quandary that should come with being a student at an elite school that doesn’t pay its janitors a living wage. (In fact, years later Harvard was still refusing to pay its workers decently.)
If you come out of Harvard without noticing that it’s a deeply troubling place, you’re oblivious. It is an inequality factory, a place that trains the world’s A-students to rule over and ignore the working class. And yet, nowhere does Buttigieg seem to have even questioned the social role of an institution like Harvard.
The idea of “false modesty” requires you to be a little cynical about the world, to believe that there is a class of people out there who seem unpresuming but are actually shrewdly calculating. But Buttigieg didn’t notice any of this even when he was at Harvard, the global capital of false modesty.
None of this seems to reflect all that well on the institution, actually it paints a pretty terrible picture. As Buttigieg could've worked anywhere other than McKinsey, the writer could've certainly started a PhD anywhere but at Harvard. Yet his deep reflection on the social role of an institution like Harvard and disgust for many of its students seemed to wither away as soon as he could further his personal ambitions there. It's not as if he should've been working in a factory to share in the misery of the working class's bottom rung, but of all the top institutions in the United States, and he could've picked any after Yale, Harvard had his preference.
I'm sure you'll throw a fit again and argue that intellectual pursuit is different, but as junior analyst Buttigieg is seemingly complicit to all the wrongs committed by Worst Company in the World McKinsey, our writer spent at least 4 years on the payroll of and supporting an institution he sees as the capital of false modesty, a factory for systemic inequality, run by inhumane management that can't even pay its janitors a living wage and whose graduates are mostly shrewd people one should be wary of. Makes you question why on earth he chose to spend his time there in the first place. As I said before, there's no way this could've come as a surprise after his previous educational achievements.
Last edited by Larssen (2020-02-09 04:25:39)