Not so long ago, Yale University received a $150 million gift. That looked like a lot until Harvard scooped up $400 million a few weeks later. Both gifts came from Wall Street speculators – Blackstone Group Founder and CEO Stephen Schwarzman and hedge fund executive John S Paulson. Paulson’s donation alone was more money than 98 percent of US colleges have in their endowments, critics pointed out. It shows just how far-reaching inequality has become they said. It also reveals a thing or two about what’s become of our democracy.
Private vs. public. Harvard, Yale, and MIT are private institutions. The US is a capitalist state. It’s premier institutions of higher learning are private. In most of the rest of the world, the public state contributes to and controls in varying degrees research and administrative activities of its institutions of higher learning. This is not to say that the University of California, the University of Michigan, or the University of Illinois are not fine institutions, but in the US it is the graduates of the private institutions that control the governance of the nation. The wealthy in the US control all aspects of governance and their members (the new aristocracy) generally hail from the privately controlled and endowed institutions of higher learning.
This is how our bipartisan geniuses work the miracles they perform daily while both serving ungoverned mammon and also while destroying what they all insist is “the greatest nation on earth.” Calling the US the greatest nation is, of course, the very same servile flattery for the voters with which their genius enables them to flatter the billionaires, whom they are bribing, all in the public interest, of course, to do the actual destroying of this “greatest nation on earth.”
First, they both show and then tell these billionaires they created with their legitimately written treasonous legislation, like destroying protections against banking fraud, called Glass-Steagall, and with legitimate abuse of their power, of course: here is the legislation that allows you to steal from the citizens. Then they show and tell these same billionaires, again, with perfectly legitimate abuse of their power: here is the legislation that allows you to force the citizens to pick up the tab for your dismantling the greatest nation on earth and, including the collateral damage to the earth along the way, of course. Then, (because three consecutive treasons is a thousand fold more delightful to them): now, here, this new legislation we are giving you, called free trade, frees you perfectly delightful and heinous treasonous thieves from any and all public responsibility for the public trust you hold with your corporations. And you can have even the veto power over every piece of legislation we ever wrote and ever will write. Just help us sell the pretence it is good for those from whom you are stealing their material wealth, from whom you are stealing their birthright, and from whom you are stealing their national inheritance, and from whom you are stealing the prospect of their children and grandchildren even eating or breathing.
And we will enforce with our treacherously created and enabled armies, air forces, navies, marines, coast guards, secret agencies, secret services, local police and local sheriffs, and all sorts of contract hoodlums from all over the planet, we will protect you against any uppity citizen stupid enough to call us out on our and/or your endless treasons.
All you gotta’ do it give us enough cash to buy ourselves another re-election.
This is a very strange sentence since it strains to turn the politicians who voters vote for INTO the determinants OF policy. And then this policy spontaneously “flatters” the billionaires. You have the equation backwards.
i like the re-framing that Flanders does: Not call it “capitalism,” call it “anti-socialism.” It’s anti-society.
Can’t speak for Harvard, but Yale was founded in 1701 by a bunch of Congregationalist ministers who wanted to turn out more of same. Probably Harvard was too. Opium was not involved That’s not to say that opium may not have been involved later on-in the nineteenth century. I do know that some of the money from the Triangular Trade, which was partly based on slave trading, was certainly given to Yale. One of my classmates was descended from an old Providence R.I. family who got fat off the slave trade. During the nineteenth century, many of the plutocrats and robber barons of the Guilded Age gave money to Yale.Dubya got in because his was a ‘legacy’ admission, and his fine family had always given some of their ill gotten gains to this venerable institution. Dubya is New England Old Money-even if he pretends to be from Texas. And Opium is the Opium of the people.
Harvard and Yale and King’s College (Columbia University) are where all our problems come from. Jefferson called them “Hives of Despotism”, and founded and built the University of Virginia to provide an alternative to those extremely religious schools run by clergy.
They pre-date America, and are not based on Democracy at all. They are based on One Percent rule over all the world.
Well, that may have been his intention, but UVA ain’t so hot either. I have a very good friend who went there in the early seventies. He was a poor, but very smart kid from New Jersey, who went to UVA because they offered him the best scholarship terms. He says the place was a swamp of racism and privilege-much like Yale, but more parochial and with a smaller endowment. Yale produced quite a few people who were heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement, Freedom Summer etc. UVA probably didn’t. But maybe UVA has improved. I do like it that E.A. Poe got kicked out for excessive boozing. That must have been very hard to do.