Carry on, Harvard, in spreading shadows rather than light, in addressing phony issues instead of existential ones….
An Open Letter to Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust
“Harvard law school drops official shield over slavery links”
This was the heading of the news report of the decision by your colleagues in today’s Guardian newspaper. It would better have said, ‘…drops its pants.”
Political correctness, which is what this Law School decision is all about, is the very contradiction of Veritas and independent thought processes to which Harvard and its peers otherwise give mouth honor.
It now appears that Harvard is a standard bearer of the pre-1991 Soviet Communist approach to history, which yielded only the sad joke that ‘nothing is less foreseeable and more changeable than the past.’ Everything must be recalibrated, updated to account for the very latest cultural prejudices and values. Is it any wonder highly educated Americans are unable to put themselves in the shoes of peoples of other countries when they cannot put themselves in the shoes of their own grandparents on American soil?
The frivolous concerns of senior management in the university and its schools over sins of the distant past are a wonderful distraction from the sins of the not so distant past such as the US fire-bombing of Dresden and nuclear bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which knowingly brought death to hundreds of thousands of civilians. And it serves still better the objective of giving an uplifting feeling of moral superiority even as we, the people today wreak havoc over large swathes of the world as we chase bogus monsters and project values that cannot be established by the sword.
The nuclear catastrophe clock is striking two minutes to midnight. The risks have been taken from near zero at the end of the Cold War in 1989 to today’s heights, at a level with the risk in the days preceding the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. For this we can thank the dumbed-down Neocon and Liberal Interventionist foreign policy and security establishment to which Harvard’s faculty and graduates make a major contribution of ‘inside the box’ expert opinion year after year. Freedom of speech on campus about these matters is nil, n’est-ce pas? Group think predominates in your halls.
So, carry on, Harvard, in spreading shadows rather than light, in addressing phony issues instead of existential ones.
All the best
Gilbert Doctorow, Harvard College ’67
© Gilbert Doctorow, 2015