Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, May 30, 2005

I wish I could hang out with more Trotskyists

Ross Douthat is interviewed on National Review Online about his book "Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class". It looks good - finished Tom Wolfe's "I am Charlotte Simmons" and I really enjoyed it - so much so I don't want to read factual accounts of American university life, the fictional world of Dupont was too mush fun - but Douthat seems wittier than most.
"There was very little of the kind of political-indoctrination horror stories you often hear about on college campuses, and insofar as there was pressure to conform politically, it was soft pressure, the pressure that comes with being surrounded by a campus where liberalism is the default position (the 'conservative' position, in a sense), and some kind of quasi-Marxism is the only approved form of political dissent. Today's elite universities are surprisingly depoliticized places, which sounds like a good thing after the excesses of the last few decades until you realize that they are depoliticized because everyone, students and faculty and administrators alike, are primarily concerned with careerism and the bottom line, rather than with the older ideological debates. There were times at Harvard when I actually longed to hang out with a few more Trotskyists, rather than yet another set of future consultants and investment bankers. At least the Trotskyists cared about the important stuff."



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