Link of the Day

A great long article from a recent Yale graduate (and a daughter of Russian-speaking immigrants, which explains why she’s so smart):

Even members of the clique are never really safe. Anyone who contradicts the latest consensus version of the constantly mutating ideology, even if they have worked to its benefit or are otherwise obviously on side, gets purged. If you don’t keep up, you get purged. It doesn’t matter that the ideology is abusive to its own constituents and allies, or that it doesn’t really even serve its formal beneficiaries. All that matters is this: for everyone who gets purged for a slight infraction, there are dozens who learn from this example never to stand up to the ideology, dozens who learn that they can attack with impunity if they use the ideology to do it, and dozens who are vaguely convinced by its rhetoric to be supportive of the next purge. So, on it goes.

Please spare me the inanities about how this is a tiny group nobody cares about. People like these turned Bernie Sanders from a life-long champion of workers into a clumsy and confused champion of wokesters. They bullied and bribed the entire Democratic presidential nominee field into parroting their rich-kid mantras at the expense of – cf previous post. Keep not caring even as you imitate their incomprehensible speech patterns and behaviors because, as always, it pays to please your masters. Until it strikes their fancy to feel displeased.

27 thoughts on “Link of the Day”

  1. Reading about Yale was like reading about people from outer space. Such universities simply don’t exist in my country, so I had (have?) great difficulty to understand the atmosphere and the students there. In Israel, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem universities are the best, but the students there are completely usual, unlike in Yale. May be, it’s also because the size of my country compared to American mammoth.

    I’ve also tried to imagine myself as a daughter of super rich parents at Yale and failed to understand how one can accept the responsibility of their class in this case. What if one isn’t particularly talented, just an average person with rich parents? Even if one is talented, what should the elites do and who is counted as elite? The article’s writer repeated the idea of elites taking responsibility 100 times, but in a very vague fashion. I am unsure she understands it herself.


    1. I think it’s simply that if you are a rich person, just go be rich. Be who you are. Stop pretending to be a victim, stop faking hardship, stop lecturing people on how they are oppressing you.

      The reason why they are so obsessed with identity is because they can’t accept theirs.


    2. ” What if one isn’t particularly talented, just an average person with rich parents?”

      Then the rich parents still try to push them into leading institutions (first education and then jobs).

      It’s probably worse for the average children of parents born poor (or working class) who were driven by ambition and ability… they never accept their children for who they are and usually make them miserable. Average children from old money families have a lot more latitude to carve out a niche for themselves….


      1. I very honestly have no idea what produces this sort of narcissistic woundedness at such a mass scale in rich kids. Narcissistic woundedness means early childhood neglect and an absent mother in infancy and early childhood. These are not the kids of morthers who have 6 kids or who work a lot. I don’t know enough about the lifestyle of these people to make a reliable guess.


        1. Parents not interested
          Parents interested but making miguided effort not to spoil (this used to happen a lot)
          Parents smothering, overprotecting (this is, paradoxically, another form of disinerest)
          Combination of some of elements above


  2. This is all so bizarre, I will have to reread and reflect. Beginning notes:

    1/ My family is mostly from the middle classes, for centuries. But my mother thought it was important to be upper middle class, seen as that (we were middle-middle if you looked at income, neighborhood, etc.); she was constantly talking about being broke. I found this very confusing as a child and was very worried we’d go bankrupt — thought that if we were broke, yet spending money, it must be on credit (therefore I find it normal now to be in debt, since I was trained from early on to be broke yet spend money). I have NEVER understood why it was so important to her to talk about being broke. It was a constant faux drama — my father, who had a job, would pay normal bills, insurance, dentist, while my mother screamed that surely he could not afford it. BUT she was trying to perform a class identity, as I realized later.

    2/ I taught at an elite school and could not stand it, could not handle the culture. I did not stay long enough to figure out what it was, but it was something like the labyrinth this writer describes.

    3/ I of course went to an elite public school and this makes me a different kind of snob. I look down on these Ivy League schools, have been taught to do so — in my family we consider them a fine place to go if you can go for free, but note that many of those who spend money to go there are people who did not make the cut for a good public school, and who are therefore spending money for a brand-name degree that might better be spent on something more worthy. AT THE SAME TIME due to my own elite education, the people I seem to have the most in common with are people from the Ivy League (and even more strangely, from Annapolis and West Point). Is our snobbishness about these schools a defense about not having been able to afford them … or what? (Transfer students, people who ran out of money and had to join my cheaper school, were usually shocked at how difficult my school was, did not do well, whereas “first generation” and generally poor/whatever students seemed to do fine, all of which is another reason I look down on the Ivy League.)

    I don’t know what to do with all of this, it is just as a beginning, but wild thing #1 is why it is so important to the rich to say they are broke.


    1. My most woke classmates at Yale shook with rage, real rage, when I said that I have to graduate in 5 years because I need a job, that I don’t have money to travel in the summer, etc. They would foam at the mouth against the phrase “building a CV.” None of them needed jobs but the rage against those who did, that part I don’t understand. I wasn’t a competition for anything. We live in different worlds. Why did it make them so angry, so contemptuous? These are people who use words “privilege”, “oppression,” and “exploitation” in every sentence.


      1. In my case, they were just evading the issue and, unlike what happened to you, never openly expressed their rage. This, in retrospect, is similar to the experience lived by the author of the article.

        It took me a couple of months to realize that almost all of my classmates were from wealthy or really wealthy families, and that was grad school and 15 years ago. This shows that they were quite good at acting broke, or that I was quite dumb, or both.


        1. It’s because you weren’t that active in the feminist and the union circles. Those were the real wokesters. Some of them were dressed practically in rags, so I looked super rich next to them because you know how I dress. You would have also looked like a yachting man of leisure next to them. :-)))))


            1. Do you remember the 2-to-4 plan? I remember I mentioned to union leaders that I agreed with the plan provided that it helped students graduating and finding a job. Reception was incomprehension at best and hostility at worst.

              Because for many of them there was no rush. Graduating later was even a better option for them.


              1. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. People stared at me in dumb incomprehension. Then I got a speech on how I wasn’t a real scholar if I wasn’t prepared to work on my dissertation for 8 years.

                Because a real scholar doesn’t worry about silly things like salary and bills.


      2. // None of them needed jobs but the rage against those who did, that part I don’t understand.

        May be, they were both afraid of you as of somebody in whose place they wouldn’t want to be and also subconsciously ashamed of A. other people having to work while they don’t B. their own fears and suspicions regarding their inferiority in comparison to your ability to build that CV and succeed in life on your own merits. Suspecting they would end up failures w/o parents’ money can’t be a nice feeling.

        // Some of them were dressed practically in rags, so I looked super rich next to them because you know how I dress.

        Remember reading somewhere that one has to be rich enough not to be afraid of looking like a beggar.


      3. My mother was really against the idea of working for achievement. She wasn’t against prestige, of course, and part of it was that she’s not the driven type and was pushed to achieve, so was resentful. But a lot of this is about performing class identity: middle classes are the ones who have to achieve, and lower classes are the ones who expect to work the hardest, and to perform an upper class identity you must be diffident. My mother HATED that my father, his aunt, my sister in law and I thought we needed careers. It reflected poorly on her — we should have had positions not careers, I finally figured out.

        The thing about going on about privilege, I have decided, is a tic of people from conservative backgrounds who are now trying to retain virtue.


      4. My dissertation director (Ph.D. Michigan, I am not sure why the super-rich attitude, did not seem like a person from an elite background) shook with real rage over the idea that I didn’t have superrich parents to ask for money from and also didn’t want to engage with my parents to try to get whatever money they might have. I did not understand why it was so important to her that I get money from parents — they DID have $ that they could use to help if there was some emergency, and I had a job, and I had a series of small inheritances as my grandparents’ generation died off, that I would use for other emergencies or unusual expenses, and it just didn’t seem that I needed to do extravagant things and get my parents to bankroll them (or that my parents could do that, or would). This made the said dissertation director very angry. Why?


          1. OH I had not thought of that — she did not give the impression of being someone whose parents had that kind of money — but yes, that’s a possibility … especially since, come to think of it, I later learned that she had done something grifter-like, at a job. HMMM!


  3. On another topic, is the last sentence of this post true? Are criminals welcomed in EU with open arms?

    // Великий русский писатель Захар Прилепин дал большое интервью Алексею Пивоварову и похвастался эффективностью своего батальона в плане количества убитых в Донбассе украинцев: “Никто, ни один полевой командир не имел столько результатов, сколько я!”

    Кстати, в этом же интервью Прилепин говорит, что никакие суды, включая Гаагу, ему не страшны, а в Европу его свободно пускают, и там он собирает полные залы.

    Wanted to draw your attention to the slight hope of normal Russians like the author of this post, but he is Jewish.


    1. El, the whole point of the UK’s EU membership referendum, was that it was offered to the UK, right at the point when impending EU rules would have limited and prevented some of the world’s gangster and criminal money laundering which happens in London. The message to the big money crooks and oligarchs was clear – Westminster’s politicians grovel before you and your cash, so much so, they’re prepared to destroy their own country.


  4. Thank you for sharing this article. She has, perhaps, an idealist vision of traditional elite and Yale, but her analysis of the current elite crisis is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The article is really good. So the key: ruling class not knowing what to do with itself or whether or not it wants to rule.

    (I think this sheds light on my problem – being able/willing to lead as opposed to wanting power for its own sake. This REALLY confuses people and makes them mad.)


  6. I’ve been impressed by how much visibility that article has been getting. I’ve been seeing it linked/recommended all over the place.

    It supports my hope that we might be approaching peak woke. We’re not there yet, but the number of people openly complaining has grown remarkably during the past year.


  7. I was in grad school in the early 2000s in hard science. There was no stigma to finishing fast, and it was understood that you had to publish articles and give talks at conferences-the equivalent of building a CV I guess. I would say there was a mix of classes, lots of middle middle and lower middle class people, some working class people, though there was a tilt to suburban members of the upper-middle class/ or people whose parents had PhDs. Most people has gone to public math magnet high schools. However the representation true upper-class (scions of millionaires or old money) was actually pretty low.


  8. So, I went through to the article, and just scrolled down the page, not really reading, but I did notice something about, people with hundreds of millions of dollars pretending to be broke. My first thought was, kill them all. My second thought, an attempt to soften the first thought without losing the anger, was: let’s give these poseurs what they really want, by stripping them and their families of everything they have, and dumping them homeless on a street corner somewhere…


    1. My mother’s complaints of being broke / orphaned / abandoned really were about some form of emotional deprivation in childhood, as well as being this weird performance of class anxiety, mimicking of what rich people say, whatever it was.

      But I have noticed that there is another sentence that is said: “When I was young, my parents had nothing.” This can mean they really had nothing, were very poor, but people who had that situation won’t bring it up conspicuously or as a way of showing off. More often, it is said by people whose parents are now rich and who used to be less rich, or used to be students/graduate students, and “had nothing” for that reason.

      Yet another sentence that is said for ostentatious reasons is “I am working class.” I always find it weird when some bourgeois full professor homeowner type announces this in an officious manner; people who actually have these roots tend not to use the identity in the same way.


      1. That’s all a bit alien to me. I’m some kind of Internet-era intellectual dropout from the working class, I guess. But I didn’t even realize I was poorer than most people until I was in my thirties.

        Regarding Natalia Dashan’s essay, I eventually went back and read it properly. The author more or less confirms certain views I had already developed – that Ivy League universities are now finishing schools for the future apparatchiks of woke America; that the liberal ruling class has an irresponsible reluctance to actually rule, rather than just enjoy the perks of wealth and privilege.

        I’m a little embarrassed at my visceral anger. If I had read similar tales of Tsinghua, Moscow State, or even Cambridge, I wouldn’t have felt that way. I’m Australian, I shouldn’t be so invested in American affairs.

        Nonetheless, although the essay really seems to be a warning to fellow members of the upper class, by an arriviste who still remembers life outside the charmed circles of wealth and status, I am still more affected by the opening about “pretending to be broke”, than I am by the shenanigans whereby academics are railroaded from polite society by student activists, while administrators wring their hands.

        I understand vaguely that the rich sometimes urge or impose monetary discipline on their children, in order that the next generation will not dissipate the capital that the family has built up. But it sounds as if part of life at Yale, is also about learning to pretend to be an ordinary person. So this essay has further tilted me towards favoring radical solutions, fascism, communism, brave new ideologies where anyone worth more than $50m is doxxed by the state and has to wear a locator bracelet at all times, anything that will force the people who have the power, to either accept the accompanying responsibility, or step aside. The trouble is how to be radical without wrecking civilization…


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