Love Thy Tyrant

The belief that the USSR fell apart because its economic system was unsustainable is deeply Marxist. Marxism’s central idea is that economic relations are the defining factor in everything.

However, as we can see in North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, the complete and utter dysfunctionality of their economy only adds to the longevity of these regimes.

“People are going to get fed up with living in poverty and will overthrow the regime that tyrannizes them and doesn’t let them live better.” Oh, you, funny bunny. It’s the exact opposite. The hungrier and the more beaten down they are, the more they are prone to pout if anybody tries to liberate them.

RIP Gorbachev

What’s amazing and absolutely unique about Gorbachev is that he relinquished totalitarian power. Have you met many people who give power away to do the right thing? Instead of moving us all towards liberty, he could have done what Andropov did almost right before and gone in the direction of more totalitarianism. It worked in Cuba, worked in North Korea, worked in Venezuela. These systems don’t fall apart until the leadership actually chooses to stop tyrannizing the poor bastard population. And even then it sometimes takes decades to make the bastard population leave their beloved jail.

Gorbachev could have been in power until today. Can you imagine it? Fabulous luxury, endless adulation, the delicious subservience of millions. And he let it all go to become a regular citizen.

Reagan, shmeigan. Other than grandiose, slightly embarrassing pronouncements, Reagan had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Gorbachev was a truly great man of history. The greatest statesman of the twentieth century. And a deeply decent person. May he rest in peace.

The Cervantes Touch

I’m having a great day in what concerns students. A new student came in who is studying to become a Catholic priest. His seminary requires that he take 30 credit hours in philosophy and he also wants to take my Cervantes class. It’s an absolute dream come true to have a Catholic theologian in the Cervantes class. I do what I can but someone who really knows the doctrine would be perfect.

The funny thing is that the student at first was wary of telling me he’s studying to be a priest. Only after I exhibited signs of extreme joyfulness did he relax. He did look puzzled, though.

Then I heard from my favorite student who was in my Cervantes class the last time I taught it. He’s been accepted into a Spanish PhD program at an Ivy. The guy is… how do I put it?… not diverse. And his research interests are… also not diverse. I mean, they are diverse but in the old sense. Not the prestigious kind of diverse. But he’s kicking ass nonetheless.

Cervantes is truly performing miracles for me. Even the enrollment numbers are fantastic, and that’s in spite of the fact that I teach on Friday mornings when students are notoriously reluctant to be in class.

More Childishness

Take this, for instance:

The part about the $80,000 price tag I already explained. But the second part, the one about the son learning that he’s a woman in college is even more stupid. There’s no college professor in existence who has that kind of influence. I can’t convince my students not to start writing a 10-page essay 6 hours before the due date, let alone to want to become a different sex. I have very little impact on their behaviors. It’s the father’s job to teach a boy how to be a man. It’s the mother’s job to teach her daughter how to be a woman. If your son hates his body to the extent that he wants to chop off his penis, it’s time to start reevaluating your parenting strategy.

This is all part of that actively cultivated childishness and irresponsibility I keep talking about. “It’s the social media! It’s the teachers! It’s social contagion!” How about you? Do you exist? What have you done to prevent this? If some professor who sees your kid twice a week for an hour among 70 other kids has a larger impact than you managed to in 18 years of close daily contact, then how is it anybody else’s fault?

The trans crisis is a parenting fail. That’s it, period, end of story.

More on College Loans

In the USSR, we didn’t have credit cards. We didn’t have them for at least a decade after independence, either, so when we emigrated, we had no idea what they were. When my husband discovered the concept of a credit card he was well into his thirties.

I explained how credit cards worked and urged him to get one to build a credit history.

N didn’t believe me. He said that the story I was telling made no sense. If credit cards really worked as I said, credit card companies would be out of business within months.

We actually had a fight because I got tired of saying, “I swear to God. That’s how it works. I swear. Just Google it if you don’t believe me.”

What N couldn’t believe was that anybody would carry any credit card debt instead of paying it out immediately. This behavior was so irrational that he couldn’t accept that it existed among large numbers of the population. Why would anybody pay a 20% interest without being coerced into it by some violent means? Long story short, he finally did get a bunch of credit cards, never held a dime of debt, and is exploiting these cards for every perk and giveaway, sending me to travel everywhere in business class for free because he has so many points. “I still don’t believe everybody isn’t doing this,” he says.

The reason why I’m telling this is that I keep hearing how college tuition used to be so low you could go to college without any loans. And now everybody needs to get deep into debt to get a college degree.

But that’s not true. Even if you qualify for zero rebates based on race, sex, ethnicity, parental income, academic ability, athletic ability, immigration status, or a million scholarships, fellowships, etc that we give out (and it’s a small minority of our students who qualify for absolutely nothing), one semester’s tuition if you go full time is $8,000. I don’t think it’s ruinous and undoable. We have excellent employment rates post graduation. Excellent earning potential. I’ve been studying the numbers in detail for my report, and they are good. All of these fairy-tales about useless degrees in gender studies or whatever, that’s all a load of BS. Fancy expensive colleges have them. We don’t. We have, for example, an undergraduate degree in chemistry with the earnings of $78,000 in the first year after graduation with 100% employment. We have my foreign language teacher education program with 100% employments even before you graduate. And so on. We couldn’t offer “useless degrees” even if we wanted to. If I can’t demonstrate that my graduates find good-paying jobs in their field upon graduation, my program won’t be allowed to exist. Are people even aware of how persecuted we are over every single graduate who spoils our numbers?

Is it possible that what changed isn’t the expense as much as the discipline and the lifestyle expectations? Yes, the fabled $50 tuitions are gone. We can’t offer them and keep the lights on, literally. But if you go to a local state school and work, I honestly don’t see why you need to accumulate gigantic loans. Are we misdiagnosing the problem? Is the issue of college loans similar to the issue of enormous credit card debt that people carry because they can’t limit their lifestyle needs?

Are American Kids Inferior?

Here’s an article that is completely delusional and claims that American kids are inferior to the children of immigrants. This is such a lie. American kids and young people are absolutely amazing. As a professor, I’d rather work with American students than students from absolutely any immigrant group. The reason is simple: they are the hardest workers. There really must have been a lot of propaganda to make Americans forget this about themselves. Americans, remember, you have prosperity because you work like nobody else on Earth. You don’t need to be replaced with a superior product.


As for the children of immigrants being better adjusted, think about it logically. People emigrated because something didn’t go well at home. They experienced one of the most severe blows a person can have, which is immigration. They are twice damaged by default. None of this creates better condition for kids than the absence of these traumas.

My kid is an American kid all the way through. She’s like all of the other happy, chirpy, free American kids and not like the sullen, angry, cynical kids we were in our messed up Soviet childhood. And that’s wonderful.

Rip Van Winkle

I’m teaching two classes in a row in the same classroom. One is Beginner Spanish 1 at 10 am. The other one is Cervantes at 11 am. We are starting our second week. Students keep enrolling, unenrolling, changing their minds, dropping in, dropping out. It will take me at least a couple more weeks to learn everybody’s name.

Yesterday, I noticed that a student in the Cervantes class was experiencing distress. As the class progressed, he was getting more and more anxious. The class is pretty intense, though, so I didn’t have a chance to concentrate on the unhappy student. Finally, he asked if we could speak outside.

We stepped outside and the student asked me desperately, “Professor, this isn’t our Beginner Spanish class, is it? Please tell me I’m in the wrong place.”

Imagine how the poor guy felt. He accidentally shows up for class in a later time slot, and what does he see? Suddenly everybody is speaking fluent Spanish. People are leafing through hefty Spanish tomes, laughing, and clearly enjoying themselves. Just last week, he was at the same level as everybody else, and now he’s hopelessly behind.

Timely Teaching

And by the way, I talked about the dangers of believing that “everybody has their own truth” in my Cervantes class today. I also talked about how every totalitarian regime requires people sincerely to believe something that is patently and obviously untrue. And many people welcome it.

The issue of what happens when you try to force people to “validate” your “inner truth” is at the core of Don Quijote. And answer is: nothing good. There’s only one truth. Whatever you feel isn’t “your own truth.” It’s simply what you feel.