Desiderius, a commenter at HUS, draws an interesting connection between Rome’s destructive foreign policy and the U.S. university system:
The empire/Unis identify the best and brightest of the
tribes/flyover communities. They wow the parents with the grandeur of
Rome/Uni-degree caché. Parents send promising youth off to Rome/Unis.
They are indoctrinated with values hostile to the communities that
raised them.* In the Roman case, the now-mature youth were then returned
back to the tribes to sow discord, which they did in spades due to the
contempt they’d been trained to feel for the communities that raised
them and the values those communities held dear.
In the present case, when the economy is good, they just stay in the
big cities and live the life of Roissy. Bad economy -> the Roman case
becomes a more real possibility. I’ve seen some teachers like this,
although to be fair, also some teachers pushing back. We’ll see if the
result is just impotent discord. The alternatives range from Alaric to
The irony is that the values of the tribes more closely approximated
the republican values that allowed Rome to rise in the first place than
the decadent ones that precipitated it’s fall. Likewise today. It is the
liberal values that have been corrupted.
* I’d argue in both cases violently less egalitarian, but I’m a little
original that way – suffice it to say in the present case that Yale Sex
Week wasn’t what the parents signed up for, or if that feels too
judgie/SoCon for you, one can peruse the syllabi for rampant
illiberalism, anti-semitism, radfem, anti-western, you name it. It’s
bad. I call it anti-humanism.
This is a cogent summary of one of the various downsides of the so-called meritocracy. Another one is the way in which the destruction of the old WASP network on Wall Street and its strong sense of noblesse oblige led to the rapacious, mercenary culture that has devastated the American economy, created vast quantities of debt, and led to major malinvestment throughout the nation.