Ivy League Grad, Teacher Advocates Dismantling Ivy League to Rid America of Entitled Pricks

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 22 2014 6:15 PM

Ivy League Grad, Teacher Advocates Dismantling Ivy League to Rid America of Entitled Pricks

screen_shot_20140722_at_6.11.39_pm
Burn the flag!

The New Republic

Do you enjoy contemplating and/or arguing bitterly about inequality, democracy, and American society? If so, you are in luck with William Deresiewicz's essay about the Ivy League in The New Republic. Deresiewicz has undergrad and doctoral degrees from Columbia and taught for 10 years at Yale. But he is not an Ivy League creature any longer—in fact, he was denied tenure—and, upon reflection, he would like to burn the United States' most elite institutions of higher learning to the ground. Why? To summarize, because they encourage careerism and materialism at the expense of contemplation...

...what these institutions mean by leadership is nothing more than getting to the top. Making partner at a major law firm or becoming a chief executive, climbing the greasy pole of whatever hierarchy you decide to attach yourself to.
Advertisement

...And they perpetuate the division between haves- and have-nots, both financial and cultural, that increasingly characterizes American society—"creating an elite that is isolated from the society that it’s supposed to lead," a class of accomplished test-takers who aren't even capable, to use a past Deresiewicz example, of having a conversation with a plumber.

On the other hand: the entire unexamined premise of Deresiewicz's piece is that colleges should teach students "how to think" and "stand outside the world for a few years," which could itself be easily seen as an elitist concept held only by those who have the luxury of being ignorant to the practical advantages of vocational education. In any case, read the piece here and draw your own conclusions.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.