It is Time for DEI to Die
On the Rise, and Hopefully Fall, of Race Mania
“To this system of literary monopoly was joined an unremitting industry to blacken and discredit in every way, and by every means, all those who did not hold to their faction. To those who have observed the spirit of their conduct, it has long been clear that nothing was wanted but the power of carrying the intolerance of the tongue and of the pen into persecution which would strike at property, liberty, and life.” - Edmund Burke [Reflections on the Revolution in France]
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Claudine Gay has finally resigned as President of Harvard, bringing a sort of end to a ridiculous saga produced by the “intersection” of several currents within our society. While it may have been Israel supporters offended by her response to campus protesters who brought so much attention upon her, it was her own incompetence that sealed her fate…of continuing to receive $900,000 a year for doing quite a lot less work. In many ways it seems that this could be the beginning of the end of America’s “woke” saga, where cynical financial interests teamed up with a cabal of mundane scribblers to convince much of the public that economic class is unimportant, but instead it is whites of any economic class who oppress everyone else of any economic class. Gay is a perfect example of this- the scion of Haitian oligarchs who went to same boarding school as President Franklin Pierce was held up as an avatar of disadvantage because she happened to be a black woman. They insist she wasn’t hired because of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” [DEI] but also can’t produce any other reason why this woman who never published anything of importance- and apparently stole much of what she did publish- was ever put in a position to lead so august of an institution as Harvard.
For her part, Gay published a pathetic op-ed in The New York Times where she functionally blamed her failings on incompetence while blaming people noticing on racism. Here flailing notwithstanding, it seems that the wave of “race consciousness” following the Mostly Peaceful riots of 2020- which led self-loathing white people everywhere to run out and buy How to be Anti-Racist by the wildly inept grifter “Ibram X Kendi” has crested and some degree of meritocracy may return. [It needs to be noted that Kendi was cleared of financial mismanagement, for now, but the general premise that he took in enormous amounts of money to produce nothing is obviously true.] Kendi may be among the most prominent, but a big thing that is not getting enough notice is that many of these academics contribute absolutely nothing to society and in fact detract from its proper functioning:
If we are not lucky enough to see a type of meritocracy return, at least, the affair seems to be showing the public that academia is largely a self-serving guild full of people too incompetent to even follow the most basic rules they impress upon their students. There are several things that could be taken from the Gay Plagiarism Scandal, as I have chosen to call it, but hopefully the biggest one is the hazard of putting unqualified people in important positions because they meet some nonsense “identity” requirement, such as being black, a woman, or even a Gay. For years we have languished under this new nobility of ultra-privileged identitarians, our own class of Jacobins who have seized power by allying with financial interests and promoting grievances. The big difference is that the French nobility and clergy were small groups who historically had a great deal of power, whereas white people in America are the general public.
The actual story of Claudine Gay has been discussed nearly to death, but there are still a few things which must be said. The first of which is that obviously she was primarily attacked over Israel. Bill Ackman is an absolutely loathsome character, and by being a Jewish New York City hedge fund manager using his wealth to limit what people can say about Jews or Israel, he is the stereotype about Jews from which all others spring; I can only speak for myself, but if I was trying to reduce anti-Semitism I would not proudly publicly behave in this way. If someone took from this that Claudine Gay’s downfall came from running afoul of Jewish financial interests it would be hard to convince him otherwise, as it is a literally true, though incomplete understanding of the situation. At the same time, it is the Woke-ists who decided everything is identity group conflict, so it’s hard to blame a man for playing the game and fighting for his own group. However, Ackman made it worse for himself by insisting- which everyone knew was a lie- that this was all about plagiarism being a serious offense, and then tried to cry foul when his wife, who is some sort of well known hack academic, was exposed as herself being a serious plagiarist too lazy or incompetent to explain the basic principles of her field: instead she copied them from Wikipedia, of all places.
That said, though the arch-Critical Race Theory opponent Chris Rufo supports Israel, he was already on a long-standing quest to remove the Gays of the world from academia, and it is not at all fair to say Israel is his primary issue with Claudine Gay. He was happy to take a “scalp,” leading the Associated Press to express fake shock and offense at his use of the term. [Of course, AP itself has used this common expression many times, such as this 2014 article where it describes something as trivial as a sports victory as “taking a scalp.”] Further, Rufo associate Christopher Brunet, one of the people most involved in exposing Gay, has been trying to make people notice her incompetence and complete lack of qualification since at least the first half of 2022; no doubt he struck again when he had the opportunity, but it’s a provably untrue claim that he suddenly cared about this when it related to Israel, even if that is what brought her to the spotlight. There has also been much said about how Rufo and others are “cynical” “bad-faith actors.” In reality, Rufo may be their ideological enemy, but he is remarkably honest about his goals and methods [to an extent that many find unwise.] I don’t find what Rufo is doing to be cynical or in bad faith: he clearly holds a belief that incompetent people who profit from stoking racial division shouldn’t be placed in the most powerful positions in our society, and I, for one, agree.
More importantly than what got Gay noticed, is that the thing about being a plagiarist in academia is you open yourself up to career destruction by anyone with an ax to grind. The Harvard board was obviously well aware Rufo was grinding this ax when they chose to hire someone who was clearly too incompetent to understand or follow the policies she would be in charge of enforcing. Academia is a guild, and the requirement for membership in any guild is understanding its rules. We sometimes call this class of people Mandarins or Pharisees [these terms are functionally interchangeable] because they are over-educated, judgmental, and obsessed with obscure rules. However, plagiarism rules aren’t obscure, and every Freshman is meant to understand them by the end of syllabus week. In my view, some plagiarism rules are perhaps arbitrary and substitute method for content, focusing more on people doing things a certain way than producing something of value [Gay didn’t have good content either, though.] However, if Gay felt that these rules were superfluous or unnecessary, she should have been on record trying to change them, as the university President, instead of leaving rules in place which could get students expelled but that she herself doesn’t follow.
It is amazing that Harvard would not have audited her work for this in advance, but they clearly didn’t vet her properly [I have been told that for lesser positions and lesser universities they do this kind of background for hires.] I have always been somewhat skeptical of how plagiarism is applied at universities, so for example, I don’t think a lack of quotations where there is a citation is such a big deal. In fact, if my own work here was audited I’ve probably sometimes taken too many liberties for academia and copied a fair amount of language without quotes, but with a citation, just because I felt the flow was better. However, I am not held to a conduct guide here, and in college I learned quickly to always cite everything, which is not difficult to do. It is in fact one of the most basic skills of academia, and as my readers know I go pretty heavy on the citations generally. The plagiarism reports against Gay became increasingly bad, though nothing will top this one, where she stole language while claiming research found the exact opposite of what it did:
In a feat of grand irony, she even plagiarized part of her dissertation acknowledgements, and of course the woman whom she victimized in this fashion is circling the wagons for her. Many academics are circling the wagons, it’s been a ludicrous display for them to suddenly claim that plagiarism- their traditional cardinal sin, only recently supplanted by racism- isn’t a big deal. These people are completely discredited. That said, some of their opponents may not hold up to scrutiny much better. Journalist Lee Fang obtained an anonymous dossier that was shopped around to the media on Gay’s plagiarism, and in a perhaps even grander feat of irony, it was itself plagiarized and turned into the plagiarism complaint against Gay:
While it does certainly appear that supporters of Israel are conspiring against her, it was still Gay’s laziness and incompetence which brought about her downfall. In her Op-Ed, Gay describes the questions from Rep. Elise Stefanik which went viral and did a great deal to discredit her,
“I fell into a well-laid trap. I neglected to clearly articulate that calls for the genocide of Jewish people are abhorrent and unacceptable and that I would use every tool at my disposal to protect students from that kind of hate.”
Firstly, she in fact repeated the latter parts of that multiple times, and it doesn’t seem she consulted her own testimony when writing this. The issue was quite clearly that, as with plagiarism codes, she does not understand their student code of conduct and is unable to credibly discuss it. All she had was a variety of empty platitudes, reflecting her background from an academic culture where everything is sophistry and there is only “context.” If she would have understood the rules of her own organization well enough to explain them it wouldn’t have played out as it did. It’s interesting to note that Elise Stefanik is a Harvard graduate who also went to an elite private high school, so while perhaps this was internecine warfare among the elite, Harvard’s President should be capable of answering the questions of someone who got a Bachelor’s Degree from that university almost 20 years ago. Regardless, despite what we heard this summer when that loser Peter Hotez was scared to debate RFK Jr, any prominent academic should have extensive education in rhetoric and debate and not be at hazard of falling into a “well-laid trap” when being interviewed by Congress. In fact, the President of Harvard should be a world-class orator, adept at facing all such challenges. This is not the case with Claudine Gay. Exposed to the light, her inability to do the job was made clear for all to see.
The bigger question here is how was this allowed to happen? Not just Gay becoming President of Harvard, but this entire cabal taking power, even if only briefly. They would have you believe that Critical Race Theory is “an obscure legal theory” that isn’t taught in schools and its prominence is just something racists made up to deny slavery, but of course this is very far from the truth. I was aware of what we now call Critical Race Theory, though which I then called Cultural Marxism, from early at my time in university, which I believe would have been 2005. Later, it would be the case that professors would simply teach you this “intersectionality” nonsense as the only way to understand the world, usually drawing four circles on the board that said “Race” “Class” “Ethnicity” “Gender/Sexuality” and then proceeding to say “You’ve never been taught this before,” despite that in fact we were taught this over and over again, and the university had a “Diversity” class requirement demanding you learn the material. I was fortunate, though, that early on I had a brilliant professor who was a classic third world Marxist academic- a Bangladeshi chain-smoker complete with a peacoat, scarf, and beret. He actually taught the background of all of this in a literature course, something which I never experienced again- professors instead just telling you that it is how the world works and not even treating it as a theory.
In short, this all began with an early 20th century Italian political theorist named Antonio Gramsci- to whom Rufo frequently refers, seeking to counter his work- who came up with the idea of “Cultural Hegemony.” This is basically about how capitalists and the bourgeois use institutions to control society. He proposed what is called “A Long March Through the Institutions,” which is to say, the complete institutional capture of universities and government by ideologues. Fallacious in the first place, the ideas became crazier each generation as academics had to publish new things and were taught by people who were taught these theories and little else. The academy increasingly repelled talented and independent-minded scholars, instead attracting society’s most ridiculous people, who often seemed to be flaunting the uselessness of their “studies” while they explained how group power dynamics are the sole factor within a society.
The problem with this strategy was that life in America is quite comfortable for the great majority of the public. Things here have historically been too good to sell much of the public on a revolution destroying our traditions, which of course is the point of trying to control the institutions, but even so, things were struggling to move forward. Gramsci would have perhaps been better off if instead of getting class analysis from Karl Marx he instead got it from Victor Hugo, who wrote,
“Who stops revolutions in mid-course? The bourgeoisie.
Because the bourgeoisie is satisfied self-interest…
Some people have wanted wrongly to identify the bourgeoisie as a class. The bourgeoisie is simply the contented section of the people. The bourgeois is the man who now has time to sit down. A chair is not a caste.”
[Les Miserables, IV.I.II]
This is what Marxists miss: the bourgeoisie is whoever in society is comfortable enough to want things to stay mostly the same, or at least be reformed responsibly, which makes it something people can move in and out of during a lifetime, not a caste, and the enemy only of the reckless. Historically, America has had too much public wealth spread widely enough among the public for many to want our values or institutions overthrown. Too many people are satisfied. They were willing to accept that academia was a bit silly and their kids might learn some zany ideas on their way to getting a good middle class job so tolerated what they heard about the academy. Ultimately, the Boomers went from hippies to Babbitts, in what must have been a great disappointment to the Marxist theorists in academia.
All of this meant that class was not a way to foment a revolution putting them in power, and that instead race must be focused on. In the early 20th century, the famed academic W.E.B. DuBois had the idea that a “talented 10th” of the black community would get educated and become doctors and lawyers and businessmen and executives, and in doing so would raise the rest of the community with them. In reality, with the end of segregation, they simply moved out of the ghetto and left the rest of the black community behind. However, the idea, though discredited, hung on to a degree, and in this spirit, racial preferences in admissions began. The academy became obsessed with affirmative action [which was ruled illegal in a lawsuit against Harvard in 2023] ignoring the fact that ever more time had passed since segregation, that the program should have already worked if it was going to, and that there was a minority elite being given a hand up they neither needed nor deserved. The majority of academia coming to the defense of the ultra-privileged Gay shows a total lack of class consciousness among these people, many of whom are poorly payed and struggle while she is paid a fortune for a job she is incapable of doing:
The second one here is Senator Rand Paul’s wife, and I am always glad to see increasing class awareness on the right. It is absolutely unconscionable that these insultingly stupid people end up in the highest positions and we’re called racist for noticing that they have in fact had every advantage over the common man and certainly don’t combine genuine talent with an elite education.
Regardless, race overtook class in the minds of many. For years, academics had been pushing this Critical Race Theory, having decided that economic class was an insufficient explanation and instead we needed to make everything about race, creating “intersectionality” and the “oppression Olympics” or what I like to call “The race to the bottom.” [I need to note, when I was in college, they were obsessed with “lesbians of color,” and I wondered how they would find a more obscure group including any substantial number of people, not anticipating they could create the trans obsession and get many new people to claim this identity.] CRT didn’t initially take off with the public or any big segment of the oligarchy, but then there was the financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street, and when the moment for a class reckoning was actually upon us, the oligarchy replaced all class concerns with race. This move was greatly aided by the willingness of the leftist “Occupiers” to break themselves up into infinite identity groups.
Before people began refuting Karl Marx, few philosophers seriously denied class struggle as a key feature of society, for example it is a major theme in Thucydides, Livy, and Machiavelli [whom Rufo cites frequently.] However, the idea now discredited by Marx and the reaction to Marx, few have a good understanding of how classes work within a society. Though it has gone largely unnoticed, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France gives incredible insight into the events of the last few years, especially what we now call “woke capital,” where lunatic academics have combined with financial interests to blame other classes for all the ills of society. Reflections doesn’t have formatting for reference, but you can find the section I’m citing by searching any online version for the word “warfare,” which appears only once in the text. Burke writes,
“In this state of real, though not always perceived warfare between the noble ancient landed interest, and the new monied interest…The monied interest is in its nature more ready for any adventure; it's possessors more disposed to new enterprizes of any kind. Being of a recent acquisition, it falls in more naturally with any novelties. It is therefore the kind of wealth which will be resorted to by all who wish change.”
The United States doesn’t have a “nobility,” but the states are supposed to represent landed interests in our political process [they don’t, because of the 17th Amendment, but that’s a different topic] while within our society it is the bourgeois homeowners whose primary wealth is in their land that represent a middle class landed interest. A big part of why people become more conservative as they get older is that they own more. The common man works and deposits his paycheck and owns a [mortgaged] home and his retirement is in the stock market, but he doesn’t generally make big bets on it. They are, as Hugo said, comfortable enough to sit down. They have no way to profit from interest rates changing or a sudden shortage of goods or rebuilding a city after a riot, though can be harmed by all of those things. If a DEI commissar- who needs conflict to justify his, or more likely her, job- ruins the business a normal man works at he may find himself out on his ass. Alternately, no matter what business they are in, our corporations [but especially banks, of course] are financial interests, wholly controlled by capital. This group believes in nothing and is deeply cynical, they can profit from any instability, and have no qualms about causing it. It is the landed interests, the common man in our society, portrayed as white people generally, that the revolutionists- financial interests and their hirelings in the academy- set out to attack so they could have ever more wealth and control. Burke continues,
“The literary cabal had some years ago formed something like a regular plan for the destruction of the Christian religion. This object they pursued with a zeal which hitherto had been discovered only in the propagators of some system of piety. They were possessed with a spirit of proselytism in the most fanatical degree; and from thence, by an easy progress, with the spirit of persecution according to their means…They contrived to possess themselves, with great method and perseverance, of all the avenues to literary fame. Many of them indeed stood high in the ranks of literature and science. The world had done them justice, and in favour of general talents forgave the evil tendancy of their peculiar principles. This was true liberality; which they returned by endeavouring to confine the reputation of sense, learning, and taste to themselves or their followers. I will venture to say that this narrow, exclusive spirit has not been less prejudicial to literature and to taste, than to morals and true philosophy.”
Burke continues, explaining that though they faced only “faint persecution” by people who defended “form and decency,” it filled them with animosity and a previously unknown zeal. Their cabal took ever more power within society. As said in the epigraph, it was obvious that their goal was always persecution of those who would not go along with them. He further writes,
“Writers, especially when they act in a body, and with one direction, have great influence on the publick mind; the alliance therefore of these writers with the monied interest had no small effect in removing the popular odium and envy which attended that species of wealth. These writers, like the propagators of all novelties, pretended to a great zeal for the poor, and the lower orders, whilst in their satires they rendered hateful, by every exaggeration, the faults of the courts, of nobility, and of priesthood. They became a sort of demagogues. They served as a link to unite, in favour of one object, obnoxious wealth to restless and desperate poverty.”
I apologize for the length of quotations I have included, but you can see that this is remarkably specific to the big banks, BLM scammers, academics, and Democrat politicians coming together to support Mostly Peaceful riots smashing middle class businesses in 2020 by grotesquely exaggerating the problems with our courts and society at large. This is why DEI and Environmental and Social Governance [ESG] were able to take over our corporations: the “writers,” academics, were part of the scam, whether or not they were wholly aware of their part [and I don’t attribute a lot of self-awareness to this demographic, they don’t necessarily have a broader knowledge of what is going on other than that they are getting paid.] The poor, whom they detest, were simply egged on to violence in the belief that violence and crime were in their nature anyhow.
The woke-ists may want to be Jacobins, but they are running into several problems and it seems unlikely they will get a Reign of Terror. The first problem our modern Jacobins face is that though their evils were exaggerated, the French nobility were actually a hereditary ruling class and the Church had immense power and landholdings within society, whereas white people in America are the general public and only own a lot of the land because there are a lot of them. Further, there was a great degree of genuine mutual animosity between the upper and lower orders in France, whereas races in America get along fine on a personal level, which is why they have to pretend that every white person is a secret racist and try to get them to self-flagellate in “struggle sessions.” Americans as a whole are too independent minded to continue to tolerate, as Conor Friedersdorf recently wrote, “speech taboos that changed too quickly to be fully grasped,” though I have to admit, if you have absolutely no pride, perhaps it is simple to just grovel and do whatever some allegedly aggrieved minority tells you [and you can tell at least some of these college students are dragging pathetic leftist adults around by the nose for fun.]
Another challenge to this cabal is that we have a lot of access to view what they do, if we choose to pay attention, as with Claudine Gay who it turns out probably isn’t qualified to even be a public school teacher. However, it does take a Chris Rufo to understand the situation and launch a counter-revolution, but he also has modern communication on his side. Most of all, while we may have financial stress [which is, by the way, part of the human condition, and often an effect of relative affluence, not of severe poverty] Americans in general are quite well off, and if that changes it will be the oligarchs who take the blame, not generic whitey. Basically, academics’ financial interest funded view of how America works and what it is are so overwhelmingly untrue that they can’t withstand the weight of their own absurdity, while cities where this cabal gains power such as San Francisco turn into an almost literal instance of the inmates running the asylum.
While we can hope DEI is ending and that some sanity is returning, it will be a long path back to anything resembling competent leadership throughout society. Rufo’s counter-revolution is a start. Senator J.D. Vance wrote a short article about the plague of mediocrity in our society, and this is what so many people miss: take the thing you know the most about, and realize how bad of a job our government or society does at it, and know they are like that about everything. This is the story of how covid mania took over, it’s the story of insane criminal justice reforms, it’s the story of every bad foreign policy decision, and it’s most certainly the story how our universities turned to shit and often just confuse people moreso than qualifying them for any job. Though there have been increasing instances of oligarchs taking off the mask, such as Ackman in this instance or J.B. Pritzker being the governor of Illinois, oligarchs have primarily created a class of “diverse” people with meaningless credentials who will destabilize society through their accusations of racism and own lack of competence while everything they do plays into the hands of financial interests. The rot has to be reversed, because it is us who are the victims of all of this, while the Claudine Gays of the world make $900,000 a year to pretend to be professors and the monied interests make far more.
There is a famous episode in 19th century British history that I think is illustrative of what can happen to countries which have been at the top of the world. In 1893, when Britain had been the great power and its navy had grown lax from decades of total domination of the sea, the HMS Victoria, Britain’s flagship in the Mediterranean sank. It didn’t come under attack, but instead, Vice Admiral George Tyron, the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet, got it ran into during maneuvers while testing out some new signaling system he had invented but didn’t properly test out or explain to other people. 358 sailors, including Tyron died. In an ironic symbol of just how bad the incompetence problem was, it was believed that the ship ram- the original weapon of the trireme- was obsolete, and that one modern ironclad ship couldn’t be sunk by another running into it. In his stunning feat of incompetence, Tyron at least put that notion to rest, but the point is they didn’t even know what would sink their ships. In just over 50 years later, the UK would be all but a vassal of its erstwhile colony, the United States.
I shudder to think what could happen if we cannot restore basic sanity and competence throughout our society, and this requires ending the DEI scam. It cannot come too soon.
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