Greg B reports that one of his humanities classes — he declines to say which one, and I don’t blame him — was assigned this bit of Utopian nonsense:
According to a UN report, 1% of all people own 40% of all wealth, while 50% of all people own 1% of all wealth. Unless something dramatic changes, this grotesque disparity will only get worse over time as the elite continue to reap and sow their investments. All problems that are solvable derive from this maldistribution of wealth. It is the ONE problem that fuels all others, and is, therefore, the single most important target for all who crave freedom, justice, peace, and health for all.
To solve the problem of wealth maldistribution, we need to know its cause, and then how to defeat that cause. My theory is that universities are the cause of wealth maldistribution. Universities empower people to become wealthy, and aspiration for wealth is the primary reason people attend universities. Why study? To get the grades to get the degree to get the job to get the money to become happy. That sequence of motives is the cause of all solvable problems. But it’s not a valid sequence. People aren’t happy, and wealth doesn’t make people happy, and being happy isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. We want true love. But it’s not for sale and doesn’t make anyone happy. All love stories are sad because lovers always part, if not by choice, than by death, and the greater the love the greater the sorrow. To love is to suffer. Yet we want to love, and we pity people who run from it as if they were afraid to suffer. By suffering we discover that we are not who we thought we were. But more of that later.
For now, I suggest we WORK to defeat the fraudulent sequence of motives by changing universities. Let’s start with ours. Why study? To find true love by WORKING for freedom, justice, peace, and health for all. How? By critical thinking, communication, collaboration, initiative, and analysis. Let’s us work together.
I suggest we call ourselves the [city my school is in] Holistic Humanitarians, and I suggest we welcome all students, and their parents, and faculty and alumni. Divide into teams, each analyzing one aspect of our University to show how it a) distracts from true love, b) moves money from the many to the few and c) could be changed to foster true love and, as a consequence, redirect money from the few to the many. Each team will submit short, well-written, well-reasoned, hard-hitting reports that all groups will critically evaluate. Accepted final reports will be saved, and their abstracts published in [professor’s website].
Pick your topic and team. Invite your parents and friends to join. Think critically, collaborate, communicate, take initiative, and submit one index card per team per week. And let’s save the world before it’s too late.
A few questions I might want to ask:
- How, precisely, does forced redistribution of wealth contribute in any way to “freedom”?
- Does Professor X feel any personal guilt by dint of working for such an Evil Institution as a university?
- Is Professor X disdainful of romantic love, or happiness generally, because he has never actually experienced it?
- If every student submits a plan acceptable to Professor X, it’s hardly critical thinking, is it?
Well enough is never left alone, so there’s a follow-up as well.
(Via this @AdamKissel tweet.)