BROWN | The Ivy League Breeds Obedient Capitalists
Prestigious universities like Cornell are, in theory, institutions where talented young people receive the education, ideas and skills needed to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. A closer look into elite culture reveals that these conceptions are fantasies that serve privileged, wealthy sectors of society that equate their own interests with those of the rest of the world. While the concerns of financial institutions, big tech and other sources of extreme wealth are carefully looked after by Cornell as an institution and community, the most fundamental issues for the world’s poor majority and for future generations: Climate change, nuclear proliferation and widespread hunger, are hardly considered outside of abstraction. That two of these issues are existential threats to human civilization is a testament to the irrationality of managerial class interests which dominate discourse among the political, business and intellectual communities. That universities like Cornell ignore calls for modest steps towards social responsibility on climate change, whereas dialogue about world hunger and nuclear proliferation is virtually nonexistent, is demonstrative of an intellectual environment that discourages cosmopolitan, rational policy in favor of the pathological preservation of the status quo. Elite universities indoctrinate future professionals and upper-class members of society into conformity, creating generation after generation of obedient capitalists.