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.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Joint Statement on Tensions at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong

To the Editor:

We urge politicians around the world, especially those in the United States, to exert pressure on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and the Hong Kong Police Force, to call off violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters, and answer the remaining four demands put forth by the protesters. Throughout the past few weeks, we have seen a substantial amount of arrests, followed by a shocking number of unexplained disappearances, alleged suicides and police rape. Additionally, the HKPF has widely used the word “cockroaches” to dehumanize the protesters. Merely over the past two days, the violence inflicted by the HKPF against the Hong Kong protesters (mainly students) has escalated to unprecedented levels. The HKPF threatened the students with the use of live ammunition on the campus of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, and subsequently invaded PolyU with brute force at 5:32 a.m., Nov.

JOHNS | China’s Effort to Influence American Academia Warrants Scrutiny

The time has come to begin speaking frankly about China’s ongoing, wide-reaching and systematic human rights brutality, which now ranks among the world’s most troubling. For many years, in part because China was (wrongly) perceived to be navigating a complex liberalization process that assumed (again wrongly) that these conditions would ultimately improve and in part because China has spent vast millions of dollars buying influence and manipulating its global image to its strategic advantage, the nation has largely escaped the human rights scrutiny and consequences that its repressive policies properly warrant. The list of human rights violations by the Chinese government is long and exhaustive. China’s suppression of Tibetans, its destruction of Christian churches, its jailing of political dissidents and its unrelenting control over Hong Kong have received some level of attention. The same cannot be said of one of China’s most egregious violations: its brutally repressive treatment of the nation’s largely Islamic Uyghur population.

GOOD TASTE ALONE | Science/Fiction

I have to act like I’m typing something because there’s a group of elementary school kids walking by and I want to look responsible. That’s actually the most motivated I’ve felt in weeks, so I’m gonna leave that there. I can only hope that one day, one of those kids will come to Cornell and derive purpose from the nonexistent expectations of a group of kindergarteners. It’s the circle of life. Speaking of the circle of life, but on a cosmic scale that makes ours seem insignificant, yesterday I got to listen to a lecture given by Interstellar producer and renowned astrophysicist Kip Thorne.