… it’s Ground Zero (well, Ground 37.6 Billion), and the multitude of comments after the article – about the possibility that Harvard will gradually phase out all fraternities and other private clubs – expresses better than almost anything else the deep structure of – one social type shaped by – institutions like Harvard (for similar observations about Princeton, go here).

(Hm. Someone seems to have removed the Crimson article’s comment thread. Why?)

Given the crucial importance of secretive sadistic clubs in the formation of super-predators like the man of the hour, Marc Kasowitz (he “brags to friends he makes anywhere from $10 million to $30 million per year. He owns an apartment in a white-glove building on Park Avenue and a mansion in Westchester County. He travels by private jet and, when in New York, is driven around in a black Cadillac SUV. He owns at least two horses, according to a lawsuit Kasowitz once filed against his daughter’s equestrian stable.”) and super-predators generally, UD assures you that America’s master-of-the-universe-nurseries are not really in danger. You couldn’t have Lehman Brothers/Dick Fuld et al without them. So relax.

But the comment section of the Crimson article is rife with anxiety. Nervously eyeing Harvard’s endowment of close to forty billion dollars (for a 22,000-student school), the commenters express fear that this palty sum will be further reduced by angry alumni withholding gifts. The article quotes a Harvard report on the matter calling Bowdoin and Williams (both have gotten rid of frats and similar clubs) “peer institutions,” which sets off another round of worry and sarcasm in the comments (“Williams and… Bowdoin – … 1.3 and 2.26 billion dollar endowments respectively… are PERFECT comparisons to Harvard… Thanks for enlightening us.”)

People are scared because they think Harvard might actually do it. And since everyone imitates Harvard, everyone might do it. But Harvard won’t do it, because without the clubs we couldn’t have hypercapitalism. Shutting them down would be the moral equivalent of war.

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2 Responses to “Everyone’s covering the story. UD chose the Harvard Crimson account because…”

  1. Mr Punch Says:

    Harvard got rid of actual Greek-letter fraternities before, allowing only those (AD, DU) that weren’t set up as secret societies. This will be harder.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Mr Punch: Yes. Rather than “harder,” I’d say impossible. As I suggest in the post, cults that fashion the character of predators will always, uh, be in fashion.

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