“Leading” Corrupts Learning: Top Universities Should Create Learners, Not “Leaders”.

Harvard Or Hard Wart, that is the question… Harvard does not understand the first thing about learning: learning is not leadership. Would-Be “Leaders” Are Not Primarily Learners…

Our mission to educate future leaders is woven throughout the Harvard College experience, inspiring every member of our community to strive toward a more just, fair, and promising world.

[Harvard College.]

“Producing future leaders” as Harvard claims it does, as a most prominent mission, is undemocratic in several ways. First, why are “future leaders” produced there and not somewhere else? Does Harvard have a secret recipe, or is it simply connected to the leadership class? By telling us that our society is dominated by a special class, the “leaders”, which it creates, Harvard College is telling us it has decided, fosters and organizes such a domination by leaders, hence is making propaganda against democracy and is actively educating tomorrow’s tyrants. In other words, Harvard has made Socrates’ choice, and the charge Socrates was condemned to death for: corrupting the youth.

Harvard is proclaiming to the world that it is a mighty oligarchy: we, Harvard, produce the few (oligos) who lead. 

Harvard “University” on the Charles river… Veritas? Completely corrupt…

Second, “democracy” at its root, is people-power… not the power of leaders. The closest notion to leader-power is rule of the few, oligarchy. My objection to academia messing up with “leadership” is philosophical: direct, real democracy has no “leader”, no “guide”, no “Fuhrer”. Academia should study democracy, not aspire to dictatorship over the planet, and view that rule as its supreme mission.

Universities should be learning institutions, not ruling institutions. By claiming to be ruling institutions, universities do not just abdicate their learning mission, but proclaim that ruling is more important than learning.. Learning involves modesty. Arrogantly proclaiming one produces the world’s leaders, although factual, in the case of Hrvard, should be deplorable, not laudable.. .

Third, “leading” brings material advantage: watch prominent US politicians, even, and especially so-called “democrats” basking in immense wealth, of the order of 100 million dollars for Obama… For comparison, the median net worth of US families in 2021 is $122,000… That means that Obama is worth one thousand times more. Other, older “democrats” made even more money: hundreds of millions for the Clintons, Pelosi, and more than a billion for senior California Senator Feinstein…

So “leading” brings material advantages, but learning, per se, does not. Hence focusing on leading, not learning, naturally attracts those dominated by greed, not learning, and thus tribal and “partisan control”, as observed in present academia. Once Nazis were popular at Harvard, when the Nazis were on the way up…  

These apparently esoteric considerations are actually very practical: Harvard played a major role, direct and indirect, in the rise of Nazism. Chinese dictator Xi’s daughter went to Harvard: did that help produce a future leader? Did Xi get some help in clinging to power, thanks to Harvard?

Harvard, by proclaiming its educational role in the present, CATASTROPHIC, world leadership is proclaiming Evil-Power (“pluto-kratia, plutocracy) as the way. Indeed many of those going there are very wealthy or “legacy”, producing first year dropouts like Zuck and Gates (“legacies” have six times the probability of being admitted relative to the average applicant…) Harvard is indeed a plutocratic university, it teaches the inversion of all values at its most basic: learning to confuse learning and leading, curiosity and greed. Some students at Harvard have noticed, even the class president….

Learning is universal, leading, not so much. 

Democracy does not need “leaders”, but learners, a higher sort.

And the motto of planets where civilization survives?

Que nul ne survive, s’il n’est philosophe!

Let no one survive, who is not a philosopher…

Patrice Ayme

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2 Responses to ““Leading” Corrupts Learning: Top Universities Should Create Learners, Not “Leaders”.”

  1. ianmillerblog Says:

    I disagree slightly. I think a University should teach its students to think. In this, most fail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Ah, yes, thinking, I forgot about that one…
      They can’t teach thinking deliberately if they don’t know how to think themselves. All too often, nowadays, what academia teaches is how NOT to think. Studies have claimed it is the rise of the administrators, who needed a mission and found now “woke”. There are much more administrators now… And they are more (pseudo-)left than the professors themselves….

      By “learning” I meant also learning to think, but I should have mentioned it explicitly. Indeed.

      But take Quantum Mechanics: too much thinking there is dangerous… And this is true in many fields, even worse: history, MBA, political science, sociology, etc.


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