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When universities were “conservative”

Johnathan Pearce writes about the disaster that is modern higher education; the implication that once upon a time it was better – a lot better. So, being the guy who does that YouTube channel can I confirm – or indeed deny – this?

The first thing to say – something that for most Samizdata readers is a statement of the bleeding obvious – is that a hundred years ago very few people went to university and, consequently, there were far fewer universities than there are today. They were also wonderfully archaic. For instance universities elected their own MPs, Cambridge did not allow women to take degrees and the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford had the final say on what plays got staged in the town.

But not everyone is happy. The Independent Labour Party which acted as a party within the Labour Party held a summer school in 1923. A Professor Lindsay, according to The Times of 30 August:

…freely admitted that universities had a Conservative bias, to some extent unalterably so, for the academic mind naturally tended to find reasons why things should not be done…

That sounds like a Good Thing.

…he considered that if universities were not so exclusively devoted to training middle-class people for the professions…

They were? Because how can you hope to do double-entry book keeping without a thorough knowledge of Ancient Greek? Even so, good to see they got over all that training middle-class people stuff.

…if they undertook more political and social teaching and research,

Oh this doesn’t sound good.

bringing them into contact with the life of the working classes,

No fear of that.

the objectionable aspects of this Conservatism would disappear.

Well, you certainly can’t claim that the modern university is a bastion of big-C conservatism.

So, how is this to be done?

Give them a great deal more money

I wasn’t aware that the government in 1923 was giving them any money at all.

use them a great deal more, and leave them alone.

Well, Professor Lindsay, it would appear you got what you wanted. I hope you are happy.

A G. B. Grundy has a rather different view:

Just after the war there came to Oxford a number of men who had served in the Army. In more than thirty years’ experience of teaching in Oxford I do not remember any generation of undergraduates which proved itself more earnest or more able in its work. But that generation has passed away ; and now Oxford is getting the products of the new ideas in education as practised in the public schools. Compulsory Greek has been abolished in order that (sic) more time may be given to modern languages. Judged by results—and we see them in Oxford on a large and comprehensive scale—the average public school boy is, as far as languages are concerned, learning little or nothing at all. Hardly any offer Greek. In Latin examiners are hard put to it to find pieces of prose and unseen such as will make it possible to pass a fair percentage of candidates without a positive outrage to decency… Many cannot write a single sentence of French correctly.

One wonders what these unfortunate lads are going to do for a living after they leave the University ; and one wonders, too, what the parents are going to do when they come to realize the returns on the heavy expenditure on their boys’ education. They will realize this soon, for these sons of theirs, these products of post-war ideas in education, will soon be coming back on their hands ; and then they will have to solve the question of getting employment for those whose ignorance renders them unemployable in the professions and in many forms of business.

The endless fecundity of US higher education

In the face of the endless garbage being churned out in US higher education, and the plight of Jewish students, it is good to know that new structures are taking shape:

Most university departments, therefore, are now under the control of professors who are very unlikely to hire scholars interested in non-radical perspectives on their disciplines (let alone conservatives). The solution for donors, though, is not to withhold all donations but to use their money to create new colleges or units within universities that will hire professors without prejudice. Trustees and presidents have the authority to set up new centers or colleges within a university and to appoint academically qualified people who will not engage in discrimination. We have excellent examples of such centers and colleges: the James Madison Program at Princeton, the Hamilton Center at the University of Florida, and the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State.

This observation comes from John O. Mcginnis, the George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law at Northwestern University.

He concludes:

Universities today are at a crossroads. Externally, they are losing support among the public. Internally, they cannot perform their primary function of sifting and diffusing knowledge because of the intellectual orthodoxies that have seized control of administrations and inspired the faculty. The massacres in Israel and the response on our campuses might spark reform of these essential institutions, but only if they decisively break with the identity politics and bureaucracies that have led them to their present state.

In my view a broader and deeper problem is the sheer size and scale of higher education that is funded, in whole or in part, by the taxpayer. Yes, it is true that even private universities and colleges have been infected by some of these horrors, but no serious change in my view is likely until the state gets out of higher education.

Why the upsurge in Jew hatred and support for the Hamas terrorists?

Douglas Young has views on the remarkable toxic upsurge in Jew hatred

A lot of folks are shocked and mystified by all the recent open displays of hatred and even violence toward Jews on many elite American university campuses and the streets of major U.S. cities. People are also stunned at the significant public support for the Hamas terrorists, particularly among young, college-educated Democrats, and especially after Hamas on October 7 inflicted the worst murder of Jews since the Holocaust of World War II.

Understand these American leftists are cultural Marxists who divide the world into arbitrary and rigid “oppressor” and “oppressed” classes that have been fixed for centuries. Because Jews tend to be white, Western, and economically successful, they check three major oppressor boxes. Furthermore, since most of Israel’s Palestinian enemies are dark-skinned, Muslim, and poor, that adds three more strikes against the Jews. That Hamas is a terrorist gang of mass-murderers, rapists, and kidnappers whose leaders routinely rob the Palestinian people so they can live luxuriously is irrelevant to the closed social justice warrior mindset. So is the fact that Hamas uses the Gazan people as human shields and even shoots at those daring to try to flee its totalitarian grip on Gaza. Also trivial to fervent progressives is all the considerable Western aid used by Gaza’s Hamas dictators not to help the Gazan people but to buy weapons and build tunnels to murder still more Jews. In fact, with all the generous U.S. and West European aid Hamas has gotten, it could have easily transformed the Gazan coast into a booming Mediterranean tourist mecca, but Hamas is obsessed with wiping out the Jewish people, as its charter clearly states.

Yet Hamas can never be wrong to ardent leftists because it checks all the right oppressed boxes. Remember that progressives tend to see people as groups, not individuals. So the well over a thousand Jewish men, women, children, and babies slaughtered on October 7 are dismissed by the radical woke as “colonialist” oppressors on “occupied” land who had it coming. Recall it was Judaism that gave us the first monotheistic religion in which God judges each individual by his own personal deeds, irrespective of any group status. But outside of Judaism and Christianity, most of the rest of the world (including secular leftists) remains fiercely tribal in which your group status trumps all else.

Indeed, Marx called for the utter annihilation of every oppressor group in a “revolutionary holocaust,” with zero regard for any innocent individuals. This has always been the way of leftists ever since the French Revolution when the radical Jacobins implemented le Terror and Le Grande Terror against all men, women, and children guilty of being Christian, royalist, bourgeois, or insufficiently revolutionary. The 20th century Bolsheviks’ “Red Terror” murdered the same groups in Russia by the millions, Stalin’s purges killed over 20 million more, and Chairman Mao’s communists murdered and starved to death over 60 million non-communists and communists alike in China, most zealously when the fanatical young Red Guards terrorized the Chinese people during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

After many decades of the Left thoroughly infiltrating and corrupting America’s vast educational-industrial complex, the news media, publishing, Hollywood, big tech, and much of corporate America – and aided by the Left’s de facto open borders immigration policy and so many schools no longer even trying to Americanize immigrants – there is now a record number of young American Red Guards seeking to “cancel” or even destroy all who they have been indoctrinated to hate as oppressors.

Hopefully heretofore dangerously uninformed and naive Americans will at last wake up and stop voting for politicians pushing cultural Marxism; stop sending their children to any schools or universities that convince them to hate their religion, America, and their own parents; stop donating money to their college alma mater if it is part of the problem; and stop buying products from corporations pushing critical race theory and donating big bucks to radical leftist groups like Black Lives Matter that work to destroy Western Judeo-Christian civilization. In 2008 Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” With the dominant opinion-forming institutions now captured by leftists and so many in the
globalist ruling class either leftists or intimidated by them, the fate of America as we have known it is now in real jeopardy. As our wise and brave Founding Fathers understood, we will enjoy exactly as much freedom as we are willing to fight for – and not one whit more.

Dr. Douglas Young is a political science professor emeritus who taught government and history for over 33 years and whose essays, poems, and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications in America, Canada, and Europe. His first novel, Deep in the Forest, was published in 2021 and the second, Due South, came out in 2022. His next book, This Little Opinion Plus $1.50 Will Buy You a Coke: A Collection of Essays, is about to be published.

Yes, Leave voters probably were on average less intelligent than Remain voters

If the philosopher A. C. Grayling ever had ambitions to stand for elected office, this tweet will have killed them stone dead:

As usual, here is the text of that tweet in case it disappears:

A C Grayling #FBPE #Reform #Rejoin #FBPR
U of Bath study: “only 40% of people with the lowest cognitive ability voted Remain, while 73% of those with the highest cognitive ability voted Remain…people with lower cognitive ability and analytical thinking skills are more susceptible to misinformation and disinformation”.
10:23 PM · Nov 23, 2023

The replies, unsurprisingly in this egalitarian age, are overwhelmingly hostile. But since I, like Professor Grayling, have no political ambitions, I can admit that he is probably right. It would be a strange chance if the average IQs of Leave and Remain were perfectly equal. If they were not equal, one group had to be cleverer on average. Because I assume that people usually vote in their class interests, I assume that the cognitive elite, whose intelligence usually translates well into wealth and prestige, voted to perpetuate the status quo. Alas for them, the lesser folk also had a vote and had a pretty good inkling that it was not a good idea to remain under the increasingly immovable rule of a class of people who despised them.

While Professor Grayling’s first sentence is probably true, the three little dots that he put between the claim that the stupider-on-average (can I stop adding the “on average” now?) people voted Leave and the conclusion that they did so because they were particularly susceptible to disinformation are doing so much work that they ought to bring a claim under the EU Working Time Directive.

I was about to quote Orwell’s line about “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them” when a fortunate burst of insecurity led me to check the quote and find out that Orwell never said it; it was Bertrand Russell. Clever bloke, Russell. Also frequently a twit, though capable of being embarrassed by his own previous excesses. Whoever said it, it’s true. It is proverbial among those who study scams that the easiest people to scam are those who think they are too clever to be scammed.

Edit 27/11/2023: In the comments, Rich Rostrom has supplied the phrase with a very similar meaning that George Orwell actually did say, namely “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” It occurs in Orwell’s 1945 essay “Notes on Nationalism”. Change a few words and the whole paragraph could be re-used today:

“It is, I think, true to say that the intelligentsia have been more wrong about the progress of the war than the common people, and that they were more swayed by partisan feelings. The average intellectual of the Left believed, for instance, that the war was lost in 1940, that the Germans were bound to overrun Egypt in 1942, that the Japanese would never be driven out of the lands they had conquered, and that the Anglo-American bombing offensive was making no impression on Germany. He could believe these things because his hatred for the British ruling class forbade him to admit that British plans could succeed. There is no limit to the follies that can be swallowed if one is under the influence of feelings of this kind. I have heard it confidently stated, for instance, that the American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution. One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

A related point was made by Dominic Cummings in his famous “Frogs before the storm” blog post:

“Generally the better educated are more prone to irrational political opinions and political hysteria than the worse educated far from power. Why? In the field of political opinion they are more driven by fashion, a gang mentality, and the desire to pose about moral and political questions all of which exacerbate cognitive biases, encourage groupthink, and reduce accuracy. Those on average incomes are less likely to express political views to send signals; political views are much less important for signalling to one’s immediate in-group when you are on 20k a year.”

Samizdata quote of the day – generational differences edition

“But I must say the general mood of many people my age is an astounded sense that we began in our youth, in the 1960s and ’70s, saying `Don’t trust anyone over 30.’ And now, as we survey the wreckage the woke regime has done to the academy, the arts, the corporate office, we are thinking something that had never crossed our minds. `Don’t trust anyone under 30.'”

Peggy Noonan, WSJ ($). She’s reflecting on the conduct of college students in the wake of the atrocities against Israel. In another passage, she writes that when students in a college were told that what happened on 7 October was a “pogrom”, they didn’t know what the word means.

Samizdata quote of the day – university schadenfreude edition

“Liberals and centrists seem to have paid attention to conservative boycotts of Bud Light and Target. Then came the scandal surrounding Ibram Kendi’s antiracism center at Boston University. Having burned through over $20 million, he now faces an inquiry from the university. Kendi’s disgrace cracked the window—and the horrific responses to the Hamas attacks opened the door. And yet it is only now—after all the histrionic and outraged statements about #MeToo and BLM and Ukraine and Roe v. Wade—that universities are discovering the virtue of institutional neutrality.”

Jacob Savage

Samizdata quote of the day – the total state is all around you

What we are talking about, then, is really political reason on steroids. And it has two necessary consequences. Foucault’s assertion was that political reason was both ‘individualising and totalising’. Again, this is not difficult to understand, but worth spelling out. The state’s impulse is always to atomise the population, such that each and every individual first and foremost looks to their relationship to the state as the most important in their lives. And this is at the same time necessarily a totalising impulse, as it installs the state as the very essence of society, without which the latter simply cannot survive, let along flourish.

This is the basis of political reason, but why is it so? Regular readers will I hope forgive me for returning to Machiavelli, who made things perfectly clear: ‘[A] wise ruler…must think of a method by which his citizens will need the state and himself at all times and in every circumstance. Then they will always be loyal to him.’ Needing the state in order to address systems of patriarchal domination and toxic masculinity while ensuring everybody enjoys their right to pleasurable, satisfying and safe sex were probably not at the forefront of his mind. But the logic of CSE is impeccably ‘prince-like’ in character all the same. It is predicated on a construction of a vulnerable, benighted and ignorant populace, who simply cannot be expected to govern their own affairs, and must look to the state at every turn – even when ‘managing’ their relationships and even when having sex.

David McGrogan

The Royal Society of Arts succumbs to the Dark Greens

My wife is a fellow – she finds it useful to work there occasionally and attend events – at the Royal Society of Arts. I know Anton Howes, the RSA’s in-house historian (his writings on the Industrial Revolution are excellent, and he’s known to groups like the Adam Smith Institute).

(Here is Anton’s substack

In issue three, 2023, in what the RSA calls “The Planet Issue” of its quarterly magazine, are articles asserting how serious the climate “emergency” is, and in one article, (the print edition, I cannot find the web version, which makes me wonder why not) it has a piece by Tom Hardy, entitled “Tropes of Deception”.

Hardy is a member of Extinction Rebellion and co-founded of MP Watch, a constituency network “monitoring climate denial in parliament and MPs’ commitment to net zero”.

Hardy’s RSA article refers to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (involving the likes of Benny Peiser and Conservative MP Steve Baker, among others) and other supposedly nefarious “Tufton Street” organisations. As Hardy writes: “Their agenda: to deny the scientific reality of climate change at the behest of those vested interests whose bottom line requires a repudiation of net zero and renewable energy technology.” (So that’s a “no” for nuclear power then, or an endorsement?)

In what I think is the most unpleasant part of the article, Hardy refers to the “Editor’s Code of Practice” of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPOS) and refers to what the GWPF does, and how its reports are used by journalists. Hardy also writes about “cherry picking details from authentic research”. (Coming from a deep Green, this claim of cherry picking is a bit rich, given some Greens have admitted to mistaken alarmism.) Hardy suggests that IPSO would, if he had his way, drop the hammer on journalists quoting alarmist sceptic organisations without, at least, lots of disclaimers.

The whole piece, which includes swipes at the Daily Telegraph’s business journalist Ben Marlow, and the writer Matt Ridley, finishes with the line that IPSO must be “empowered” and be “free of political interference” (translation: the wrong kind of interference, as he defines it) and be a “priority of the next government”. (How very reassuring.) Hardy does not state what this might mean precisely, but one might reasonably infer that he wants to squash the ability of journalists to source anything other than alarmist content around human-caused global warming, or face some sort of consequence to their careers and publications.

What’s striking is Hardy assumes the case around a climate emergency is beyond any scientific doubt, that debate is over, that any attempt to challenge alarmism must be squashed, including by using so-called guardians of press “independence” to punish journalists that are naughty or foolish enough to cite sources such as the GWPF. This is a religious mindset, of the very worst kind. And it is being laid out in the elegant surroundings of the Royal Society of Arts.

I suppose there are several things that might have prompted Hardy to take this line, and for someone at the RSA to be complacent enough to print him. Hardy’s possibly worried that the deep Greens are losing public support. Hardy’s right to be concerned. For starters, as has occurred over the anger at London mayor Khan’s extension of the ULEZ rules on cars, regulations in the name of Net Zero are causing real political anger. The antics of Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil, Greta Thunberg and others are also riling a population that has had enough with relentless nagging, taxes and rules. This isn’t just a UK issue. Look at Dutch farmers, for example.

There’s also the transparent bias that is alienating important parts of the electorate: if we get a hot summer, then the UN, for example, talks about “global boiling”, but goes mute when a snowstorm halts windmills in Texas, for example. The public aren’t stupid, and they can see the imbalance.

There’s also the whole COVID-19 aftermath and its impact on those claiming to follow “The science” (the definite article is a red flag). That episode has weakened trust in official organisations’ pronouncements on science, particularly given the dishonesty about masks, and the attempts – which eventually ended – to halt questions about China’s culpability and the role of a lab In Wuhan.

There are several points the GWPF might want to comment on, given the attacks on it in the pages of a body as supposedly prestigious, and “royal”, as the RSA. (I note, as above, that a web version of this article is unavailable.) First, the RSA is clearly all in for climate change alarmism; it is publishing incendiary and bullying material from hardline ideologues that use disruption of ordinary people’s lives to make a case; ER has shut down the publication of a newspaper it does not like; the RSA has, in this specific edition of the RSA magazine, not provided any opportunity for a different point of view to be aired. Where, for example, are the references to the views of Michael Shellenberger, Bjorn Lomborg, Roger Pielke, Alex Epstein, former Obama advisor Steven Koonin, and many more? I guess they’re all evil and just in it for the money.

Samizdata regulars are, I know, unsurprised by all this. The RSA has, like English Heritage, the British Museum (assuming it has anything left in it), the British Library, and countless other supposed bastions of education and learning, been given the Gramsci treatment (the “long march through the institutions”). There may be people who continue to enjoy the place, with its lovely 18th century architecture, agreeable surroundings and networking parties over a glass of bubbly. Alas, champagne appears one of the few compensations from a body that appears intent on foisting shrill agendas. It may still do some good, which is why people such as Anton Howes can work there, but one has to plough through a lot of crap to find it.

There are many reasons why, as a radical classical liberal chap, I focus a lot of my attention on this issue. Because what the likes of ER want is to suppress, even kill, human flourishing. They are prepared to call for coercion; they applaud the disruption of people’s lives, and have shown an utter contempt for a free press. They’re bullies, and are beginning to realise that people are fighting back.

Samizdata quote of the day – a new rent-seeking class

“How many environmental justice majors does it take to calculate the CO2 emissions of a light bulb? This isn’t a joke. Businesses now employ scads of college grads to do this. For years America’s political class has lamented that too many college grads are working in low-paying jobs that don’t require post-secondary degrees. The diversity, equity and inclusion and environmental, social and governance industries—DEI and ESG, respectively—are solving for this problem while creating many others. In the modern progressive era, young graduates are finding remunerative employment as sustainability coordinators, DEI officers and “people partners.” Instead of serving up pumpkin soy lattes, they’re quantifying corporate greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring employers don’t transgress progressive cultural orthodoxies.”

Allysia Finley, Wall Street Journal ($).

Meritocracy in America

Well, a day has gone after Independence Day, and I read this interesting article by Bloomberg ($) columnist Adrian Wooldridge about the recent SCOTUS ruling against affirmative action as it applies to higher education. The Court ruled, among other things, that such action violates the 14 Amendment. Wooldridge, who has written a book about meritocracy (he is for it), has these comments:

The most serious problem with affirmative action (and one that the court ignored) is that it is too little too late. The best way to address inequality of opportunity is at the high school level and earlier, rather than at college when most of the damage has already been done. Elite America needs to shift its focus to fixing the supply chain of talent.

The obvious way to start is to abolish affirmative action for the rich, which the court’s judgement leaves in place, despite a lot of tut-tutting, because it is based on class rather than race. Astonishingly, Harvard actively discriminates in favor of ALDCs—athletes, legacies, the Dean’s interest list and children of university employees. For one, that could cover the children of politicians and celebrities as well as people who might give the university lots of money. It also sweetens the pill of diversity for the people who administer it by discriminating in favor of the children of alumni and staff. ALDCs make up less than 5% of applicants to the university every year but 30% of freshmen.

Harvard’s “preferences for the children of donors, alumni, and faculty are no help to applicants who cannot boast their parents’ good fortune or trips to the alumni tent all their lives,” Justice Clarence Thomas acidly wrote in his opinion. ALDCs are also 67.8% white (11.4% are Asian American, 6% are Black and 5.6% are Hispanic). Other elite universities pursue similar policies.

A second method is to emphasize objective rather than subjective assessments of applicants. That means academic and objective tests such as the SATs as opposed to so-called holistic ones that take into account extracurricular activities, personal statements, and measures of potential rather achievement.

I agree with much of this but, being a classical liberal chap that I am, I am sort of opposed to any outside interference with how a private university conducts its admissions policy, period. (If such a place takes taxpayers’ money, or is even forced to do so, that’s a separate issue.) A broader point, maybe, is that in US higher education and to some degree in other Western nations, the “sheepskin effect” of having a degree from a smart university is more potent than the intellectual capital that any person may have accumulated from his or her studies. Bryan Caplan, the economics writer, has written a book where he unpacks the whole issue and argues that much of present higher education, at least in most subjects as taught today, rests on this effect, and is socially regressive to the extent that such places receive State (ie, taxpayer) funding. The issue becomes even more egregious when you have attempts, as in that of the Biden administration, to “forgive” the college loans of people who are, mostly, middle class (and disproportionately women, which plays to how we live in an increasingly “gynocentric social order”, as the “manosphere” writer Rollo Tomassi might put it. (The Supreme Court has ruled against Biden on student loans. It’s been a good week for that court.)

In my view, how Harvard, Yale, Oxford or any other place of higher learning structures its admissions is up to the people who run it. To break any dangerous hold these institutions may have is going to mean a, genuine school choice and a re-focus on excellence in schooling (and encouragement where possible of homeschooling); the closure of government education bureaucracies and the end of monopolies of teacher training certification, which is a crucial problem. We need far more people, from all different backgrounds, to be able to teach. That, in my view, is a big issue. Tinkering with Higher Ed. admissions may do some good, but it is, as Woodridge says, too late when a lot of damage has been done already.

Be assured we do not want your kids for selfish reasons

Dear benighted parents, you must understand that we operate under a “higher obligation”.

There is a magnificently orotund opinion article by one Professor Sarah J. Reynolds in the Indystar* (the newspaper formerly known as the Indianapolis Star):

“Parents’ rights debate missing key piece: Kids’ right to learn to be free thinkers.”

“Parents’ rights” have been widely discussed in local, state and national debates around education in recent years. Here in Indiana, Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office has released a “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” which specifies that parents “have a constitutional right to direct the upbringing and education of [their] child in the manner [they] see fit.” Many of these bills and discussions, however, crucially forget that the higher obligation in education is not to the parent, but to the child themselves.

We have a collective community responsibility to ensure that children’s education is not determined by or dependent on the whims of a few, but instead is truly preparing children for a future as independent, free-thinking citizens in a world beyond their parents’ control and vision. In our communities, we need to work together to collectively ensure that children’s rights to education are what is privileged in our schools and laws.


Certainly, the parental impulse to protect and guide and nurture is an important one, and one that strongly benefits children and their education. However, we must remember that impulses can lead even the well-intentioned astray. Protection can be stifling, guidance can seep into control, and forms of nurturing that were once age-appropriate must transform and transition into different varieties of love and respect as children mature. Furthermore, we are sorrowfully aware that not every parent has their children’s best interest at heart.

In the comments to the Indystar’s tweet, a lady called Orietta Rose shares her own sorrowful awareness that “less than 40% of 4th graders [in Indiana] were testing proficient or above in reading & math in 2022. Can’t read, but they’re learning to be freethinkers, right?”

*I’ve got a lot of fond memories of that dog.

The US Supreme Court judgement on affirmative action – a couple of brief reactions

“America doesn’t need more proficiency in Harvard’s Postmodern Nihilist indoctrination. What America needs are thousands of Neo-Enlightenment Revolutionaries.”

From a friend of mine called Steve on Facebook, writing about the US Supreme Court decision about Affirmative Action and its application to university admissions. He is pleased at the ruling, but of course hopes the students who are now able to get into university on merit, rather than via quotas, study subjects that are rather more intellectually rigrous than of late. (See Ilya Somin, who writes about these issues frequently, via Reason.)

Glenn Reynolds, who needs no introduction here, has related thoughts on his substack.

It is going to be bemusing to see the social justice crowd try and argue that Asian-Americans somehow “don’t count” in terms of the grievance bingo game that has been played recently. Popcorn is going to be in demand.

Of course, it would be even better if we stopped the whole hypenated-American thing at all, and treated people as individuals. How wild and crazy is that?

Among Asian-American voters in “blue” states, and those with children trying to get into higher education, this could have an interesting impact on how they vote in 2024.