The oldest idea of history; the perennial problem of station: education. Get the child as far as possible so that he or she can be propelled, as if from a trebuchet across the ramparts of life. Nasty obstacles – one being a lack of intellect – will be cleared, and the wretched genetic issue will find itself in sinecures, positions of influence and sat upon the comfortable chairs of the establishment.
Universities should be places of educational exultation. In practice, they have become creatures of the state, friends of various industrial complexes, and complicit in some of the darker tendencies of society. Go to university, and understand dankness and rot; go to university, and acquaint yourself with what foul pools of unrefined group-think looks like. (The very idea of a “school” of thinking is disturbingly boxed in nature.)
It is also clear that any institution which hands caps out in hope of filling them is bound to be influenced by the heaviest contribution, though how that contribution is assessed can be a point of conjecture. As the issue of Benjamin Franklin’s diamond snuffbox, a present from Louis XVI showed, a gift might be as troublingly influential as a bribe.
Cap filling, in other words, is beyond rebuttal as a university practice. What is significant is the form it takes. It can either be subtle, with the old blood and club ties playing a role, greased by donations and a designated background; or it can be more direct, with…