The Decline and Fall of the University:

The Prostitution of Knowledge

For the sake of Greed

“I have never let my schooling
interfere with my education"

Mark Twain

Now that the Nobel Foundation, academia’s most prestigious association, has equated peace with war, in awarding Mr. Obama the Nobel Prize for Peace, the above quote by Mark Twain takes on its true relevance. Academia is not the place to look for education; schools created by donations and favoritism, by the fawning of “used car salesmen”, and the “belles-lettres” of industry’s CEO’s, or the grants of the CIA, are as far away from true education as the sayings of Chairman Mao, or the labs of Los Alamos that brought the world the obscenity of “nulear education” and its holocaust in the quarter million graves it dug in the last century. The “fruits” of this academia are the skull and crossbones, and the pursuit of greed to the exclusion of not only truth, but even common sense.

The grove of Academus 1 has become the license of capitalism, and its symbol that of the Almighty Dollar. The obscenities of the pseudo-discipline of economics have crowned the 'new intellectuals' 2 as their byproducts, and driven truth and justice from a world, where only Masters of the Universe and slaves exist. A world divided from itself, in the pursuit of self.

But folly destroys itself; and pseudo-knowledge cannot pose as knowledge for long without exposing to the light of day the deception it practices; thus the folly of the Nobel Committee has shown itself, and all of academia, for what they are: not the hollowed halls of learning, but the stooges of wealth, the power of sophism, and the perpetrators of their many corruptions.

As Einstein reiterated in a different phraseology in his book “Out of my later years” 3 , we need a new 'Christ' to drive the moneychangers from our Temples of knowledge, our Universities. We must create and foster a new motivation for education in our young; a motivation, which upholds the benefit of society and its civilization; not a motivation mired in the self, and the greed and power the self proclaims as supreme. This new motivation will always be the motivation to help humanity, not the self. The modern University has gone full circle from the University Plato founded, and the motivations for justice that he outlined in his utopia “The Republic”. In its attempt to teach knowledge for practical use, in a working world, the modern University has destroyed the true motivation behind all education, and lost the connection between knowledge and wisdom. It has boiled down knowledge into utility; and found the ‘good’ only to reside in the ‘self’. It has created and sanctified the insane philosophy of the self, and sanctioned the “new intellectual” as the mercenary madman that knows only the God of money; and it has proclaimed all knowledge as the handmaiden of monetary creation.

This ‘knowledge’ has created a world where people no longer count; where money has become the ‘good’ and anything is ‘fair’, ‘right’ or ‘just’ in its attainment; where ‘trust’ is only attained with surveillance and intelligence; where the spy and assassin are admired and emulated; where a dubious 'right’ creates the might that can make anything right, no matter how many innocent lives pay the price; where the freedom of democracy is the freedom to create monopolies and empires on the backs of a people who once believed in “liberty and justice for all”; where ‘peace’ has become the equivalent of ‘war’, and democracy itself is forced on those that do not want it at the point of a gun. Thus is the fruit of the knowledge of our Universities, the same that have given us “peace in our time”; of course, using the newly coined definition of peace that the Nobel Prize has sanctioned: the endless war that the might of the right bestows, and has bestowed in the coerced imposition of freedom. Let this new definition of freedom ring throughout this world of Masters and their thoroughly ‘free’ slaves!

In the quote that preceded this essay Mark Twain hit the nail on the head, schooling must never get in the way of education; and education allows us to see things from as many different viewpoints as possible. That is why the law still finds the Socratic method useful. Education, true education, emulates this in allowing the student to balance all viewpoints in his perspective, and decide right action in the light of this. Our Universities have fallen to the limitation of their viewpoint, and all the consequences that a limited viewpoint entails: In the words of a philosopher I have quoted often on this site, “How shall I talk of life with the sage, if he is the prisoner of his doctrine?” 4 Academia has fallen to a dubious doctrine of economics; and it is the prisoner of its own limited viewpoint.


To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left

1 The grove of Academus was the place in Athens where Plato held the meetings of his 'Academy', the first University.

2 The phrase: "new intellectual" harkens back to the book "For the New Intellectual" by Ayn Rand, New American Library Inc., 1961. In this book, where Rand proclaims the philosophy of selfishness as the philosophy of the 'New Intellectual', she prophesizes the direction of Academia in the insanity of a philosophy of the self. Obama's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for pursuing the course of war, confirms her prophecy, and the fall of the University as an institution of learning around the world. America, and academia have become the successors and heirs to Rand's insane philosophy, of "Hooray for me and to hell with everyone else", the hallmark of today's idea of capitalism, and the proclamation of license and greed as the new freedom for the enslaved masses.

3 “Out of my later years”, by Albert Einstein, Philosophical Library, Inc., 1950.

4 By José Ortega Y Gasset, in the book “Mission of the University”, Princeton University Press, 1944.



Originally Published:

December 27, 2009


July 4, 2014