From an essay in the spectator about the American mono-thematic class structure of wealth and power, and its responsibility for the current collapse of the USA.
Although the essay is about something else, this interesting paragraph about
- Laurence Tribe, Harvard law professor,
- Harvard’s Law School’s dean and later supreme court judge, Elena Kagan
- former and future Harvard president, Derek Bok
- Laurence Tribe’s student assistant, Ron Klain
each violating, both, what is expected from (what is left of) the legal system, and violating the common standards of behaviour that we expect from our peers. As it points out, these people are morally worse, not better, that you or I.
If, for example, you are Laurence Tribe in 1984, Harvard professor of law, leftist pillar of the establishment, you can “write” your magnum opus by using the products of your student assistant, Ron Klain. A decade later, after Klain admits to having written some parts of the book, and the other parts are found to be verbatim or paraphrases of a book published in 1974, you can claim (perhaps correctly) that your plagiarism was “inadvertent,” and you can count on the Law School’s dean, Elena Kagan, to appoint a committee including former and future Harvard president Derek Bok that issues a secret report that “closes” the incident. Incidentally, Kagan ends up a justice of the Supreme Court. Not one of these people did their jobs: the professor did not write the book himself, the assistant plagiarized instead of researching, the dean and the committee did not hold the professor accountable, and all ended up rewarded. By contrast, for example, learned papers and distinguished careers in climatology at MIT (Richard Lindzen) or UVA (S. Fred Singer) are not enough for their questions about “global warming” to be taken seriously.
She [Angelo M. Codevilla, professor (emeritus) of international relations at Boston University] later adds a most perceptive line about the world today:
Facts and logic matter only insofar as proper authority acknowledges them.