Democrat or Republican: is that all there is?

Democrat or Republican: is that all there is?

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I feel like a lot of our political discourse comes from a perspective of someone who has made up their mind. I haven’t fully figured out what I believe to be true yet. I might be too ignorant to fully grasp it, too. That’s why I chose to enter this discourse: I want to model that it’s ok to not know things, but it’s important to be intentional and thoughtful, which might help other people feel less defensively confident about their own politics.

I knew for a long time I was to the left of Democrats, but also I got tricked into thinking Obama was a liberal despite the obvious evidence at the time. I didn’t really think much about socialism or communism, and happily regurgitated the lies we were all taught. I was so sure that if someone was smart enough, they could find the right solution to make the current system work well enough for everyone. I believed that history was made by brilliant individuals, and that thanks to progress, people were smarter and cleverer than ever before. And, of course, I hoped that person could be me.

This is, of course, a lie we are taught, too. Collective action is literally always necessary for even these “brilliant individuals” to achieve much of anything. Even scientific discoveries are built upon prior work.

During the early pandemic, I finally understood that the Democratic Party is really, truly, ideologically aligned with the Republican Party. The difference is tone and pace.

By that, I mean that Republicans will cheer on a televised murder of a person from a vulnerable population. Democrats will give speeches about the horrors of police brutality, while directly and intentionally increasing the odds that a person from a vulnerable population will have an interaction with that same murderer the Republicans are cheering for. They don’t have that same zeal, and prefer the consequences of their choices to be distant, vague, and abstract. Like how “no more kids in cages” became “no, MORE kids in cages.”

Case in point: bodily autonomy is yet again under threat

As I polish up this draft before publishing, the Supreme Court is presently debating overturning Roe v Wade, and Democrats (who hold a majority in the legislative branch AND control the executive branch) are doing absolutely nothing about it, and have done nothing about it for 40+ years. “But separation of branches of government! Checks and balances! The executive and legislative shouldn’t interfere with the judiciary! The filibuster (that Democrats can get rid of any time they want, even without Joe Manchin’s approval)!” Bullshit, all of it. Get creative, solve the problem. That’s literally why people voted for them. We are allowed to demand the people in power act on our behalf and for our benefit. Plus, reasons for inaction aren’t even real rules or boundaries because when people break them there are no meaningful consequences, nor are they deprived of their ill-gotten gains, even when it’s very stupid and obvious. The “rules” are just excuses for inaction from the people specifically empowered to take action.

I started reading and listening to other people that have different experiences from me, and I learned a lot. I learned how our economic system effectively controls our society, and that our economic system has a fundamental flaw at its core that will make all of those progressive ideals of mine impossible to attain because achieving them inevitably means reducing profits in a system predicated on maximizing profits. And I started to really appreciate how little progress we’ve made. Sure, in some areas, things are better now than before. Lots of things now are worse than before, too. Progress, maybe. But for whom and at what cost?

Turning the corner

I was trapped in what Mark Fisher calls “capitalist realism.” All around me, from all sides and at all times, all I was exposed to was capitalism. Capitalism was the only choice. It was all I knew.

It was a snippet from a Kwame Ture speech that finally opened my eyes, which I’ll paraphrase here: if communism is so dangerous and deadly, why do Americans only know weird lies about it? If I lived in a place full of snakes, it would be important for me to learn about snakes: what the deadly ones look like, what they eat, where they hide, how they hunt, and so on. The snake is a threat, so I must understand it. We are told that communism is a threat, but it’s painfully obvious that Americans do not understand it in the least. It sounds more like the “threat” of communism is working class people learning about it and demanding the powerful capitalists that run our society to step aside. If it’s as bad an idea as capitalists claim it is, why not just genuinely educate us about it? If the truth is so horrible, tell it to us!

Living in capitalist realism is confusing, because nothing makes sense. The stories we’re told about how the world works, who runs it, what forces move it, and so on; they don’t really add up. Everything is messy and incoherent.

Why are public schools underfunded? The societal benefit is obvious, and an informed electorate is the best possible situation for democracy. We know that increased funding to education pays back economic dividends to the community! Why don’t police react to murders the same way they do petty vandalism? The loss of a life is far more concerning than some broken windows. Why don’t grocery stores simply donate the food that’s about to go bad? They can’t sell it in time, and it could easily help feed a lot of hungry people.

When I changed my perspective, and allowed myself to question The Thing You Should Never Question, I realized and learned that while things are still deeply complex; there’s a way to make sense of it by understanding the basic motivations and motivators for action.

The nature of humans

Uh oh, this is tortured territory. I’m not going to hit you with some kind of armchair-psycho-evolutionary-anthropology nonsense and declare that human nature can be assessed in terms of social values (good, bad, greedy, etc). I’ve got what I believe to be a Very Reasonable Take about human nature that’s well researched. Are you ready?

People are generally capable of setting goals (broadly understood) and working towards them. The rate and degree of our successes vary wildly, but it doesn’t change that motivation is the antecedent to action. People want to do things like eat, sleep, play, fuck, create, pray, and all sorts of stuff that is fun and feels good. And they’ll put in effort to attain those things.

So, yes, my observation about humanity is that people have motivations to do things and then they work towards that thing. Why is such a bland observation important?

In our society, all of the things that motivate people either cost money or are facilitated by money. Yeah, even prayer (shoutout to extremist ascetics as an exception, I guess?). It also impacts abstract things like “I want to have a vibrant, loving family.” I think it’s safe to say that a stable and safe living environment both costs money and is a major component in a vibrant, loving family. Well, maybe the ascetics win that one too, but I remain unconvinced that denying indulgence in comfort or joy is the only path to peace and joy.

Most people in our society have to dedicate a large portion of their lives to attain money to do the things they want to do during the fleeting moments of our brief and precious existence. Some are unable to attain money because we refuse to provide even basic accommodations; they are forced into a life of misery for no good reason. Others got lucky to be born into generational wealth. However you get it, more money means more access to these fun, good things that people need and like.

If a person wants money, what happens when you put lots of people together that all want money?

It’s also a basic observation to say that accumulation of money, in a system like ours, is generally desirable for every person. It’s not like people go into their boss’s office and say “cut my wages!” People do unpleasant work to get money for the things they want and need. And when we see people pursuing their goals through the accumulation of money across all levels of society, we start to see the picture come into focus.

When a company spends more money, the people that reap the profits of that company get less money. That’s why the people that run companies like to keep costs and spending low to then sell high: willingly decreasing their income would feel like intentionally taking actions that are harmful to the attainment and/or security of their goals. There’s plenty to explore about the values held by the rich, but we can see that it kind of doesn’t matter what their values are to observe that their motivations are clear and ultimately mundane.

This naturally leads to underpaying workers, pollution, low quality products, and so on. Companies motivated by profit will always try to get away with absolutely everything they think they can to maximize profit. It’s their sole purpose. And sometimes it’s cheaper to change people’s minds through PR and regulatory capture than to comply with necessary pollution reduction. There’s no secret society or fantastical stories involved. It’s just people doing obvious things so they can attain more of the most useful and important resource in our society. It’s not because people are “innately greedy” or whatever, it’s because human beings are reasonably capable problem solvers, and people in our society need money to get the things they want and need.

This is our boring dystopia. No intrigue, no thrillers. It’s just everyday people pursuing mundane goals, trying to have a good time.

What do we do instead?

That’s the most important question, isn’t it? We know that the way things are will unalive a lot (or maybe all!) of the human species in relative short order. And this is the part that I am presently stuck on. I think it was Patrick Stewart that famously asked “what is to be done?” We need to figure out how to start with our present conditions and culture and end with a different economic system, one that directly rewards mutual benefit instead of profit and greed. When we organize our society to reward mutual benefit, we become more empowered and incentivized to help each other.

Here’s what we do know: just as famous economist Adam Smith passionately argued, labor is the true fundamental resource, not commodities or money. Without labor nothing gets made, sold, or bought. Culturally, we seem to have forgotten that. Wait, no, we’ve been fed inane amounts of propaganda to tell us otherwise.

Right now, we are forced to choose between laboring for a tiny bit of money, or lingering in utter destitution and misery before an early death. It’s not a hard choice, but we aren’t really afforded the opportunity to choose without undue influence from external factors: being unhoused, hungry, and miserable. In other words, it’s not much of a choice.

photo of man lying on wooden bench
Our freedom primarily rests in “choosing” between scraping by or destitution. Photo by Levent Simsek on

We know that laboring for other people means we give away a large portion of the value we create with our labor in the form of profit.

We know this means the people that benefit the most from the system are reaping the profits of other people’s labor. Like Jeff himself said, his Amazon employees paid for him approach the edge of the atmosphere as he low-key builds the baseline tech prowess to seek defense contracts.

We know that successful revolutions in opposition of capitalism meaningfully improve the lives of people. The USSR and PRC fundamentally transformed their mostly feudal-agrarian societies to industrialized ones that provided for the wellbeing of their citizenry far, far better than anything that came before it. Cubans defeated a dictator, slavers, and profiteers. As a tiny island nation, it is able to provide for the well-being of its citizens despite massive sanctions and blockades imposed by the US and Europe for… uh… some reason or another.

We see that non-capitalist societies can survive and even thrive in providing for the well-being of their people, even in the face of active antagonization of the most powerful military ever known to the planet and blockades.

We know that the US is the primary antagonizer of these non-capitalist societies, too. We have a distinct advantage over every other revolution: we won’t have to fight off US-funded coups or blockades.

Can we use their playbook?

The thing is that we can’t hope to copy the ideas of Lenin, Mao, Castro, or any other revolutionary movements because we are not in the same context that they made the decisions they made. Nor would we want to, since they’re all humans with their own flaws and shortcomings. There’s plenty to criticize. But we can learn a lot from them!

Our culture and material conditions are fundamentally different in some incredible ways from those countries. The same goes for capitalism, by the way: we can’t hope to model Denmark’s capitalism or whatever because we are not Denmark. We have different cultural values and practices.

We need to figure out how to dismantle capitalism here and now, and we need to figure out what a non-capitalist America could look like. I know it’s generally presumed that a revolution must be armed, but an armed revolution is hard for me to imagine succeeding in a context where the military can and does murder American citizens using drones. And we’ve seen that the police are more than happy to treat US citizens as an enemy.

Even the gun nuts are utterly useless because tanks and armored infantry. It’s all a big joke to gun makers and tacti-cool gear manufacturers as gun weirdos playact their airport fiction fantasies of fighting off some tyrannical government with a handgun.

And… that’s about it. That’s where I’m at. Revolution must happen because we can’t expect capitalism to suddenly dissolve, but I have no idea what revolution would look like. I’m still learning, and there’s a lot to learn.

You don’t need to have all the answers to have a valid position

Sometimes we function as if you aren’t allowed to say “hey, this sucks” unless you’re ready to follow it up with a perfect solution. However, this is a very silly notion. The ability to comprehend and identify issues, and providing thoughtful analyses of them are separate skills from finding solutions.

Have you ever been around a group of friends, and one person says “ugh, I kinda feel like Jeremy takes advantage of me when I offer him help.” And then others go “oh, I totally feel that way too!” Sharing a thoughtful observation can spark realization and understanding, and even lead to identifying a challenge faced by the group. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle.

Speak up. Start talking about this stuff. Our lives quite literally depend on it.

The big lie about Academia

The big lie about Academia


You’ve heard this lie before, though there are a few iterations on it: Academia is run by liberals/leftists/Marxists/”postmodern cultural neo-Marxists.” I had to put the last on in scare quotes and I’ll get into why later. The evidence provided is often vaguely convincing if you don’t think about it at all, or if it serves to reinforce pre-existing beliefs. It’s also a ubiquitous lie, told by people all over the spectrum of the American political landscape, which is mostly populated by right-of-center to far-right ideologies.

Contextualizing American politics

But before we get to the important stuff, I need to talk about definitions a bit, because so many words have different meanings. First, let’s discuss political alignment. In the context of American politics, we often label our right-of-center authoritarian party as “liberals” because they are to the south and left of our far-right and rabidly authoritarian party of “conservatives.” In American political discourse, we use these terms as relative positional indicators, not absolute position indicators. Relative to Republicans, Democrats are left/liberal. But when we consider what these words mean and imply, we quickly discover that the Democrats are not left at all, even if some members do hover around the center, and maybe a couple even inch to the left. Our “radical leftist” politicians wouldn’t be suited for left-leaning parties elsewhere in the world, because they’re far too moderate, and most often have more in common with centrist parties.

Even the home of America’s vaguely socialist grandpa, Bernie Sanders, is still in the Authoritarian / Right category

The image above is sourced from The Political Compass. Vermont, under Bernie Sanders, is as far to the left as I could find in this dataset. Supposed liberal bastions like California and New York are thoroughly to the right and squarely in authoritarian territory, and of course Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky is way out there. It’s worth noting that I’m not cherry-picking Kentucky, this was a readability choice. See below for what I’m talking about.

See what I mean?

You can see exactly what states I selected to make this version here, but my logic was to include every state in the dataset that had two Republican senators. Not a lot of diversity in the party of open markets and free speech, oddly enough.

While there is a measurable difference between parties, it’s more like the measurable differences between dog breeds: surface-level differences that can appear profound (consider the humble mastiff and the mighty chihuahua, for example), but in actuality they’re one and the same in every way that actually counts. These mostly cosmetic differences can appear exaggerated, too, when they’re all we know.

Examining the claim

Other than in your schools of business, economics, and other extra-miserable places (that, it should be noted, hold disproportionate amounts of sway over the academy because they tend to be the money makers for the school), it is true that most professors are registered Democrats. In some departments, even radically disproportionately Democrats. This is often the crux of the claims regarding who runs academia, if any evidence is presented at all. But, as we’ve just established above, this means that professors (as a group) are right-wing authoritarians of various flavors that range from extreme to mild.

“But what if professors harbor personal views that are different than the candidates they vote for? What if they’re being strategic and voting for viable candidates?”

Absolutely, I think (and know from experiences) that some professors do that. But this is not the action of a radical; supporting and voting for a candidate that fundamentally opposes their supposed interests. This is the action of someone who prides themselves as being pragmatic about not effecting any change while enjoying a sense of moral superiority. Insufferable? Yes. Radical? No.

But this is all a red-herring anyway, because professors have little, if any, say in how academia is run, its policies, and its goals. That power is held by administrators, Presidents, whatever the hell a “Chancellor” is, and the shadowy “Board of Trustees.” The latter is a group of CEOs, politicians, and the mega-rich; not exactly a collection known for liberal or even compassionate ideologies. And University administrators are keen to disrupt any enclaves of leftists that may form.

Case study: a history of Communication departments at IU

In the olden days, there was one big communication department at Indiana University, with scientists, media production-types, and cultural scholars working side-by-side. They didn’t get along, and I have sympathies for all groups in this conflict. So, the department splintered, leaving the scientists and media production in one department, and the cultural scholars partitioned off in another. This split brought peace; allowing the social scientists to grope in the dark, totally disconnected from humanity and meaning-making; and it allowed the cultural scholars a chance to retreat from even attempting to communicate with society writ-large, and far more time to hole up in their ivory dungeon to write needlessly complex texts.

The cultural scholars, as a group, were far more left-leaning than run-of-the-mill Democrats, and they collected others like them in their new department and created a space for leftist scholars. Years later, then-President “I need a body guard with me at all times because I live in a fantasy land where I’m very special” McRobbie unilaterally decided to recombine these departments, along with the lucrative school of Journalism, to form The Media School.

Curiously, when these three departments were combined, all of the Journalism faculty were brought to the Media School, along with all of the social scientists and media production faculty. But, gosh, it’s the darnedest thing but somehow not all of the Communication and Culture faculty qualified to be part of The Media School, despite all of them studying media and communication. The whole point of The Media School was, supposedly, to consolidate everyone that studied media and communication together. Some were cut loose entirely, others where pushed into departments far from the limelight of the shiny new Media School, forced to toil in obscurity in a department that they don’t fit into. In other words, all of the authoritarian-right professoriate were combined, and the ones that leaned left were scattered to the winds. Many ended up leaving IU all together.

I’m not saying I think The Media School was created specifically to disrupt a leftist space on campus. No, the creation of The Media School was simply motivated by money and power: the old communications departments were under the College of Arts and Sciences. The lucrative Journalism department was its own school, meaning it had far greater autonomy and control. McRobbie’s move infused money into the beleaguered College of Arts and Sciences, a basic book-keeping shell game that addresses nothing but makes for some nice press releases. And perhaps more importantly, it removed a Dean of the School of Journalism that had power more or less equivalent to the Dean that oversees the whole College of Arts and Sciences, and replaced them with a Dean-in-name-only of The Media School, who served under the College of Arts and Sciences Dean.

This newly formed school-that’s-actually-a-department did not need friction, it needed compliance. It needed a very small man to be its new Dean, who was pleased with bullying the people under him instead of pushing upwards. A stooge, if you will. And to that end, McRobbie’s formation of The Media School was wildly successful: his shell game made the numbers of the College of Arts and Sciences look better after absorbing Journalism, he further eroded the tenuous amount of political power of the faculty, and he got to chase out anyone that might cause too much trouble for him.

McRobbie may well be a Democrat, I don’t know. But suffice to say that his actions at IU are in no way identifiable as furthering the even the basic goals of left-leaning politics. IU doesn’t even have a faculty union. Graduate workers, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated team, are closer to having a union than faculty. Instead, IU under McRobbie’s paranoid guidance has become a technocrat’s dream. IU truly has a fantastic technology infrastructure, and McRobbie oversaw the building of it. It’s paid dividends back to IU, too, through lucrative military industrial contracts that keep pouring in. Unless “helping the military murder brown people for oil and lithium” is somehow now a liberal or leftist goal, we’re pretty far removed from anything that even most Democrats support, or at least the closer-to-the-center Democrats.

But what about the LGBTQ+ centers, the free condoms, and other social programs?

I don’t know how to explain this, other than saying that putting a rainbow sticker on something doesn’t make it “leftist.” It’s more like a veneer of social awareness and compassion. It’s true that universities such as IU do have more robust social programs than most places in America, but they also perpetuate policies and programs that run counter to those social programs. They are their own antagonistic force here, putting on a show so that the students hopefully stay distracted.

Let me put it this way: a student can go to campus and get access to very basic and underfunded mental health resources, many of them for the first time in their lives. This is a good thing, even if the program is ultimately inadequate. Then, the student can go to class where the professor can espouse any number of obviously hateful and false things. The student must appease this professor to pass the professor’s class. God forbid the student is of an identity that the professor openly despises. And if the students complain enough to get university administrators to take notice, the “punishment” that this professor is given is being placed on paid vacation. The Provost that commented on this matter claimed their hands were tied! It’s so odd that conservative professors get put on vacation for saying racist lies, but universities have no problem finding ways to humiliate moderates for reporting factual information about racism.

Aside from classwork, many students struggle to make ends meet or even feed themselves. A big part of this is the cost of rent, since students have the opportunity to go to college on credit and let their future selves deal with that mess. But why is rent so high? Why, it’s the policies and structure of IU and its relation to Bloomington, the town it is situated in.

IU works hard to attract wealthy students, because wealthy students pay more for college than poor students. And the parasitic leeches that offer no benefit to society; sorry, I mean “landlords;” are pleased by this arrangement, and price rents and build units to attract those wealthy students. It’s not at all uncommon to pay around $1500 a month for a one bedroom in Bloomington. Why does this matter? Because poverty is a leading cause of mental health issues.

The university makes it possible for students to pay for basic mental health to support students struggling to cope with attending the university. Logically, wouldn’t it be better to make the university less of a miserable place? Of course! An eighth of prevention is worth an ounce of treatment, as the saying goes. The problem is that addressing the issues themselves means changing how the university operates, which threatens its goals, such as self-enrichment for the administrators that make nearly-or-greater-than a million dollars a year to write documents like this one, full of errors (if we’re being charitable) and flaws in logic so plentiful that if an undergrad had written it for a 200-level class, they would probably not get the grade they’d hoped for.

And on top of it all, those social programs are funded directly from student fees and tuition. So while using that money to create programs that benefit students is desirable, IU has no proverbial skin in this game. If enrollment drops, so does the funding for these programs. Furthermore, because of the funding model, IU is not incentivized to spend this money efficiently. Instead, they are incentivized to spend all of the money they receive, regardless of the necessity. You truly haven’t seen rows of perfectly maintained racquetball courts (19 year olds love the 80s fad sport of racquetball!) until you’ve been to a university rec center, full of student workers that can’t afford more than instant ramen for dinner.

Ok, but what about these Marxists?

I’m sure they exist somewhere in the university faculty, but I haven’t met any in any of the 4-7 departments that I spend time in (depending on how you define departments). To complicate things, “Marxist” doesn’t mean what grown men wearing bowties on TV seem to think it means. Marx (and Engles, but no one ever evokes him in their disparaging rants) revolutionized economics because he dared to consider the human component of economy.

Lithium, a resource that Elon Musk thinks we should do a coup for whenever we want, doesn’t do anything. Lithium is an element in the ground. To be able to do anything with it, human beings must do work to extract it, purify it, maybe do a little overthrowing of democratically elected governments, and so much more, before it becomes a battery that runs your phone, laptop, or car. It is because of this, Marx argues, that labor is the true fundamental resource of any economy. Tools and resources don’t do work, people do work with tools and resources.

Marx and Engles also observed prior attempts at communal living, such as the one in Paris that lasted a little while before the army rolled through and killed everyone for having the audacity to work for each other instead of making bosses and aristocrats rich. They claimed that anyone that isn’t an aristocrat or oligarch needs to band together, because there is strength in numbers, and workers could resist and even gain control of the very systems originally meant to keep the workers in line, and turn them against the aristocracy. Back in their day, the military couldn’t simply kill everyone instantly and anonymously with drones like they can now. Times have changed.

The reason I’m going through this explanation is to illustrate two points: there’s nothing really that exciting or radical in Marx and Engles writing; they wrote it a long time ago and it’s hard to disagree with, at least the economics part. The other point is that when people say “Marxist” or “communist” or “socialist,” most of the time they mean “boogeyman.” It’s just a label that means “thing I don’t like.” Even more funny, in the I’m-lauging-so-I-don’t-cry-instead way, often times pop critiques of supposed Marxism are really direct results of capitalism. (Scroll that linked thread for examples.)

So in other words, are there some professors in academia that agree that labor is the fundamental resource of any economy? Yes, at least a few. So what, people are upset that some professors (not in right wing enclaves like economics departments, funnily enough!) recognize that labor is what makes things, or at least labor makes the machines that make things? Or are they maybe just lying, because conservatives see their children leave their tightly controlled home environment and meet a more diverse group of people, and they learn things that make them realize their parents had lied to them. It might be that latter part, I think.

Well what about all those leftist-cultural-postmodern-neo-Marxists?

Jordan Peterson, a major star in the alt-right, decries this group all the time. When asked to simply identify one example of who he’s talking about, he couldn’t. That might be enough to convince you.

Žižek asked Peterson to name him personal names of “postmodern neo-Marxists” in Western academia and from where he got the statistical numbers because according to him the over-the-top political correctness is opposed to Marxism, on which Peterson did not mention any names.

Wiki article on the “debate” between two supposed titans

It’s not just that Peterson was famously unprepared for the “debate,” it’s also that they don’t exist. Let’s start here: postmodernism is a critique of modernism; they are antithetical. It’s like trying to have a hot ice cream cone; the two things literally cannot go together, because one undoes the other. Marxism is absolutely a hallmark of modernist thought, it cannot survive postmodernist analysis because postmodernism is about deconstructing anything and everything, and Marxism requires a whole hell of a lot of structure.

And as we peel the layers back, we find that this is just a new costume for a very, very old conspiracy theory: that “the Jews” control the world. No really, I’m serious. Ask someone lamenting about these leftist postmodern cultural neo-Marxists, ask them to explain what that is and where it comes from. Inevitably, they’ll point back to The Frankfurt School as the originators of Neo-Marxist thought. This was a real group of scholars; ranging from the thoughtful, to the the provocative, to the downright annoying. Most of them write in needlessly complicated prose to say very silly things, like Adorno’s infamously stupid take on music. So, why do the alt-right thought leaders of today care about very dead and largely irrelevant scholars such as these?

Well, dear reader, it’s because several of the members of The Frankfurt School, while engaging in their masturbatory writing about social criticisms (how dare they challenge the status quo!), did so while being Jewish. See, there’s this utterly fabricated book that claims that “the Jews” are working together in a coordinated fashion to control the world. And here’s a group of Jewish scholars in The Frankfurt School, questioning authority. That’s the connection. They’re supposedly “evidence” to support the claims of this book, as if professors writing obscure texts have any means to actually produce change.

This is only the beginning

In this post, I aimed to debunk the big lie, but there is so so much more to consider, like how state legislatures (overwhelmingly controlled by far-right wing politicians) shape the policies that determine how the university can function, or the role of the Board of Trustees at a university, and more. People far more thoughtful, well-read, and well-spoken than I have written on this topic, too, and I encourage you to read them.

You may be unaware, but Teen Vogue has recently become a real powerhouse in thoughtful analysis. Check out this article by Asheesh Kapoor Siddique, explaining more depth about the power structure of the university.

Michael Parenti delves into the sham that is the University Board of Trustees in Contrary Notions.

John Warner provides another case study of a different university, UNC Chapel Hill.

Marshall Steinbaum’s article for Boston Review demonstrates how the university serves conservative interests.

A team of academics, lead by Gildersleeve, analyze how conservatives have reshaped higher education.