The Rise of the Jewish Policy Elite: Meritocracy, Myth and Power
James Petras :: 26.03.16
Introduction: Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court marks a continuation and deepening of the lopsided ethno-religious representation in the US judicial system. If Garland is appointed, Jewish justices will comprise 45% of the Court, even though they represent less than 2% of the overall population.
Roman Catholics comprise the other 55% of the Court – even though they represent approximately 30% of the population. Protestants (historically the authors and signers of the country’s foundational documents, and the major confessional group) are totally absent from this august body of jurists.
Equally important the increasing power of Jewish justices on the Supreme Court is accelerating: Counting Garland, two of the last three appointments (67%) have been Jews.
In the first half of the 20th century in the US, progressive Jews and civil libertarians decried what they termed WASP (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) exclusivity, privilege and discrimination, citing their domination of the Supreme Court and their ‘over-representation’ throughout the elite centers of power. Having totally displaced and replaced the dreaded WASPS, there is nary a word from the plethora of civil rights groups and Jewish organizations claiming to be concerned with issues of discrimination and exclusion. Perhaps the marginalized WASP population lacks any qualified jurists among their scores of millions, an ethno-cultural degeneration unique in US history or perhaps the last few WASPs appointed to the Supreme Court turned out to be among the most ardent and independent defenders of citizen rights, to the chagrin of numerous Administrations.
Nevertheless, if a rare individual should dare to raise the issue of nepotism and the exercise of narrow political considerations in the choice of Supreme Court nominees, the factious response is that ‘it’s all about merit’. Meaning, among the thousands of WASP graduates of the top law schools with academic awards and publications in prestigious journals, no qualified candidate can be found to address this lack of representation.
But scholarship and originality may not be of much merit: A brief perusal of the legal publications of Elena Kagan and Merrick Garland reveals meager, mediocre and pedestrian articles and monographs. In the case of Kagan, her rise to power was facilitated by her relationship with the former (and heartily voted out of office) Harvard President ‘Larry’ Summers, who appointed her Dean of the Law School despite her lack of quality publications. Summers, as Harvard President, led a raucous and bullying campaign against any academic critics Israeli policies during his abruptly abbreviated tenure in office.
Clearly the problem of ethno-religious nepotism is not confined to Jews, it was an abuse practiced by WASP elites and others before them. Nor does such nepotism benefit the average wage and salaried Jews, who have to struggle side-by-side with their Gentile compatriots to make a living and exercise their rights.
However, nepotism or ethno-religious favoritism has become an acute problem now when exclusive control of the Supreme Court compounds the growing problems of abuse in other spheres of the power structure – political, economic and mass communications. This imbalance has profound repercussions on everything from US overseas wars of aggression to the everyday struggle of Americans faced with deepening inequalities and the shredding of the social contract.
Historically, and particularly among progressive and leftist critics, what was referred to as the “Jewish Problem” was a multifaceted issue that revolved around the persecution of resident Jews by anti-Semitic regimes and within Christian majority cultures. Various solutions included the granting of citizenship rights following the French Revolution, socio-cultural assimilation, the development of socialism or separation and re-settlement in Palestine through the Zionist movement. Today the major issue has turned into an ‘American Problem’: how a powerful ethno-religious elite can use its multi-faceted power to secure (and create) strategic positions in the state while excluding contenders, repressing critics and actively promoting policies in the interest of a foreign state, Israel.
Not all Jewish appointees and elected officials explicitly follow the extremist position of the most aggressive Zionist organizations, especially the self-styled ‘Presidents of the Major American (sic) Jewish Organizations’ . . . but… nor do they openly object to Israeli-First activities or try to block them – for fear of ostracism and retribution – with the calumny of ’self-hating Jew’ unlikely to promote one’s career or social life.
Chosen People: The Myth of Meritocracy and the Practice of Mediocracy
To deal with the rise of Israel-First individuals to positions of power in the US, it is essential to analyze the all-pervasive claims of meritocracy, the argument that their influence is based on their ‘universally acclaimed’ achievements, intelligence and superiority far beyond their elite rivals. The argument of ‘unique merit’ blends smoothly with traditional Talmudic and contemporary Israeli-chauvinist belief that Jews are ‘the Chosen People of God’, destined to prevail over the inferior ‘others’.
The meritocratic argument is partly based on circular arguments contending that the disproportionate number of Jewish billionaires means they are more brilliant in business; that pro-Israel dominance within the US corporate mass media proves that Jewish media moguls are smarter and Israel is a righteous state . . . and the rise of Israel-Firsters in government, academia and finance reflects their higher intelligence, greater work ethic and accomplishments.
It is with the latter that we have to deal, because the significance of higher grades, diplomas from prestigious universities and piles of academic awards has to be proven on the ground. It is not simply the achievement of high individual positions and great wealth that matter, but how the policies formulated and practices pursued by these elite individual have affected the lives of 330 million Americans, the nation, its prestige, welfare and moral authority.
If we use these alternative ‘evidence-based’ criteria, we find a huge disparity between high levels of academic achievement and disastrous performance when in public office.
We can cite the Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan’s deregulatory policies, which led to the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression and his successor, Benjamin Bernanke, who presided over the trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street banks while millions of American’s lost their homes. Both attended elite institutions, both secured numerous prestigious awards . . . and both imposed disastrous policies on the American nation and people – with complete impunity for their monumental mistakes, while American workers continue to suffer.
Stuart Levey was the first Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence within the US Treasury Department (a position created by AIPAC and tailored specifically for Levey). He graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude and magna cum laude. While Stu Levey was racing around the US and the rest of the world enforcing the economic sanctions against Iran (which he authored in line with Israeli directives), narco-terrorists from Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Peru were freely washing hundreds of billions of dollars a year in US banks. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian officials who funded jihadi terrorists were never prosecuted or sanctioned – even after attacks within the US.
Levey’s successor, David Cohen (who else!) followed the same policy. Multi-national banks and corporations, which had corrupted officials, swindled investors, evaded taxes and laundered illicit funds were never investigated, let alone charged. Cohen devoted his time and effort, at Israel’s behest, enforcing sanctions against Iran and endeavoring to sabotage any US-Iran nuclear negotiations.
From the Clinton era through the George W. Bush and Obama regimes, the US engaged in a series of wars against predominantly secular governments in Muslim countries, which had been opposed to Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine.
Key policymakers in the design and execution of US war policy were prominent Jews bristling with diplomas from the most prestigious universities.
These ’scholars’, the ‘cream’ of US academe, blatantly falsified the pretexts for the US’ disastrous thirteen-year war (and counting) in Iraq, the lost (15-plus year) war in Afghanistan, the invasion and destruction of Libya and Syria. Their brilliant plans have led directly to the rise of ISIS throughout the region and the displacement of tens of millions of civilians in the Middle East, West Asia and North Africa.
Due credit must be given to the midwives of the 21st Century wars of foreign conquest and domestic decay: Standing out among the principle architects of these foreign policy disasters is Elliott Abrams, BA and Doctor of Jurisprudence, Harvard University. Abrams had been officially censored for lying directly to the US Congress about his role in the Iran-Contra scandal under President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. During that administration, Elliot directed US official support for the dictatorial regimes in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras where over 250,000 Central American civilians were massacred. The new millennium wiped clean his tawdry slate of crimes against humanity and he was appointed a leading National Security Advisor under President George W. Bush 2002-2009. In this role, he fabricated ‘evidence’ linking the secular government of Iraq to the fundamentalist Al Qaeda and he served as a transmission belt channeling false Israeli ‘intelligence’ that Iraq possessed banned weapons of mass destruction. No weapons were ever found – a ‘mere detail of history’, according to his partner, Paul Wolfowitz. These blatant lies pushed to Bush Administration to invade and destroy Iraq.
While Elliot Abrams was strategically placed in the Bush/Cheney White House, his partners in deception, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith controlled Middle East policy at the Pentagon. This dream team of Abrams, Wolfowitz and Feith formed the powerful Israel-First Troika responsible for the military policies which systematically destroyed Iraq’s state apparatus, decimating its civil society, fragmenting the country and precipitating gruesome ethno-religious wars and the rise of ISIS. This ‘Troika’ has never been held responsible for the deaths of over one million Iraqis – but credit should be given to the ‘meritorious’.
Dr. Paul Wolfowitz received his BA from Cornell and PhD from the University of Chicago. In the 1980’s, early in his government career he temporarily lost security clearance for having passed confidential documents to Israeli agents. Despite this ‘youthful indiscretion’ (or act of treason), Wolfowitz became Deputy Defense Secretary under President George W. Bush (2001-2005). In this position, he was one of the earliest and most forceful advocates for military interventions against Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Libya. He persuaded the American Congress and the Bush Administration that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq would be short and self-financing. He glowingly predicted that the wars would ‘pay for themselves’ in terms of looted natural resources and ‘re-construction’ contracts. In fact, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost tens of thousands of US military casualties, over a trillion dollars in military expenditures and they continue over 13 years (Iraq), and 15 years (Afghanistan) with no end in sight but completely devastated societies spewing millions of refugees and thousands of terrorists.
Equally luminous in academic credentials, the third of the ‘Israel-First Troika’, Douglas Feith received his BA from Harvard (magna cum laude), and JD (magna cum laude). He worked closely with Israeli intelligence officials fabricating out of whole cloth the myth of Saddam’s quest for ‘yellow cake’ uranium to construct Iraqi nuclear weapons of mass destruction pushing the US into war against Iraq.
Feith set up a cozy nest at the Pentagon, the ‘Office of Special Plans’ (OSP), which served as a base of operations for Israeli operatives. One thoroughly disgusted former Pentagon official described the flow of Israeli officials in and out of OSP as resembling ‘a brothel on Saturday night’.
One of Feith’s crowning achievements was the destruction of the Iraqi Baath Party and administrative apparatus, which included the entire police force, the army and public administration, education, and even the huge public health system. Virtually all qualified Iraqi officials were either fired or ‘disappeared’. The result was the total breakdown of essential services, the pillage of the national and historic patrimony and decimation of civil and secular Iraqi society. Even the most fabulous archeological treasures of Mesopotamia were destroyed or looted for American and European collectors. Feith’s level of meddling and disastrous policies led the colorful US General Tommy Franks to describe the Harvard ‘JD’ as “the dumbest fucking guy on the planet”.
Hovering on the periphery of the ‘Troika’ was the ‘mysterious’, veteran manipulator, Richard Perle. With his BA from the University of Southern California and MA from Princeton (and no military experience), Perle was qualified to push for serial US wars on Israel’s behalf, starting with Iraq and moving on to all other countries which had traditionally supported the rights of the Palestinian people. He was a key member of the US Defense Policy Board under the Bush Administration and the front ideologue for invading Iraq. His second ‘job’ was strategic adviser to Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Benyamin Netanyahu. Perle pushed for US military intervention to effect ‘regime change’ in Syria and Iran as well as Libya.
Beyond the warrior ‘troika’ and shadowy Mr. Perle, there is Dr. Dennis Ross who received his BA and PhD from UCLA and taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Ross and fellow uber-Zionist, Martin Indyk, founded the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) the most influential lobby on Middle East policy and a virtual ‘king-maker’ in Washington. He was President Bill Clinton’s ‘Middle East Coordinator’, ensuring that Israel’s land grabs in the occupied territories were unimpeded, and indeed justified and funded by the US taxpayer. His notoriety in promoting the brutal and illegal confiscation of Palestinian property earned him the title as ‘Israel’s lawyer’ even among his most pro-Israel colleagues.
Ross made sure that Israel would not be bound to the Camp David agreements even as President Clinton claimed the negotiations as his landmark achievement in diplomacy. AIPAC, under Ross and Indyk, lobbied long and hard for the US invasion of Iraq; it backed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and justified the expansion of apartheid style ‘Jews only’ colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
During the Obama Presidency, Ross served as Special Adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. In this capacity, he actively opposed diplomatic negotiations with the government of Iran or the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Ross’ partner, Martin Indyk received his PhD from the Australian National University and served as Deputy Research Director and co-founder of AIPAC (1982-85). This, the most powerful lobby in Washington, serves exclusively as a political fifth column for the Israeli Foreign Office. Indyk was founding Director of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy (WINEP), a barnyard of ideological propagandists for Israel. When President Clinton appointed (the Australian, Israeli, US citizen) ‘Marty’ Indyk as US Ambassador to Israel, serious questions came up about his transfers of confidential documents to Israel. He thus became the first Ambassador stripped of security clearance. Israel Lobby pressures led to reinstated security clearance for Indyk who was subsequently named Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. As a mouthpiece for Israel’s interests, Indyk has pushed to ‘contain’ Iraq (through bombing) and Iran (through economic sanctions).
Throughout his career, Indyk sabotaged peace negotiation between Israel and Palestine and he undermined any early diplomatic resolution of the Iraq-US conflict, which might have prevented the disastrous war. His meddling on Israel’s behalf has cost the US treasury hundreds of billions of dollars in lost trade with Iran. Despite his clear record of ’service to Israel’ and ‘disservice to the US’, President Obama appointed Indyk as US (sic) Special Envoy for Israel-Palestine Negotiations (2013-2014). In this supposedly ‘diplomatic’ role he failed to protect even one acre of Palestinian farmland among the hundreds seized by Israel for the illegal establishment of many ‘Jews Only’ enclaves the occupied West Bank.
Economic Policy – More Mediocrity, Less Meritocracy
Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury (2013-2016) heads an ethno-Chauvinist quintet dictating US foreign and domestic economic policy (with Michael Froman, Chief Trade Negotiator; ‘Penny’ Pritzer, Secretary of Commerce; Lawrence Summers, Director of National Economic Council and Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Reserve Bank). Lew pushed policies favoring the wealthiest 1% along with his co-religionist Michael Froman, while millions of Americans were plunged into poverty and stagnation. Their policies include Free Trade Agreements in Europe, Asia and Latin America which have led to the relocation of US MNC overseas, massive job losses at home, further deepening inequalities and degrading work conditions and wages. Recently, in his stellar public career, Jack Lew was investigated for lying to the US Congress about the national debt, the size and growth of which he deliberately understated. Thanks to his ‘backers’, he was never charged . . . Of course, Lew has his BA from Harvard and JD from Georgetown, which accounts for his success on behalf of the leisure class.
Penny Pritzer, Obama’s Secretary of Commerce (2013-2016) received her BA from Harvard and JD and MBA from Stanford. She is a Chicago billionaire, who served as National Financial Chairperson of for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and was National Chair of his 2012 campaign. Pritzer has been major player among prominent Chicago Jews ensuring that ‘their candidate’ Obama ‘got it right’ on US-Israel relations. Despite having been fined $460 million by the US Treasury Department for predatory banking (Pritzker’s, Superior Bank of Chicago had fleeced millions of poor and middle class household mortgage holders and investors of billions of dollars of their assets), a grateful Obama named Penny Pritzker as his Secretary of Commerce. She quickly teamed up with Froman and Lew in promoting the ‘free trade’ agreements that have thoroughly undermined US regulations protecting labor and the environment. Billionaire Pritzker and her partners have been fabulously successful in globalizing profits for the elite while ’socializing’ the cost of corporate flight abroad onto the backs of the US working and middle classes.
Dr. Michael Froman, Obama’s Chief Trade Negotiator, has a BA from Princeton, a JD from Harvard and PhD from Oxford. Prior to heading up Trade, Froman served under ‘Bill’ Clinton in Treasury and was a National Security adviser to President Obama. He actively pushed for the Obama’s program of expansive domestic police state surveillance. He is also the principal author and promoter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes eleven Pacific nations and is designed to marginalize and encircle China . . . This is a ‘trade’ partnership, which may jeopardize the profits of over 500 major US MNC with investments in China and the US multi-hundred-billion-dollar trade relation. Froman is one of the major architects of Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’, which has heightened military tensions and threatens the entire West Coast economies heavily dependent on China trade.
Not to be outdone by other luminaries in the ‘economic quintet’, Lawrence Summers had been President at Harvard University until he was booted out by a resounding “no confidence vote” by the faculty – despite the efforts of Zionist academics and trustees who stuck by their ‘golden boy’. Summers, along with co-religionist Alan Greenspan (it has been so hard to find any competent Gentiles to steer the US economy), was one of the prime authors of the deregulatory financial policies leading to the 2008-09 financial-economic crash. This crushing success caused double-digit unemployment, three million household foreclosures and forced a trillion dollar bank bailout down the gagging throats of the US taxpayers.
Summers led the charge on the successful repeal of the New Deal, Glass-Steagall Act, a venerable depression era legislation designed to prevent banks from speculating with their depositors’ savings – which the banks promptly did after the repeal.
As Under-Secretary of Treasury in 1993, Deputy-Secretary in 1995 and Treasury Secretary in 1999, the Harvard and MIT-diploma-laden Summers advised the vodka-soaked ‘experts’ around Boris Yeltsin to ‘privatize the Russian economy’ – resulting in the pillage by gangster-oligarchs of over $500 billion dollars in public properties, banks and natural resources and providing significant profits for a score of Harvard-based ‘advisers’.
As President of Harvard, he attributed the absence of women scholars in science, mathematics and engineering to their lack of ‘high-end’ intellectual capacity (ignoring centuries of ingrained discrimination) and he trivialized the academic work of Afro-American scholar, Cornel West, causing him to leave and join Princeton. His denigration of a major African-American scholar was in line with his views on Africa while at the World Bank where he advocated shipping toxic waste because, ‘I’ve always thought that the under-populated countries in Africa were vastly under-polluted.”
After alienating women and African Americans, Summers spearheaded a vitriolic attack on any and all campus critics of the state of Israel. He targeted student leaders of the peaceful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as ‘anti-Semites’ or ’self-hating Jews’, using the University Presidential bully platform to silence opponents of his pro-Israel politics. Eventually, he was ousted from office by an overwhelming faculty vote ostensibly for his financial ‘conflict of interests’ related to his Yeltsin-era dealings with mega-swindler Andrei Shleifer whose shady deals in Russia’s privatization orgy made some Harvard officials very wealthy.
Self-promoted, academic spokesman for the American worker, Robert Reich received his JD at Yale Law School and taught at Harvard. He served as Labor Secretary under Clinton (1993-97). During Reich’s tenure, labor union membership steeply declined, laws prohibiting worker organizing were tightened and the minimum wage became a minimum survival wage. Reich hung on to his Cabinet position even after the North American Free Trade for the Americas (NAFTA} was approved destroying over two million once secure American manufacturing jobs. He hung on as President Clinton carpet bombed the renowned worker self-managed factories of Yugoslavia. He kept his luxurious office in Washington after Clinton bombed Sudan’s principle factory for the production of vaccines and antibiotics leaving million of children and adults without basic vaccines and medicines. Reich kept ‘mum’ even as Haiti was invaded and a harsh neo-liberal anti-worker agenda was imposed to permit the democratically elected President Aristide to return to office.
While domestic inequalities deepened and economic deregulation extended, Reich remained in office. Reich ignored Israeli violence against Palestinian labor unions and workers, backing Clinton’s “carnal relation” with Tel Aviv.
After years of devastation against workers at home and abroad, Reich left Washington for a cushy $243,000-a-year appointment at UC Berkeley where he ‘teaches’ two hours a week assigning his own op-ed columns in the mass media as ‘reading material’. When not engaged in such strenuous scholarship, Reich has managed to churn out books ‘critical of neo-liberalism, inequality and social justice’. ‘Crying all the way to the bank’, this intellectual for the oppressed worker has to manage the $40,000 he is paid for each 45 minute speech on the lecture circuit. On an hourly basis, Reich earns 6 times more than the average US corporate CEOs he denounces.
From our discussion it is clear that there is a profound disparity between the stellar academic achievements of Israel-First officials in the US government and the disastrous consequences of their public policies in office.
The ethno-chauvinist claim of unique ‘merit’ to explain the overwhelming success of American Jews in public office and in other influential spheres is based on a superficial reputational analysis, bolstered on degrees from prestigious universities. But this reliance on reputation has not held up in terms of performance – the successful resolution of concrete problems and issues. Failures and disasters are not just ‘overlooked’; they are rewarded.
After examining the performance of top officials in foreign policy, we find that their ‘assumptions’ (often blatant manipulations and misrepresentations) about Iraq were completely wrong; their pursuit of war was disastrous and criminal; their ‘occupation blueprint’ led to prolonged conflict and the rise of terrorism; their pretext for war was a fabrication derived from their close ties to Israeli intelligence in opposition to the findings US intelligence. Their sanctions policy toward Iran has cost the US economy many billions while their pro-Israel policy cost the US Treasury (and taxpayers) over $110 billion over the last 30 years. Their one-sided ‘Israel-First’ policy has sabotaged any a ‘two-state’ resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and has left millions of Palestinians in abject misery. Meanwhile, the disproportionate number of high officials who have been accused of giving secret US documents to Israel (Wolfowitz, Feith, Indyke and Polland etc.) exposes what really constitutes the badge of “merit” in this critical area of US security policy.
The gulf between academic credentials and actual performance extends to economic policy. Neo-liberal policies favoring Wall Street speculators were adopted by such strategic policymakers as Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Lawrence Summers. Their ‘leadership’ rendered the country vulnerable to the biggest economic crash since the Great Depression with millions of Americans losing employment and homes. Despite their role in creating the conditions for the crisis, their ’solution’ compounded the disaster by transferring over a trillion dollars from the US Treasury to the investment banks, as a taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street. Under their economic leadership, class inequalities have deepened; the financial elite has grown many times richer. Meanwhile, wars in the Middle East have drained the US Treasury of funds, which should have been used to serve the social needs of Americans and finance an economic recovery program through massive domestic investments and repair of our collapsing infrastructure.
The trade policies under the leadership of this ‘meritocratic’ elite – formerly called the ‘Chosen People’ – have been an unmitigated disaster for the majority of industrial workers, resulting in huge trade deficits and the deskilling of low paid service employment – with profound implications for future generations of American workers. It is no longer a secret that an entire generation of working class Americans has descended into poverty with no prospects of escape – except through narcotics and other degradation. On the ‘flip side’ of the ‘winners and losers’, US finance capital has expanded overseas with acquisition and merger fees enriching the 0.1% and the meritocratic officials happily rotating from their Washington offices to Wall Street and back again.
If economic performance were to be measured in terms of the sustained growth, balanced budgets, reductions in inequalities and the creation of stable, well-paying jobs, the economic elite (despite their self-promoted merits) have been absolute failures.
However, if we adopt the alternative criteria for success, their performance looks pretty impressive: they bailed out their banking colleagues, implemented destructive ‘free’ trade agreements, and opened up overseas investments opportunities with higher rates of profits than might be made from investing in the domestic economy.
If we evaluate foreign policy ‘performance’ in terms of US political, economic and military interests, their policies have been costly in lives, financial losses and military defeats for the nation as a whole. They rate ’summa cum lousy’.
However if we consider their foreign policies in the alternative terms of Israel’s political, economic and military interests, they regain their ’summa cum laudes’! They have been well rewarded for their services: The war against Iraq destroyed an opponent of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The systematic destruction of the Iraqi civil society and state has eliminated any possibility of Iraq recovering as a modern secular, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional state. Here, Israel made a major advance toward unopposed regional military dominance without losing a soldier or spending a shekel! The Iran sanctions authored and pushed by Levey and Cohen served to undermine another regional foe of Israeli land grabs in the West Bank even if it cost the US hundreds of billions in lost profits, markets and oil investments.
By re-setting the criteria for these officials, it is clear that their true academic ‘merit’ correlates with their success policies on behalf of the state Israel, regardless of how mediocre their performances have been for the United States as a state, nation and people. All this might raise questions about the nature of higher education and how performance is evaluated in terms of the larger spheres of the US economy, state and military.
What we suggest is that degrees from prestigious universities and the highest awards have prepared academic high achievers to serve the elites but not the workers; to empower the financiers but not the producers. These years of training and achievement have certainly not prevented destructive foreign loyalties from undermining the greater society, nor have they taught basic civic virtues and egalitarian values. Prestigious universities recruit and train graduates in the mold of the dominant elites and increasingly narrow ethno-classes. They purge, intimidate and marginalize effective critics of Wall Street and of the State of Israel – the two major success markers that derive from an increasingly insulated ethno-chauvinist power configuration. I would rather question if the disproportionate rise to the top of academia, government and finance hierarchies by pro-Israel Jews has less to do with their effective practical knowledge and democratic values and more to do with their affiliation with the political and economic power that revolves around ‘the1%’ and is played out, first in academia and then in the larger political and economic spheres to the detriment of the vast majority.
Whatever intrinsic intelligence may exist can be blinded and distorted by an irrational doctrine of racial-ethnic superiority: the results have been stupid and destructive policies imposed by self-congratulatory, self-contained collectivities – with absolutely no accountability for their failures.
The prestigious degrees and awards may account for the appointments – but they don’t explain the complete absence of any evaluations, or firings or even punishment for failed policies. There have been no consequences for the authors of broken economies, impoverished workers, prolonged losing wars, lies and fabrications of data leading to war and the passing of confidential state documents. Why have they continued to receive promotions in the face of policy failures? Why the revolving doors of appointments to the World Bank, positions in the ‘best’ universities (to the exclusion of real independent scholars) and the lucrative seats in investment banks after their policies have shredded the domestic economy?
Don’t the deaths and maiming of millions of Iraqis, Palestinians, Syrians and, Libyans and the tens of millions of desperate refugees, resulting from their foreign policies, warrant a pause in their continued hold on power and prestige, if not outright condemnation for crimes against humanity?