DIVERSITAS 1, VERITAS 0 – How Harvard, and the American Mind, have Lost Their Way

Planned Man:

  •  Because, sadly, as goes Harvard, so goes the American Mind.
  • Harvard’s ‘Veritas’ has given way to a fake ‘Diversitas’—the myth that all must think alike—or else. The truth? Harvard’s ‘diversity’ is a fat mendacium. {Latin for LIE]
  •  Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan—a Harvard man—captured the common-sense foundations for a dedication to an indulgent pursuit of the truth: “We are all entitled to our own opinions,” he said, “but not our own facts.”
  • One of the benefits of living in interesting times is that we are always facing choices with far-reaching implications.  The choices that we are making now are going to bind our future—and, if you’ll excuse the platitude, “our children’s children’s future.”  

Truth-in-advertising ought to require that Harvard rebrand itself.  Harvard’s motto is short and to the point:  “Veritas”. Seven letters that capture in Latin what English captures in five: Truth.  

The majority of those outside the universities agree that the pursuit of truth should be the proper purpose of a university.  The person created by such an education should prioritize veritas above all other values. And to take it just another step forward, a free people who want to remain free ought to have an interest in fostering veritas’ ambitious habits of heart and mind—from pre-K to PhD. 

 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan—a Harvard man—captured the common-sense foundations for a dedication to an indulgent pursuit of the truth: “We are all entitled to our own opinions,” he said, “but not our own facts.”

If “We the People of the United States” — and the World — could just let Moynihan’s thirteen words sink into our bifurcated American and global minds, our future, in the immortal words of Timbuk3, would be so bright we’d have to wear shades.

But veritas be told, Harvard is far less concerned with Veritas and much more concerned with conformatio — not diversitas. As true diversity faded, conformity rose to replace it.

If Harvard had the courage to take a blowtorch to its gate and add three letters—a D, a S and an I, Harvard could publicly announce truth-in-packaging of historical magnitude.  

 Because, sadly, as goes Harvard, so goes the American Mind.

Harvard’s version of diversitas, is obedient only to conformity, and that has has displaced Veritas as the lodestar of our educational and cultural character.  

Translation: Conformity, the useless byproduct of Diversity, now trumps Truth. That is a distinction worth our attention. 

We celebrate a varietas of colors, creeds, and sexual permutations.  A diversity of exteriors but not of interiors. A false diversity, ironically one protected by enforced conformity.

In the abstract, shared thinking sounds attractive.  As American as apple pie and Ellis Island, no?   The diversity of the human family is connected by a shared, universal admiration of equality.   

A hope of the Enlightenment was to reverse the curse of Babel; human reason pushing to the periphery the differences that divide us. Instead of reason focusing on conquering the heavens, it should put itself in service of lifting the human family.

A healthy Pluribus requires a committed Unum. To stay together requires a principle of connection.  

One of the benefits of living in interesting times is that we are always facing choices with far-reaching implications.  The choices that we are making now are going to bind our future—and, if you’ll excuse the platitude, “our children’s children’s future.”  

My fellows, we need to make this choice very deliberately. We are in an antebellum divided-house at this moment in time. Again, equality—and the need to live up to it—finds itself against a stronger fashionable—might we say tribal?—headwind.

It our responsibility to decide for future generations whether or not our shared vision will govern our national experiment in self-government going foreword.

Unlike Baskin-Robins and European politics—there are just two choices for us, one of two paths: the path of equality or the path of tribal differences.  

While down in the polls at the moment, equality is the only path forward and upward.  Truth and human equality may be down in the polls, but they remain the only hopes of a free, equal and just people.

Fake diversity above all—even truth—and its fixation on ideological differences appears to be winning.  Diversitas and its divisive fruit—Identity— has captured all the commanding heights and is running the show.  This is not a path to greater perfection but devolution. Regression to a pre-enlightenment mean.  

We could start by reading the Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.—a 272-word masterpiece on the case for equality in American self-understanding and purpose.  Lincoln gave Jefferson’s self-evident “All Men are Created Equal” a four-score-and-seven-year defense, one that needs a retelling 12 score and 5 years later.  

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