Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Summers and Rose


I caught up online with an interview Charlie Rose did with Lawrence Summers after his removal from the Harvard presidency some time ago.  Summers claimed at the outset that he was now free to say what he wanted.  The interview makes nonsense of this comment, as Summers all but puts his two hands to his throat and squeezes his windpipe to prevent any untoward remark from escaping.  Indeed, he spoke more freely when he was Harvard’s president.

Still, in the jungle of obfuscating verbiage, a few points did emerge, which I am making clearer here than he did: 

He doesn’t think affirmative action should be pursued at the price of merit; he thinks that differences between the sexes are a legitimate subject of research and serious discussion; he thinks that the college student population being majority female nowadays indicates directions of approach, sensibility, etc., that bear looking into.   

With everything, Summers is still an interesting figure, and even now I can’t help admiring him a little for the cracks of light he managed to throw on certain issues (anti-Semtism on campus, ROTC, feminism), as well as for (inadvertently) exposing the PC tyranny in a way which should have been enlightening for anyone who had an open mind and didn’t allow it to be closed off by subsequent rationalizations. 


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