The three-hour worker’s state

For those that believe that Harvard uses the wrong shade of red to conceal its true nature, the graduate dining hall is probably the best evidence. Rationing and the bread line, or rather the rice bowl line, are still in force there (but only at lunchtime). Of course I understand these are hard economic times, and a $30 billion endowment can get spread pretty thin. What I don’t understand is why these limitations are only in effect at lunchtime, and then at dinner you can eat as much as you want, as if the the conditions of scarcity separating ideal socialism from Actually Existing Socialism disappeared sometime mid-afternoon every day, allowing dialectical materialism to speed through its whole evolutionary course and deliver a true paradise of plenty by 5:15 in the evening. Of course the process reverses itself every night, suggesting that every revolution, as the word’s etymology suggests, is circular.

Just as some people like to compare people’s appearances to that of various animals, comparing Harvard to various totalitarian systems seems to be a surprisingly popular activity here. A friend of mine disagrees with my preference for communism and claims the big ceremonies like inaugurations and commencements, when there are huge red vertical banners on standards all over the Yard, really more resemble the Nuremberg rallies. This view hasn’t caught on as much, in part perhaps because there doesn’t seem to be a good adjective that means “Nazi-like” as distinct from some actual ideological or material link with the Nazis. There are neo-Nazis, sure, but it’s hard to imagine giving this name to groups in Africa or Asia or South America. So as a result fascism, which is not quite the same thing, gets all the credit whenever a bunch of maniacs in peculiarly colored shirts start beating up minorities or whatever. I’m not really sure what would be a good word. “Nazist”? “Nazi-ey”? As for Harvard’s own propensity for shirts in a peculiar shade of red, it seems to be fading a bit, which I see as a good thing, since to me the Harvard Crimson sounds like some shitty Arena Football League team or a particularly grotesque sex act.

2 Responses to “The three-hour worker’s state”

  1. shonk Says:

    That first paragraph is probably the best I’ve read all week.

  2. Curt Says:

    Thanks, the best part is that I know that I’ve satisfied at least 25% of my confirmed readers, and how many people can say that?

Leave a Reply

If your comment doesn't appear right away, it was probably eaten by our spam-killing bot. If your comment was not, in fact, spam (and if you're actually reading this, it probably wasn't), please send me an email and I'll try to extricate your comment from our electronic spam purgatory.