Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
First circulated in email November 09, 2012 | Published December 04, 2013
Getting admitted into the top universities in the United States does not appear to be of much interest to many Muslims (for any number of reasons). The article outlining an Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) USA initiative, ‘National College Expedition prepares high school students for a brighter future‘ ( tinyurl.com/IVY-future ), is a must read for Muslim parents, students, and educators alike, both in the United States and worldwide, but especially in Pakistan. This Muslim public service organization has stepped-up in the West to facilitate that interest for American-Canadian-French high school students. Getting into top graduate schools in the US is of course even harder than undergraduate. This excellent article highlights some benefits of college visits and the benefits of early college preparation. The article also highlights the fact that financial aid is available.
College education and advanced degrees from top IVY Leagues is an ‘American Dream’ to die for, for some… I often ask whether such an education really makes one super-learned, or merely a super-anointed “likkha parrha jahil”? I don’t know… I am a tad biased… College education in the US, regardless of IVY, like the force of gravity, unfortunately only appears to pull one’s intelligence down towards a standardized norm in thoughts and actions — evidence of that is the ubiquitous ‘United We Stand’ with absurdities in America.
If American higher education, never mind its IVY League education, was worth the money and the youthful zealotry spent in pursuing it, apart from it surely being a fantastic meal-ticket and great means of career advancement, there’d be at least one distinguished super-learned person from any of these master colleges of America to escape ‘The IVY League Morons Syndrome‘ ( tinyurl.com/Ivy-Morons ). No? Do you know of any?
Something happens when one lives or studies in America — now equivalent of living and studying almost anywhere on earth due to the ‘globalization’ of American values and systems of thoughts and pursuits. This is a statement of fact. Thomas Friedman, though clearly not one of my favorite imperial columnist, let the truth explode candidly through his pen in his 1999 New York Times column “Manifesto for a Fast World”:
‘The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist — McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. “Good ideas and technologies need a strong power that promotes those ideas by example and protects those ideas by winning on the battlefield,” says the foreign policy historian Robert Kagan. “If a lesser power were promoting our ideas and technologies, they would not have the global currency that they have. And when a strong power, the Soviet Union, promoted its bad ideas, they had a lot of currency for more than half a century.”’
I am certain that the prominent Jewish columnist Thomas Friedman’s observation is true of all dominant empires from antiquity to modernity. When the British empire ruled the roost in yester-centuries, their education system created the blithering brown-sahibs they needed to run the Indo sub-continent after Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay crafted the Indian Education Policy in 1835. In his seminal speech ( tinyurl.com/macaulay-1835 ) to the British Parliament, the Lord of empire stated, rather candidly:
‘We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, –a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.’
It appears that the Americans have topped even that and far surpassed previous empires by way of successfully creating a ubiquitous class of peoples worldwide who ‘United We Stand’ with the master class on all its dominant narratives. Only a handful escape it – but what an escape, few can make a decent living afterwards! So the motivation to escape is outright negative.
How did this happen?
Hear Aldous Huxley explain the forces that drive it ( tinyurl.com/Huxley-listen ):
‘You can do everything with bayonets except sit on them! If you are going to control any population for any length of time you must have some measure of consent. It’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion. An element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them. Well, it seems to me that the nature of the Ultimate Revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably always will exist, to get people actually to love their servitude! This is the, it seems to me the ultimate in malevolent revolution shall we say.’ — Aldous Huxley, Ultimate Revolution, 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, minute 04:06
The culmination of the standardization and uniformization of the public as economic widgets, dystopically arranged in some kind of scientific class hierarchy silently obeying orders in willing servitude without any thought of rebellion, was most ably depicted by Aldous Huxley in his 1931 allegorical novel Brave New World (read the book, watch the movie). The above speech was in fact made on that seminal novel’s thirtieth anniversary to an audience of undergraduate students at U.C. Berkeley. Please do spend the 40 minutes of your precious time listening to Aldous Huxley’s account of the “Ultimate Revolution” with your own college students and high-schoolers.
The ruthlessness of the coming world social order was also ably propositioned by Ayn Rand in her many fictional novels which principally expanded upon her philosophy of complete surrender to selfishness. Most nobly christened “Objectivism” – perhaps to make it sound objective and rational in opposition to the “irrational” Christian charity to the “unworthy” unwashed masses under its moral absolutism – her two novels: Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and her collection of essays: The Virtue of Selfishness, should be made required reading for all high-schoolers as the sacred path to an IVY education is opened to the non-elite. I suspect that the talented elite American kids are already raised on that mind numbing fodder in their English lit class. It will surely make the middle class, kids, parents, and educators alike, feel a lot better about abandoning false piety and self-deception.
The Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election, Paul Davis Ryan, also the United States Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district and current chairman of the House Budget Committee, credited Rand’s philosophy as something which had inspired him. His wikipedia page reports the following politicism:
‘At a 2005 Washington, D.C. gathering celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s birth, Ryan credited Rand as inspiring him to get involved in public service. In a speech that same year at the Atlas Society, he said he grew up reading Rand, and that her books taught him about his value system and beliefs. Ryan required staffers and interns in his congressional office to read Rand and gave copies of her novel Atlas Shrugged as gifts to his staff for Christmas. In his Atlas Society speech, he also described Social Security as a “socialist-based system”.
In 2009, Ryan said, “What’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case of capitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”
In April 2012, after receiving criticism from Georgetown University faculty members on his budget plan, Ryan rejected Rand’s philosophy as an atheistic one, saying it “reduces human interactions down to mere contracts”.‘ — wikipedia
The National Security Advisor to former American President Jimmy Carter (1976-1980), Dr. Strangelove, ahem, pardon me, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, fielded his own realistic version of the upcoming scientific dystopia in his seminal 1970 narrative, Between Two Ages – The Role of America in the Technetronic Era, as outright inevitable (read, search). That seminal book seems to accurately blueprint modernity, like everyone of Brzezinski’s strategy books both psychologically and militarily maneuvering America on the Grand Chessboard (read, search). What a brilliant savant! And certainly no less brilliant than the Fabian philosopher of the British aristocracy, Bertrand Russell, who both speciously argued and self-servingly predicted in his own seminal sophistry, The Impact of Science on Society, that a dystopic global police-state is the natural outcome of the pursuit of science and technology for a stable society: “There is, it must be confessed, a psychological difficulty about a single world government … It seems to follow that a world government could only be kept in being by force” (read, search). Comparing with what Aldous Huxley observed in 1962 as the intrinsic limitation of the bayonet quoted above, please read learn what the massa class already knows and believes.
And so, it is already evident to many, modern education, be it in an IVY League in America, or at UET or LUMS in Lahore, Pakistan, is ab initio designed to mainly craft diploma-wielding economic widgets arranged in some sort of scientific caste system based on their natural talents who, regardless of their position in the class hierarchy, together welcome their own servitude with a happy-happy smile :-)
The truth of this sweeping statement can clearly be seen at least in the case of the inventor of Active Pixel CMOS camera on a chip who was inducted into the American National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2011: Eric Fossum ( tinyurl.com/Fossum-talk ). His invention “is used in nearly all camera phones and webcams, digital-still cameras, high-speed motion capture cameras, automotive cameras, dental x-ray cameras, and swallowable pill cameras.”
The Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) USA initiative article mentioned at the beginning shows the fast-path to similar “Brighter Future”.
Of course, please do sensibly note that modern Western education, regardless of at an IVY on the fabulous East Coast of America, or at Stanford, Caltech, and UC Berkeley on the beautiful all season West Coast of America, or at UET or LUMS in Lahore, or Aga Khan University in Karachi, does not have to craft economic widgets only… right?
It surely can produce thoughtful people too, No? Like those who on the very day of 9/11 could have spotted it to be self-inflicted “operation canned goods” of the Third Reich in action replay.
If it is arguably plausible to raise thoughtful generations in the now dominant Western Education system worldwide, it is also safe to assert that one would have to work awfully hard to overcome the entrenched forces of indoctrination, ahem, socialization and manipulation, to escape modern education’s pernicious primary intent: crafting economic widgets “content to labor hard all day long” as per the Fable of the Bees (Ibid.):
‘The economic well-being of the [world] depends on the presence of a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long. Because men are naturally lazy they will not work unless forced by necessity to do so.’ — Bernard de Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, 1705
It’s almost like escaping the force of gravity — a force one can’t see, smell, touch, or even feel… unless one tries to escape it!
Assuming however that one does want to pursue this “brighter future” and is most amiably willing to ‘United We Stand’ with the paradigms du jour in the pursuit of one’s American Dream, it is worthwhile to again highlight the observation made in this article that financial aid is available in America’s top Ivy Leagues.
In fact, the ability to pay is more or less separated from the competition to be admitted in America’s top schools only. That is how I got to attend MIT from Pakistan over three decades ago.
Whether dreaming of an undergraduate education in America or some professional graduate degree, most Pakistani students, like American students highlighted in this article, are not intimate with the overly complex admission processes and what it takes to be admitted to top American universities. Be aware that it’s a joint family and school initiative and takes a lot more commitment and hard work than just the student’s own dreaming to realize the American Dream, albeit the latter has to be the prime-mover. But its enablement remains largely a team effort across many fronts.
Unfortunately, there is almost zero smart college guidance counseling available for high school and university students in Pakistan (just as it is for most of the over-crowded public high schools in the United States which reportedly graduate upward of a million eighteen year olds each year). Of course we are only speaking of the “elite” who can afford to pay for an education in Pakistan. To fill this gap, snake-oil salesmen and saleswomen have evidently cropped up throughout the big cities of Pakistan to mint money from mediocre students by processing their paper-work for mediocre Western universities for that oft glorified piece of parchment which will get them suitably anointed in Pakistan.
The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) even has an entire protocol in place to attest these pieces of parchment to ensure they are not fake. The fact that these pieces of parchment are being wielded by a serf-class excelling only in mediocrity does not seem to bother them very much.
Why strive for only mediocrity? If one is going to make the Faustian bargain of the pursuit of the ‘American Dream’ anyway, if HEC is going to follow the American paradigms anyway, if Beacon House is going to mass produce English-enabled kids anyway, why not make that dream to reach the top of its very heap? Why create and sustain, aid and abet, harvest and reward, systemic crap ( tinyurl.com/Pakistani-Plagiarism ) like this?
Groom them for the top Ivy Leagues in Pakistan… both undergraduate and graduate school.
The pursuit alone to effectively compete to get there will produce very skilled professionals across the board, whether or not they get to attend the IVYs. The level of that competition, and the sheer competence needed to first get there, and then to survive there, will surely be an eye-opener for many a Pakistani academic and student alike. A sampling of the level of competence can be seen in the level of the coursework taught at MIT. Visit its fabulous open courseware website http://ocw.mit.edu where anyone in the world can study MIT’s almost entire curriculum, 1800+ courses online the last time I checked, all day long for free! Can Pakistani professors and high school math and science teachers, never mind their students, do any of those MIT problem sets and exams?
Why not take some benchmarks to evaluate all the bombastic proclamations by HEC on academic success of Pakistani higher education under their stewardship, by getting Pakistani students to take MIT open courseware quizzes and exams in equivalent classes being taught in their high schools and universities?
One might even come to the realization that almost all Pakistani universities can build much of their technical curriculum on open courseware, and also employ their philosophy of education!
The challenges of higher education in the twenty-first century are well understood by the West, and most poorly comprehended by Pakistani universities and by their national steward for academic enlightenment, HEC. The former Dean of Engineering of Purdue University, and former President of IEEE, Prof. Leah Jameison, in her Keynote speech at the DesignCon 2007 conference in Santa Clara, California, titled ‘Engineering education prepares for 2020‘ ( tinyurl.com/Higher-Education-2020 ), had emphatically noted some of these challenges facing higher education today:
‘In many ways, the world is changing, … Are our graduates going to have the skills they need over the next 40 years? … The “half life” of an engineer’s knowledge — the point at which half of what the engineer knows is obsolete — may now be as little as five years’!
The West’s stewards are seeking to “turn the curriculum inside out.” (Ibid.) to meet the new challenges of empire due to rapid development of science and technology which is naturally creating a hybrid of superficial generalists and narrow-gauge specialists. Neither is fortuitously able to parse reality, to the complete benefit of empire (see The IVY League Morons Syndrome and The Fable of the Bees cited above). A famous robber baron is reputed to have accurately presaged the empiricism du jour way back in the 19th century:
‘The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.’
The challenges facing the East are far more spectacular – to put it mildly, and in positive light.
Therefore, why wait until university? Even Pakistani high-schools can teach the A-level and Intermediate equivalent math and science sequence from open courseware, and adopt the same philosophy of breadth-with-depth for far more basic skill and competence development than is presently done in Pakistan even at the university level. The beauty is that all of this is actually free.
Unfortunately, empire is also very smart. It does not release its social sciences and humanities curriculum to the world. Nor encourages its pursuit. For it knows that not engineers and not scientists, not economists and not technocrats, but language and political science majors, psychologists and historians, run the world on behalf of the international bankers who put various politicians in power across the world to implement global policies which are frequently crafted at privately funded thinktanks and tax-exempt private foundations by English majors.
Thus notice that social sciences and humanities are not a priority among the colonized and developing nations of the world. But the smartest kids in the United States and the developed West in addition to the hard sciences, also go into social sciences, arts, humanities and languages — unlike ours who mostly become engineers and doctors… The economic system in developing nations is designed ab initio to ensure that only serfdom is rewarded.
Thus only those skills necessary to be an expert craftsman for the benefit of the global military-industrial complex are encouraged and rewarded – and that remains the essence of harvesting the developing nations of their best and brightest young minds. Get them to work for America and Western interests by suitably rewarding them for their mindless pursuits for the military-industrial complex. It creates a self-perpetuating system that was already well-tread by the British empire. Modernity has merely stepped up the ante for that harvesting, whereby, instead of only creating the traditional feudal class designed to politically control the masses through oppression, a scientific technetronic class has been fashioned in keeping with the rise of science and technology. The first-principles of harvest however remain the same despite the bayonet being replaced with a measure of public consent for their servitude.
But so long as you are gonna work for empire, produce economic widgets for its imperative of global governance ( tinyurl.com/Modernity-today7 ); so long as you are gonna be a serf happy-happy in voluntary servitude; so long as you are gonna be employed in their worldwide military-industrial-corporate-academe complex; you might as well strive to rise to its very top rung and enjoy its fruits, like your American counterparts!
As already noted above, but bears repetition to emphasize its practical benefits, that race alone to rise to the top of the elitist heap can only make the young herd even more skilled, more uniform, enabling them to actually thrive in the higher tiers of economic widgetry as the most “essential” category of the scientific class hierarchy, rather than risk being slated for gradual elimination in the “useless eater” categories, in the coming global empire of one-world government.
If you ape the elite in everything else, why not here?
Pakistan might even begin to effectively compete with India in our indispensability to empire from our present disposable status!
Groom them for the top Ivy Leagues of America – both undergraduate and graduate school – if you are gonna spend good money and precious time on their American education anyway.
I am not sure that higher education in the best universities elsewhere in the world is really all that much different, and so, regardless of which country you are gonna pay for your children’s Westernized collegization, groom them for the top most ones that they can dare to dream of.
They might just get in to the top school in the world —- I did!
And you can be 99% sure of what will come out — a perfectly educated, upwardly mobile, highly skilled, and most successful specimen of “likkha parrha jahil”. Silicon Valley, California, my home town of more than three decades, bears testimony to that statement of fact.
I may be among that lonely 1% exception, at least I’d like to believe so, perhaps due to being only imperfectly educated in America despite my best intentions. Heck, four years at MIT, another few at Stanford while chasing my American Dream in American corporations…. something clearly went wrong from empire’s point of view that it instead produced a “maladjusted” “malcontent”. You can respectively hear Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech titled Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam, and read H. G. Wells’ sugared sales pitch for world government in his non-fiction book New World Order, for the meaning of these terms. I like to think of it as: the wakeup call happened ( tinyurl.com/No-Military-Industrial-Complex ).
Going back to sleep to dream the American Dream (note that one has to be asleep in order to dream) has become well-nigh impossible afterwards. Even sleeping pills don’t work. I sometimes wonder now that I am wide awake that had I realized all this as an eighteen year old choosing the direction of my life at that pivotal time, whether I would have made a different career choice. To remedy this situation for the new generation dreaming of the Ivy Leagues, to offer them that realization early so that at least some, those who have the luxury to do so, can make a different choice, I have written a young Muslim’s guide to alternate career choices before they cross the Rubicon of permanent sleep, FAQ: Pragmatic Career Guidance for Young Muslims ( tinyurl.com/young-muslims-guide ).
Yes, do prepare to attend the top IVY Leagues of Western academe, and those who cannot make it there to strive for LUMS, UET, and AKU, and continue dreaming of it for graduate school. Yes do pursue professional degrees, and do endeavor to rise to the top of the heap.
And there is absolute guarantee, at least 99% surety, that you will also come out a blithering idiot with only “learned” stamped upon your forehead so hard, and so deeply invested in your American Dream with medals and titles galore, that it will leave you bereft of all moral courage and commonsense. You will no longer be able to call reality the only way it is!
Don’t believe me?
Here is a quick litmus test of the success of your investment in your American Dream. For the medicine professionals training, and already trained, at AKU in Karachi, Harvard in Cambridge-Boston, and UCSF in San Francisco medical schools, see if you can still dare to call a spade a spade publicly: Open Letter to the Doctors of America.
And that is the twisted reality of the matter – and that is also why Pakistan has an abundance of these Western trained likkha-parrha jahils all across our learned landscape no differently than in the United States of America.
Please share with your college students and high-school wards.
Click on the link below to read the Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) USA initiative article:
First emailed to stewards of Pakistan’s public and private universities on Nov. 09, 2012 |
Published for wider audience on Dec. 4, 2013 | Last updated Friday, December 6, 2013 02:00 pm 4187
Groom them for top Ivy Leagues of America By Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org 11