The academy has become a temple to the ego, worshipping personal aggrandisement, worthless certifications, and social privilege. The self-righteous, self-important, and self-serving are an easy target for evil, since they believe themselves too clever to be deceived. Even writing an article like this is a battle with one’s own classist narcissism.
There is one public room in my college that I have never set foot in: the chapel. My disturbing childhood brush with organised religion means I get the creeps whenever I go near any kind of collective worship. It also struck me as strange that the spiritual was relegated to a game reserve where wilder souls could be tamed into conformity. Now in later life I am realising how all institutions are prone to capture into the service of power via spiritual subversion.
I have previously observed how the university was founded around the Divinity School, but later abandoned this for the Cult of Scientific Materialism. It may have taken several centuries for this to cause the catastrophic failure of the culture of academia, but the damage is now hard to ignore. I feel like an air crash investigator pre-positioned watching the fatally off course craft predictably hurtling towards the ground, ready to survey the final wreckage.