Having recently met with Students for Ending the War in Iraq (SEWI) and a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees to discuss the subject of divestment, I admit to initially being quite depressed. The gulf between the set of ideas espoused by SEWI and those espoused by those of us who do not support divestment seemed to be wider even than that between Heaven and Hell, and twice as contentious.
After the meeting, however, one of SEWI’s members was kind enough to gift me with a copy of the group’s proposal for divestment and, not being one to refuse information when it is so willingly offered, I accepted. What I have read has certainly convinced me of something, though perhaps not necessarily what SEWI wanted me to believe. As such, I have decided to submit this simple proposal here in the pages of the Argus, in the hopes that it will spur a new level of debate.
The action I propose is quite simple: I support the instant divestment of SEWI from Wesleyan University, a known supporter of war, carnage and the clubbing of baby seals. SEWI claims no connection to the horrible atrocities perpetuated by the University. The statistics say otherwise. Each member of SEWI gives an annual gift of roughly $50,000 to the University. In 2007, 64 percent of the University’s budget was made up of donations by similar donors. SEWI, and the 800 signatories of its petition for divestment, account for 17 percent of the budget.
The University’s website claims that it is a college “founded in 1831 by Methodist leaders and Middletown citizens.” However, in 2007, Wesleyan willingly accepted Michael Roth, a noted supporter of the totalitarian philosopher Richard Rorty, as its next President. Coincidence? I think not. The University has also employed noted warmongers on its faculty, who have accepted grants from the United States government to conduct research on matters not subject to Democratic accountability.
The University claims that it is not on the payroll of the military industrial complex—that these are merely “Pell Grants” and “NEH Fellowships.” However, the authors of the studies produced by these “Pell Grants” use intentionally obfuscating language that is not specifically understandable to laymen in order to conceal their own sinister methods. One particularly offending Chemistry paper made mention of “dihydrogen monoxide.” Such deliberately misleading and difficult language is clearly intended to limit understanding of these undemocratic papers to those who are part of the sinister “Pell Grant” cabal, with its obvious pro-government ties.
Much ink has been spilled about the University’s investments in General Dynamics and Raytheon. Indeed, these investments are sizable. However, they are but the tip of the iceberg. The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) has devoted funding to groups such as “Advocates for Satan” and “WESKINK.” According to godhatesfags.com, “Those who would downplay these impolitic donations are clearly on the payroll of the Satanic Kinky conspiracy for whipping people with shoelaces.” And, yes, godhatesfags.com is a reliable source!
SEWI obviously can do something about this, and it is to divest.
Those in opposition to SEWI’s divestment make a number of arguments. The first is that “We have power through our parents.” However, parents cannot change the fundamental nature of the University’s own obscene devotion to profit. It would be ridiculous to propose that our parents call on the Investment Office to stop investing. Investment is fundamentally a feature of the military industrial complex because it is a feature of the evil, warmongering, kitten-slaughtering capitalist economic system.
Another argument is that “We can use our education for social good.” This argument is inherently flawed. We can never deny the source of our education, which is, in this case, directly tied to death, destruction and kinky sex. No social good can ever outweigh the negative effects of our complicity in the University’s actions.
Ultimately, there is only one mechanism for changing the practices of a corporation like Wesleyan, and that is to stop consuming from it the instant it puts a toe out of line. Once SEWI withdraws the 17 percent of the University’s revenue that it supplies, Wesleyan may consider being a more responsible institution. However, as long as the students of SEWI continue to prop up its immoral investments in weapons, Satanism and kink, there is no incentive for change. So what if they lose money? So what if members of SEWI have to work at McDonald’s because they dropped out of college? So what if their parents would disown them for making those same parents waste hundreds of thousands of dollars? Practical considerations are irrelevant! It’s the thought that counts!
There is no alternative to divestment from the University. If SEWI does not divest, it may as well walk over to Iraq and smack a small Arab child across the face while simultaneously clubbing a baby seal in the skull and celebrating the black mass. Don’t do it, SEWI. Save your soul. Be “socially responsible,” if only because to do otherwise would be cruel, evil and morally indefensible in every way. No reasonable definition of social responsibility will allow you to stay invested in the University. And, if you disagree, shame on you and stop assuming you have the right to an opinion. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.*
*Copyright 1951 by Joseph Stalin.