At least that’s what I gathered from this odd article by Tania Branigan of the Guardian. After Elton John embraced critics of the regime like Ai Weiwei, some minister decided that it would lock up those without a college degree.
While many westerners will find this dissonant because the college industrial complex is often closely associated with protests about human rights, the Chinese might be on to something. Perhaps college degrees just symbolize acquiescence. Four+ years in the veal holding pens a.k.a. library cubicles saps a person’s strength and also gives them elaborate rhetorical techniques for rationalizing any behavior. If you can’t figure out a way to justify embracing a dictator, you haven’t been paying attention in college.
Plus, college seems to make people think they’re part of the ruling class even though they’re not. It’s amazing how compliant many liberal arts majors can be. They’ll work at wages that would insult a plumber or an electrician as long as the wages come with a fancy job title and some connection to seeming learned.
Perhaps this is what China expects will come with its ban.
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