JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Bomb Ivy League To Rubble, Sow Ground With Salt! Oh, And Stop Women Voting
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

Pretty much all the news that comes out of our colleges and universities nowadays is unsightly. A good proportion of it is disgusting. Back in January, following the resignation of Harvard President Claudine Gay, I quoted Amy Wax, speaking about the administration at her own school, the University of Pennsylvania:

I cannot tell you what a clown car … Penn is, all right? It is run by a bunch of midwit gynocrats. These people are as intellectually mediocre and undistinguished as you could possibly imagine.

Amy Wax Versus the “Midwit Gynocrats,”, December 28, 2023

I followed that up with a proposal I’d made at least once before:

Can these institutions be saved? I doubt it. If I were to attain total power in these United States, I would issue a notice to all personnel at Ivy League universities to evacuate their premises within 48 hours. That done, I would send in the U.S. Air Force to bomb those premises to rubble. That done, I would call in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plough the rubble under and sow the ground with salt.

A little over the top, you say? Phooey. Sometimes you just have to sweep everything up and start over.

And Amy’s wonderful phrase ”midwit gynocrat” is a bulls-eye. Claudine Gay should have it stamped on her luggage for instant identification.

It’s hard not to think, in fact, and with of course no disrespect intended towards Professor Wax, that opening up higher education to so many young women—an actual majority at most colleges now—was a huge civilizational error.

It has probably been a major factor in our dwindling fertility rate. It has unmistakably given us most of the shrieking lunacy of these recent college demonstrations.

For more on that I refer you to another lady who is just as smart, perceptive, and sane as Prof. Wax. That would be Heather Mac Donald, writing at City Journal, May 9th. Title of her article: Hysterics for Hamas.” Subtitle: ”Why have young women been so prominent in the recent campus chaos?”

Ms. Mac Donald treats the subject with careful delicacy, as I would if I were she. It did leave me thinking, though, that she, Amy Wax, and Ann Coulter should perhaps get together and cooperate as the nucleus of a movement to repeal the 19th Amendment.

And yes: the midwit gynocracy in charge of our institutions of higher education is indeed financed by government cash—which is to say, your cash and mine.

To be perfectly fair, there are other sources of funding. There are foreign students, for example, who pay their fees in cash—their parents’ cash, mostly. Columbia University, much in the news recently, has 36,649 students enrolled, of whom 20,321 are foreigners on student visas.

That is fifty-five percent. Of those foreign students, almost half come from China.

Higher education is a precious national resource. Our own citizens should have first call on it. No institution of higher education registered as such with state or federal government should have a student body more than five percent non-citizen.

Wait: five percent? How about two percent?

Foreign students aside, our universities are bulging with cash brought to them in truckloads from Uncle Sam’s bottomless money chests. The boodle is dressed up lightly in the form of student loans, all guaranteed by the government—and recently, under the Biden administration, often forgiven by the government when not repaid.

Students who need a loan should go to their bank and get one. The bank will of course need to be satisfied that the applicant’s proposed course of study will lead to employment sufficiently remunerative to repay the loan. If that makes it impossible for non-rich young Americans to get degrees in anti-American studies (see Mohamed Abdou, below), so much the better for our country.

It is these great floods of taxpayer money flowing into the colleges that enables them to carry their huge administrative staffs, headed by those midwit gynocrats Amy Wax has described to us. It is you, Tom and Teresa Taxpayer, who are giving the University of Michigan thirty million dollars to increase its DEI staff from 142 last year to 241 this year.

Even if not the root of all evil, money on that scale can be a mighty assist to nation-destroying folly.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at can do so here.

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