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philjit
Arch-Enemy of Idealism

Registered: Jan 2002
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Ivy League Aristocrats?

Conspiracy or real?

From another forum:

quote:

Ivy League aristocrats are misplaced Tories, if that helps you place them. They're descended from the second sons of the most powerful families in western Europe and have the same kind of social order. Like England, the Naval Academy and the senior Naval ranks are rife with them. Also like England, the heaviest players in our intelligence communities come from this Naval blueblood gene pool. There are some old Army families but not as many as there were before the Civil War, which sorta split up the old West Point cliques and killed off a few family lines. The rest are in civil service.

They sure would like us to dismiss it as just another conspiracy theory promulgated by X-File type nerds.



Now to me, this all just sounds like what is a perfectly normal aspect of reality in Britain. I believe we would call it the 'Old School Tie' network, and it's very real. As such, the notion of 'Ivy League Aristocrats' doesn't really surprise me at all. What is the opinion of this in America (assuming there is one)? Is it simple dismissed as a conspiracy theory? Or does it hold some grounding in realty to most people? If it is generally considered a conspiracy theory, why is that?

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Old Post 04-30-2003 09:31 AM
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SimpleSimon
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There are several such groupings, Phil.

The Ivy League types typically come out of the New England states, although obviously they have spread across the country.

There are also the descendants of the landed aristocracy of the pre-Civil War south, who were frequently snubbed by northern abolitionist types and consequently formed their own "Good Ole Boy" network. That term has broadened and been somewhat bastardized in the last 50 years, but at it's base it still refers to folks like the Calhoun's, the Taliaferro's, etc.

On the West Coast are the Niven's, the Black's, and a few more who represent the controlling groups in investment banks and international trade (on the financial side), most of whose wealth arose from mining and timber industries. They are somewhat less cohesive and less identifiable, but nonetheless a real clique.

Human society always segregates into such groups, and they are frequently far more resilient and durable than nations themselves.

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Old Post 04-30-2003 01:28 PM
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Aydin
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Two New England dynasties that immediately come to mind are the Bushes and the Kennedys.

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Old Post 04-30-2003 06:32 PM
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oxsan
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quote:
Conspiracy or real?


Please change to "Conspiracy or real or garbage".

Take a look at how George W has stuffed the Whitehouse by making his most inportant advisors Ivy Leaguers of the worst ilk.

1. Richar B Cheney received his Bachelors degree from the University of Wyoming that Ivy League hell hole of the West.
Cheney's wife, incidentally, just to show how this Ivy League virus pervades the families of its victims received her Bachelors from little known Colorado College and later got her PhD from Wisconson University thus establishing the Ivy League tradition in the family.

2. Colin Powell received his Bachelors degree from City College of New York---a bit plebian for the Ivy League I fear and his MBA from the University of Washington an even more plebian school in the nation's capitol.

4. Condoleeza Rice, is guilty of extending the Ivy League all the way to the Rocky mountains and beyond since she got her PhD
at University of Demver and prior to her present appointment as National Security Advisor was Provost of Stanford University on the West Coast which was founded by Leland Stanford with the admonition that it strive "to be better than the Ivy League"--which it has done.

Donald Rumsfeld might be a token Ivy Leaguer. I am not sure whether Princeton, which is in New Jersey is considered to be IVY League or not but it is where Rumsfeld got his Bachelor's degree and neither he nor Princeton leap to mind when the words "Ivy League" are spoken.

I say Garbage.

3.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 02:21 AM
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oxsan
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BTW Bush's closet POLITICAL advisors are noted below to show the deepening pool of Ivy Leagueness surrounding the Bush administration:

Karen Hughes, Special Counsel to the President, I can find no information on her education but you only have to listen to the Texas twang in this woman's voice to know that she is not polluted with Ivy League virus. Besides she quit to go back to Austin to raise her kid---no Ivy Leaguer would do that.

Karl Rove, Attended many schools but got a degree from none. He teaches politics to grad students at the University of Texas. If there was anyone who was never an Ivy Leaguer it is Karl Rove. He is Texas through and through.

\Andrew Card, Cief of Staff. Card got his Bachelor's from the University if South Carolina, hje attended and graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy . Ity is true that he attended a short time at the Harvard School of Givernment but took no degree and was not there long enough to get infected.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 04:13 AM
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philjit
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oxsan, I never said anything aboutr Bush or his administration so I'm not sure why you have 'gone off on one' as if I did. I merely asked if Ivy League Aristocrats existed. Are you saying that they don't... period. That there is no old school tie network in the US?

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Old Post 05-01-2003 06:59 AM
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mmmtravis
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Princeton is an Ivy League school. Powell got his MBA at George Washington University, close enough to what you said I guess, and you're right, nothing special.

I think this falls into the conspiracy category. In politics, being an Ivy Leaguer is no longer a significant advantage, unless of course you did lots of coke there.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 07:11 AM
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philjit
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And what about outside politics? Civil service type roles, or industry? Going to an Ivy League School doesn't help at all? I find that hard to believe for some reason, but as I say, that is because such things are common place in the UK, the word's Oxfrod and Cambridge can do wonders for a career move.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 07:20 AM
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Smug Git
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quote:
Originally posted by oxsan
Donald Rumsfeld might be a token Ivy Leaguer. I am not sure whether Princeton, which is in New Jersey is considered to be IVY League or not but it is where Rumsfeld got his Bachelor's degree and neither he nor Princeton leap to mind when the words "Ivy League" are spoken.



The Ivy League is: Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth and UPenn. So Princeton is one. My wife works there as it happens, it is a very nice place. I am not sure that when Princeton was established (1746) that New Jersey had its current reputation (although I have found NJ to be a pleasant place anyway, excepting the North of it).

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Old Post 05-01-2003 08:30 AM
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SimpleSimon
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Of course the "old school tie" networks exist. People are people everywhere. If one attended Harvard, that is a leg up on Yale (in Harvard graduates eyes), and both look down on Princeton graduates, and so on. Equally, if one is a graduate of an "Ivy League" school, it is typical to disdain the education and the person of non-Ivy League graduates.

In a similar vein, Army and Navy academy graduates have a cultural disdain for each other, but both disdain the Air Force Academy graduates even more, and all three laugh at Coast Guard and Merchant Marine graduates.

There are similar "pecking orders" in every human institution. Regardless of your knowledge and ability, try getting a significant position (or even listed as principal author of a paper) in any scientific discipline.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 01:00 PM
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oxsan
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quote:
Are you saying that noi old school tie exists. that there isn't one?


Yes, that is what I am saying as respects the presidency. In my lifetime the only presidency that I would classify as being Ivy League infected was the Kennedy Administration---not surprising because of the residence of the Kennedys on Cape Cod.

Old school ties exist in the presidency but the Ivy League is not
significant in those old school ties. And the old schools that are significant change with every administration and are more or less apparent depending upon the personality of the president.

There is an exception to all this. Harvard Law School has what I feel to be an undeserved reputation for greatness and I think an SJD from Harvard is given preference in upper judicial appointments---especially for the Supreme Court. But this does not extend to other schools and colleges of Harvard and hasn't that I noticed in my lifetime.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 01:22 PM
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philjit
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ok oxsan. Again though, I am still curious as to why you brought up the Presidency, coz I never suggested that the Presdiency was frequented by a Ivy League Aristocrats. I merely asked if Ivy League Aristocrats existed at all.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 01:26 PM
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Smug Git
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quote:
Originally posted by SimpleSimon
There are similar "pecking orders" in every human institution. Regardless of your knowledge and ability, try getting a significant position (or even listed as principal author of a paper) in any scientific discipline.


That's not true in physics research, actually. Plenty of excellent people are in places that don't have a great tradition of research, particularly in the US, because the universities build departments around people who they poach from elsewhere. UC Davis has a good cosmology department and Andy Albrecht is a big name; Chicago's reputation in cosmology is great and relatively recent too, not to mention that the Perimiter Institute in Canada (set up at the behest of some millionaire who likes theoretical physics) is kicking arse and will only get better (as far as I can see). The reputation is based on performance; Princeton is one of the best cosmology places in the world, but that reputation is based around performance and the conglomeration of people there (and the IAS (which adjoins the Princeton campus) doesn't hurt; a lot of the great twentieth century theoretical physicists have been there. Whatever Bell Labs has become, and the IBM research group, have both got great reputations too. I know one very important physicist who didn't go to one of the great institutions but has nevertheless risen very far on grounds of ability (both in the subject, and increasingly as he has risen, on his ability to organise things). Physics is political, oh yes indeed, but meritocratic (it is just that some of the merit has to be in political skills).

However, when it comes to what school you graduated from, you are right, it is based on a mish-mash of tradition, past greatness, research reputation (God knows why, that doesn't benefit the students much at all at undergraduate level) and cost of entry. To believe that you are guaranteed a better education just because of these factors is daft; although the teaching programs at the expensive colleges are generally good, that is because they are in a marketplace where they are charging a lot and realise that they can lose that reputation with undergraduates if they given them a shitty course of study and crap facilities (Oxford may find this, wheras Cambridge is still going great guns), not because of the other factors that I mentioned (ie, capitalism and competition act on the cost of entry, although the well-known schools get the extra bonus of tradition). It also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy to some extent, because the good reputation schools get oversubscribed and so are able to pick the best candidates; that school then has a reputation for clever graduates. A very clever person could attend a lesser school and get a great degree, but would, as SimpleSimon says, then find that they are not viewed as highly as an equivalent person from a more august institution; that is an unfortunate prejudice, combined with the fact that there are so many colleges that knowing the relative merits of each department at each institution is not really possible for a potential employer (easier to recruit mainly from a few institutions that have the big reputations). Thus, there is an advantage to going to those schools that is not based entirely on your own merit (which we all know); the expensive schools even sweep up a lot of the great poor candidates through academic scholarships, too.

In the UK, all universities cost the same at present (although that may change a little); about $2300 or so a year. Nevertheless, the traditional aspect of a university's public perception is still there (and in the case of Oxford and Cambridge, you have 700 or so years of tradition to build that reputation).

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Old Post 05-01-2003 01:26 PM
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SimpleSimon
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My bad, I left the last three words off my previous post in my copy/paste. Final sentence should have read "without a PhD." at the end.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 01:33 PM
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oxsan
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1. Because the quoted article indicates the Intelligence service is rife with Iv=y Leaguers and the Intelligence service is an extenjsion of the President's staff.

2. Because the president's appointments sets the tone in Washington and establishes the pecking order.

3. Because this is the Politicas der Monde Forum to mix up Spanish, Frenjch and German.

I disagree with part of Simons's quote. I think thart a PhD degree from Cal Tech, MIT, Johns Hopkins Med, Michigan or Virginia are all better tickets to a byline in a scientific journal and I know that they are a better job opportunity in industry. And at one time Texas A and M had supplied more Army officers to the service than West Point. But truly Harvard is supreme if undeservedly so in Law.

Now let me ask you a question Phil? Aydin was the first to post that the Presidency of Bush and Kennedy were examples of Ivy League dynasties. Question: Why didn't you address your question to him? Hmmmmm?

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Old Post 05-01-2003 02:03 PM
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SimpleSimon
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My statement was not meant to indicate that an Ivy league science degree is a ticket to publication in the hard sciences, more as an example of the type of cliqueishness rampant in human affairs.

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Old Post 05-01-2003 02:13 PM
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Smug Git
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quote:
Originally posted by oxsan
I disagree with part of Simons's quote. I think thart a PhD degree from Cal Tech, MIT, Johns Hopkins Med, Michigan or Virginia are all better tickets to a byline in a scientific journal and I know that they are a better job opportunity in industry.


Not entirely true. Caltech and MIT are very good for physics, but then so are a host of others including the Ivy League places. Within the physics community, MIT's reputation in a fair amoung of theoretical physics isn't that strong, really, compared to its reputation in some other areas. Caltech has had good people since Feynmann (who had been in a great department at Ivy League Cornell previously) and Gell-Mann (although it appears that they didn't like each other much) and they have a strong group in many areas of theoretical physics. Penn State is pretty much the leading group on Quantum Gravity, I believe. What you find with Ivy League and some other places (like Stanford and Berkely) is that they are pretty good across the board; they won't have groups in every research field (that would be impossible, pretty much) but what they do have, is very good (they won't accept anything less).

In theoretical physics, there aren't really any enormously significant institutions in the South, but if you were at one of those Southern places anyway and produced a good paper, it'd get the same consideration as if you were at, say, the Perimiter Institute or Stanford or Caltech. It might not be the attention it deserves but then that will happen wherever you are (there are so many papers released that no one can read them all, and sometimes implications are well-hidden) but in the field of scientific research, your institution isn't that important for getting noticed (publishing good work and attending conferences/giving talks around the place is more important. And, of course, anyone can publish in physics, on the preprint server at least The snobbery factor comes in more for journals like Nature (that theoretical physicists don't care about so much)) in the life sciences, and even then it is probably more political and based on who has what name in their team.

From the perspective of getting a great job, the Ivy League and the others like MIT have an advantage of being pretty near (or even inside, in the case of Columbia) NYC (certainly in physics and maths, hordes of graduates go to work in stock market related stuff), so recruiters are sent there even when the economy is harsh. Also, they (and other places like Stanford) have built up relations with big employers who always go there for recruitment (same thing happens in the UK; the big employers do 'milk rounds' at a small group of universities and then accept applications from elsewhere or may even go to other places if it is a big year for recruitment). I was talking to a personnel/HR person from a large company based on the Route 1 corridor in NJ and they said that it was common for recruiters to pick a core of colleges that it will recruit from come whatever and then only look elsewhere if they have to (or get an application from outside the milkround process, which is obviously common enough); Princeton does well by that and so do the others.

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philjit
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quote:
Originally posted by oxsan
Now let me ask you a question Phil? Aydin was the first to post that the Presidency of Bush and Kennedy were examples of Ivy League dynasties. Question: Why didn't you address your question to him? Hmmmmm?


simple answer.

Aydin, didn't say that the Bush's and Kenedy's were Ivy League Dynasties. He just said they were dynasties, which is, for the large part a statement of observable fact really.

Now on this intelliegnce services thing being an 'extension of the President's staff'. I realise 'technically' that is the case. But be serious for a minute. How many people employed by the CIA and NSA has the President either met or know?

I mean, I would reasonably expect the intelligence services from its lowest ranks up to be larger made up of people that went to the Ivy League schools. Exactly the saem as the inetlligence services here are made up of people that went to Cambridge and Oxford. Its not a dark conspiracy or anything, my initial interest was really that they called 'aristocrats' which I find rather amusing.

Last edited by philjit on 05-01-2003 at 02:58 PM

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Old Post 05-01-2003 02:53 PM
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Smug Git
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Tak/Aydin said that they were New England dynasties, which I think is a small joke about the texan-ness of Bush (as Bush Sr and his ancestors are from Connecticut, I seem to recall).

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Smug Git
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil
Now on this intelliegnce services thing being an 'extension of the President's staff'. I realise 'technically' that is the case. But be serious for a minute. How many people employed by the CIA and NSA has the President either met or know?

I mean, I would reasonably expect the intelligence services from its lowest ranks up to be larger made up of people that went to the Ivy League schools. Exactly the saem as the inetlligence services here are made up of people that went to Cambridge and Oxford. Its not a dark conspiracy or anything, my initial interest was really that they called 'aristocrats' which I find rather amusing.



Surely most of the CIA and so on aren't appointed on political grounds, and last through changes of administration? They are more like the civil service in the main, I would have though.

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philjit
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
Surely most of the CIA and so on aren't appointed on political grounds, and last through changes of administration? They are more like the civil service in the main, I would have though.


yes, which was what I took to mean by 'high ranking intelligence'. Senior cvil servants and the like. You know, the people that really run the country.

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oxsan
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The exact quote by Aydin was "Two New England dynasties that immediately come to mind are the Bushes and the Kennedys"

If you think that "New England dynasties" does not parallel the topic subject of Ivy League Aristocrats you are just being obtuse.
I still wonder why my post drew the question and Aydin's did not.
He posted before I did.

As to the question about the intelligence community which I posted much lkater I can assure you that every president since Eisenhower has been very close to the Intelligence scene and the members that make up its community.

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philjit
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quote:
Originally posted by oxsan
If you think that "New England dynasties" does not parallel the topic subject of Ivy League Aristocrats you are just being obtuse.


or perhaps I am being a foreigner or does not understand the reference?

quote:
I still wonder why my post drew the question and Aydin's did not. He posted before I did.


see above comment

quote:
As to the question about the intelligence community which I posted much lkater I can assure you that every president since Eisenhower has been very close to the Intelligence scene and the members that make up its community.



with the uttmost and greatest respect the only response I can think of to that is 'bollocks'. He may be close to his political appointees there, but I doubt the most powerful man in the world really has the time, or the inclination to be 'very close' with his active spooks.

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Mugtoe
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I think what dad's sayin, though he can certainly speak for himself, is that the "old school ties" don't exist in politics to the extent that people think they do. My own opinion is that they do, but only in limited fashion and only in certain areas, such as the State dept. I think much more has been made of Skull & Bones and all that than is really the case on a functional level. I don't think it was an Ivy League connection that got Kennedy's into political power. It was Joe Kennedy's criminal connections and money.

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oxsan
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Phil I can't rtell you or I'd have to shoot you.

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