Since the Academy in ancient Athens, universities have been engine rooms for human success through the discovery, recording, sorting and propagation of knowledge. Something however has changed in the past two generations. Not for the better. Government policy is again a key contributor.
Peter Turchin is a Russian-American complexity scientist whose field is the statistical analysis of historical trends. Turchin describes ‘elite overproduction’ as a factor contributing to political and social instability that nations and empires experience between their zenith and downfall. He argues that an excess of elites was a contributor in the fall of Rome and the Ancien Régime in 18th century France. Elite overproduction occurs when a society becomes so affluent and arrogant that it produces more elites than it can absorb, let alone needs.