Harvard’s Bootcamp for Social Justice Warriors

We notice that Harvard University is now offering a “social justice certificate,” based on 16-course credits over 18 to 36 months at a cost of $10,800. “Explore theoretical and practical questions of economic, political, and social rights through a variety of lenses,” says the pitch on the Harvard site. “Through this liberal arts graduate certificate, you’ll learn about core themes of social justice, including philosophy, economics, the environment, religion, politics, ethics, sociology, and law.”

We also notice that in normal 21st century American English, “social justice” indicates the agenda of the left. So, it would appear that the new course certifies the foundations of leftist activism, enabling social justice warriors. SJWs tend to rally around affirmative action, redistribution of wealth, open borders, group rights and identity politics.

The courses, the site says, “will build knowledge of classical and contemporary theories of justice and explore interrelated topics, such as human rights, affirmative action, income distribution, and the role of markets, and develop an understanding of the economic systems, such as capitalism, socialism/egalitarianism, and the welfare state, and societal structures conducive toward cultivating a just community.”

This is the first time Harvard has explicitly offered to train people from one part of the political spectrum.


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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3 thoughts on “Harvard’s Bootcamp for Social Justice Warriors

  1. Such programs, not just courses, have existed for years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. See their website: students wishing to enter the Master’s and Doctoral programs in Social Justice Education must demonstrate their “applied social justice experience.” The all-encompassing goal of these programs is plainly laid out: “Students in social justice education study the inequities that people experience on the basis of their social group memberships, through systems of constraint and advantage reproduced through the social processes of exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence.”

  2. True.
    But still there’s something to be said for making the production of Social Justice Warriors an explicit (certified even!) mission of what used to be a University (rumor has it, a premier one at that).

    Best all round, really, to own-up to what has, in fact, been the central focus of the School for the last several decades. This also has the advantage of making the training & indoctrination process that much more efficient. No need to waste time and resources pretending to provide a classic, liberal arts education — one well grounded in the Great Books and Great Works of Western Civilization. Far quicker and much less hassle to just hand out the propaganda….work on the Stepford Programming….and practice the chants.

    Besides when everyone already knows all the answers to every question (even before they’re asked)…why bother with actual learning??

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