In the 1980s, Tom Wolfe wrote an apocalyptic novel called The Bonfire of the Vanities which was an investigation into the greed and vanities of the modern western world. It has acquired a cult following.In the late 15th century, the ascetic, Dominican priest, Girolamo Savonarola looked at the depravity of Florence during the Italian Renaissance and went completely Ecclesiastes on the city fathers and power brokers. For eight years Savonarola and his followers encouraged the citizens of Florence to clean up their act and their walls and their libraries and their minds by burning books, paintings and sculptures that were deemed to breed pride rather than fear of God: Thus, the original bonfire of the vanities.In 2024, will the western world light the kindling and burn away the pride of authoritarian excesses that have typified the past decade or so? We seem to be off to a good start. The Marxist critical race project took a direct hit below the waterline this week when Claudine Gay resigned from her job as the president of Harvard. Her DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) appointment to the office was much lauded in those sunnier days of six months ago. “Behold! A black woman has ascended to the top rung of the academic establishment!”Our Marxist, sociopathic overlords thought that being president of Harvard required intersectional box ticking rather than merit, or experience. Perhaps they thought wrong. In the absence of merit or experience Harvard gave us a middle finger to meritocracy. Unfortunately for Ms. Gay it was also the ultimate middle finger to the academic work of another black woman, Dr. Carol Swain. Dr. Swain remains unimpressed by the ex-Harvard president having copied egregiously and unethically from her own doctoral work.But what precisely is the meaning of this revelation of Ms. Gay’s academic felony? At the very least it reveals the fatuities of budgets which balance themselves and economies which build back better after a great reset. It demonstrates the logical conclusion of attempts to build a globalist paradise (for the globalists) by pushing critical race socialism and dumping the meritocracy which used to define western civilization. Think the loss of meritocracy is not a big deal? When the airline pilot is “intersectional” but not competent, when the cross-dressing air traffic controller defines himself as a woman but can’t solve basic geometry problems, when the local policeman was appointed from his home beneath the bridge, you will understand why meritocracy is important. Surely the last eight years have demonstrated the high cost of voting for children who trade on their father’s merit in the absence of any significant achievement of their own. It is well that Ms. Gay was unmasked as the unqualified imposter that she apparently is, because it also unmasked the pretensions of the people who devised the system that put her in place. It was a refreshing start to the New Year.But that is Harvard. What about institutions closer to home? What about universities that loudly champion and virtue signal hiring policies that are overtly racist? “White guys need not apply!” the DEI experts at the University of Calgary proudly trumpeted. One of the tenets of the university’s goals and objectives is to “Start something.” Well, I would like to start something. And I too would like to “walk together in a good way.” But how am I to do so when, as an older white guy “I need not apply?" Doesn’t seem like such a good way to me. So how about this? How about we petition the Honorable Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education, to investigate the potentially racist hiring policies of the universities in Alberta and “start something” — like removing funding for DEI departments? (And a lot of other unnecessary overhead, but that is for another day.) Such an investigation is not explicitly in her mandate letter but perhaps it can be shoehorned in as “a specific job attraction strategy.” Maybe there are some bright, young, white, male candidates who should be considered for hire even if they don’t tick the right DEI boxes. I think Ms. Gay has shown us the way.