Is Marx relevant today?
The information age elite exercises artful dominion of the means of production, the education system. The median family income of a Harvard student is $150,000. According to the Educational Testing Service, only 3 percent of freshmen at the top 146 colleges come from the poorest quarter of the population. The educated class ostentatiously offers financial aid to poor students who attend these colleges and then rigs the admission criteria to ensure that only a small, co-optable portion of them can get in.
I heartily agree that the "education divide" is a significant source inequality in today's society. However, I'll vigorously dispute that the system has been "rigged" with the explicit purpose of increasing, or even of maintaining, this stratification.
The one truly thought provoking idea from the editorial was this: “The information society is the only society in which false consciousness is at the top.” To this I will agree. However, I’ll attribute our “false consciousness” more to intellectual and moral laziness than to an outright class inspired power-play.
I'm usually a huge fan of Brooks, but this time I’ll have to take him to task (his automated email response assures me that he’ll read this). David, I'd much rather see you propose a solution or two instead of resorting to mere demagoguery of the “elite class,” which you yourself are so clearly a member.
Of course our educational system needs to be reworked in a way that gives all children access to a decent education, but does name calling and class warfare really bring us any closer to achieving this goal?