Thousands of years ago, during the Golden Sangam Age, the peaceful deliberations of a convocation of learned scholars was threatened by a turbulent flood, not or words, but water as the sacred Kaveri overboiled its banks. Acting with aplomb, the Scholars immediately conferred upon it a Phd, in honoris causa, upon which it sank back into that torpor which distinguishes those upon whom Higher Education has left its mark.
More recently, especially since the Sixties and Seventies of the last Century, the Academy has used a similar tactic in dealing with modes of thought and models of discourse considered subversive to existing structures of power. In line with Marcuse's notion of 'repressive desublimation' as underlying the so-called 'Permissive Society's' strategy of saving the Military-Industrial complex and the National Security State from the wrath of the women's movement which, Lysistrata like, was seducing young men from their duty as canon fodder, it is tempting to speak of a sort of Academic repressive desublimation- or let us say an arid Intellectualising away of the green sap of dissent- as characterising the mainsprings of Political theory in the last few decades.
It is now urgent the same approach be extended to tsunamis and other natural disasters.
I propose the creation of an Academic body, of the highest status and financial solvency, for the specific puprose of granting degrees not just to animals and plants but also such tectonic plates as may have grown restive by their lack of access to higher education.
All babies- as I believe is already best practice in Bihar- should receive PhD in Gramscian Grammatology by the age of one, unless they are naughty in which case an MPhil from Cambridge in Development Studies will suffice to teach them the error of their ways.