Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's so obvious I shouldn't have to say it. - Comments on 9 November for the Middle Class

Thousands of students did not come to the protests against cuts to educational funding in London today because the police in London warned them the night before they planned to use rubber bullets on them. 
What in the Kent State hell have we come to here? 
The Prime Minister triples university fees and tries to privatize higher education - essentially seeking corporate sponsorship for university courses. 
And do the Chancellors of the Universities of Great Britain rise up in protest and disgust at the idea that the orientation and focus of what happens in the classroom should be what corporations want?  Do they?  No.  They are too busy sucking up to corporations themselves to get the latest Glaxo Smith Kline Drug Testing Facility/University Lab. 
And do the alumni of the universities rise up and express disgust that corporations have somehow made the agenda of the universities their decisions?  No. They are too busy serving corporations, shopping, spending, working, commuting in service to their mortgage, treading water, barely keeping up. 
 So the only people left to guard the idea of free inquiry into truth that is the beating heart of universities are these students, these people barely adults themselves, that is who we have left to send in this war against the corporations, in this fight for the souls of our universities and THEY are intimidated out of their right to protest by threats of violence.  Who is threatening them away from this essential work?  The police,  the very people who should be protecting them. What kind of shitty world do we live in? 
 
How long will we let every organizational unit of human identity go the hell because it has to suck up to money? The church, the government, the universities? I am disgusted at the weakness of our leaders. I am disgusted at our blindness.  I am disgusted at our apathy.  


I am also dog tired and in a bad mood so I am going to put my son to bed.  But I ask you, dear reader, what do you think a university is for ? What does it protect?  Should it protect its endowment or should it protect free inquiry and knowledge?  Aren't you sick?  Doesn't this make you sick?  I can't pretend the world is not very very ill. 

5 comments:

  1. we're starving down hereNovember 9, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    I feel a little sick - but mostly at the middle class out protesting free education when the poor of this city and country are starving- food banks opening - the government announcing that if you are unlucky enough not to find a job within 6 months you will have to work for free for your community 30 hrs a week-that includes lone parents of primary school kids - but that goes unnoticed cos the students are out again.
    I am sick of fighting for every penny and the implication that it is my fault if i'm in need.
    I am also sick of smug middle class protesters who have the societal and emotional support networks to face risking arrest acting like martyrs- this is not aimed at you by the way- it may sound like an attack. I am sick that anyone cares so much about the students but were so quick to judge the "rioters" who are still locked up - for fighting the battle you talk about- the battle against a society that cares more about shopping centres than humans. I notice the legal groups that help protesters don't care about those getting their front doors smashed in by police.

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  2. Thank you for posting that. The struggle to get food on the table is fundamental. I sure am one of the smug middle class protesters but I don't know anyone else in that category. I guess if there were more in that category I think it would help - even if they do pull focus from more fundamental needs and struggles. I don't know if you saw my post about the riots but I hear you. I hear you. But let me ask you this. I am writing all these posts about being friends - can the middle class and the working class be friend? Can we just be people fighting for justice? Can it work that way?

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  3. love your blog. will follow. murmuration one was inspired.

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  4. we're starving down hereNovember 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    ok , had a look at post about the riots, glad to see that you mostly see it for what it really is- a reclamation of the streets.In fact not re-claiming just claiming- cos these folks never had them in the first place. But I think where the fault line is regarding friendship between the classes lies is in the fact that the middle class may see it, but they will then be sat in a pricey restarant reflecting on it, with a supportive family member saying don't worry about it or you'll go mad. The poorer person will more likely be isolated and actually just going mad, and if not isolated surrounded by other stressed people who aggravate the sense of helplessness and despair. In such a state they are not likely to have energy or interest to befriend someone who will most likely patronise them anyways and fail to get the gallows humour.It can be very unpleasant just to be too aware of someone else's comfort. Of course many friendships can always exist on individual levels across any divisions but as a group thing i'd say unlikely. Good luck with that all though
    btw- surely most of the people at st pauls you met are middle class -just poor middle class. I guess can the deprived and wealthy be friends is more the point- and by wealthy i don't just mean money.

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  5. Rachel, can I take this one (while my bread dough is rising)?

    I think your anger at the middle class protesters is misplaced. Over the last 25 years the left has suffered a fracturing that does nothing but serve the interests of the hierarchy. The objective here among all disenfranchised people should really be to identify common ground and build on it. Erosion of democracy is everyone's concern. Environmental degradation is everyone's concern. Perhaps those who benefit from this unjust system have an even greater responsibility to speak out about it, which is not to say the media should focus on their wants and needs at the exclusion of the poor. For seismic change to occur, though, we're all going to have to get on board.

    Money can buy food and comfort, but not community; it cannot stave off loneliness or fill the needs of the spirit. Trust me, this movement needs everybody.

    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Plato)

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