Friday, December 19, 2008

Protest at the New School

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:16 AM Permalink

I've been monitoring the sit-in I mentioned in a previous post at the New School via their blog. While the tone of it all is rather cliche (signing their posts 'in solidarity'), I've been enjoying at least the illusion of revolutionary spirit in what is, for the most part, a school for the wealthy and over-privileged (As are most private universities these days). Now, not all the students are well-off. But most of the students, at least the grad students, come from other countries and they get money from their governments to attend the New School. Mr. Vidiot is one of the few working-class American students at the grad school and as such, will be paying of the loans for the rest of his life. (I can't speak for the undergrads. I don't know anything about them. They may be more working class than not. I haven't a clue.)

But that's not my reason for blogging it.

As I've been reading their postings throughout last night, I was struck by some of the comments on their blog and on others that posted about it (Namely on dKos and Gothamist. Gawker was covering it as well, but I didn't go there to check it out, but I can assume the comments are similar.) So many, and I mean A LOT of folks complained that the students 'weren't going about it the proper way' or that they should 'stop wasting their time' or if they really want a dialog with the administration, they should talk to Kerrey directly, never mind that they want him to resign and don't recognize him as legitimate. Many commentators mocked the protesters as spoiled little rich kids with too much free time on their hands.

It's like the spirit of protest and resistance has been sucked right out of people. It baffles them. They don't get it. To them, you have to work within the system, because working outside of it, to them, is non-productive and pointless. In order to quell their feelings of helplessness, they function solely within the confines and boundaries the system has created for them. It is the only way they feel like they have some sort of control over their lives because the system rewards them for playing by the rules. The hegemony of the system that is in place is so overwhelmingly powerful, the the people who live within it can't see outside of it. The system's power has permeated their imagination, dulling it, thereby ensuring compliance.

And I know I speak of the system like it's this separate entity with a life of its own, but it's not. Most people fail to realize is that THEY made the system. THEY created it and as its creators, only THEY can destroy it. (I think there's a fancy word for that; reification I think. But I'm not sure and Mr. Vidiot isn't here to confirm it for me.)

Yes, that's right. Only WE, THE PEOPLE can destroy the system, any system. We just have to all agree that it's possible. But the system, the institutions, whatever, have become so all-encompassing, so dominating, so god damned powerful, that it seems impossible to even think about challenging it. And that's where the commentators are coming from. They're warmly snuggled in the hegemonic cocoon. And anyone who tries to rip that cocoon open is either crazy or wasting their time or childish.

One must realize the following:

The system has taken on a life of its own.
It is a cancer that must be put down for our own good.
It is time.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home