On the OWS teach-in 10/2011

The front page of October 20th in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian had an article on the recent Occupy Wall Street teach-in held on campus. I’d like to thank Steffi Porter for writing it; how else could the campus community be made aware of the profound insult that their school is making to taxpayers?

Even if the is lost on those who quickly side with anyone holding up a sign to vent ‘frustration’, I won’t be surprised, because the widespread sympathy that students here share is being openly fostered by their professors. And I won’t have wasted my time if a single person here understands the fundamental wrongness of a second of our professors’ time or a cent of a single person’s paycheck being spent to support students who scrawl four letter words on cardboard and walk out of class to show that they are “interested in politics”.

Since when are public universities the cradles of political agendas? Where is the holy diversity of opinions in a teach-in where “the professors all had positive attitudes toward the movement”?

Am I truly alone in pointing out that it is utterly inappropriate for a public university professor to stand behind a podium and tell students that OWS protestors are righteous combatants in a “class war”? (Taxpayers: this is what an economics professor is teaching students). Is it not grand display of intellectual bankruptcy that the same school that erects scrap metal sculptures allows a professor of art to teach that “public higher education should be free”? (This quote is from the author, not the speaker). Is it not ironic given the apparent one-sidedness of the teach-in, that another professor should suggest that students “be open to new ideas”?

If Professor Katz did indeed suggest that we live in a “free market form of capitalism”, as Ms. Porter wrote, I invite him and everyone other “open-minded” reader to ask themselves what is free our market. In a free market corporations would have no more ability to direct public proceedings than the government would to regulate their production or tax their income. In a free market, big business would not get bailouts from the government and would not be able to conduct back-handed deals as business as usual. In a free market, government would not have any say whatsoever in what ideas, products and companies are better; it would not be able to subsidize a single corn kernel or a second of the revolution that the teach-in encouraged students to carry out. But alas, all of these things do happen, and must be dealt with by addressing the real root of the problem: government interference in the exchange of ideas. That anyone has confused the state of politics in this country with free market capitalism, and that anyone should seek amends to student debt by begging other people to force other people to give other people’s money to other people so that everyone with more bills (and more spending) that they can keep track of can go to school for free, is truly baffling. That anyone should have to look at the “MA withholding” line on their paycheck and know that some of it, however small, is in some way helping professors to make plugs for global revolution, is insulting. And the unlikelihood that ‘open-minded’ individuals would look me in the eye and make the positive statement that “I have the right to a little bit of your money and a little bit of your time because I can’t pay all my bills and we all need to be open-minded” is revealing; perhaps people do recognize the fundamental wrongness of such ideas, and are as terrified as I am disgusted.

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