It reminded me of the old anti-war slogan: "Suppose they gave a war and no one came?” The phrase was used in the 1968 Monkees song "Zor and Zam," and their video of the song looks something like the protest marches I've seen in Madison this year.
Why aren't students more interested in protesting about student problems?
UW freshman Noah Phillips, who led the march, said it is difficult for most to attain a college degree without enormous debt in the current economic climate.Students are in a difficult bind. If you're hyper-aware of this problem and you're still here in school, racking up the debt, do you march around with signs or do you get much more serious and study as hard as you can? That is, do you visualize your plight as a something that aligns you with others and put your efforts into seeking political and social change, or do you get fired up about your individual cause and do what you can to win in what looks like a very tough fight for economic gain? (Or do you just drag on, avoiding politics and taking your studies and your career one step at a time, and hope for the best?)
Associated Students of Madison member Justin Bloesch said "What we were told … is that if we work hard, if we stay honest, if we shine by our merit then this society will take care of us; that's the American Dream"...Who told you that? This society will take care of you? Shine by your merit? How did the "American Dream" evolve into that message?
"But if that's ever how the game worked, that's not how it works now."Well, it's not really how the "game" ever worked. Bloesch seems to be thinking about those public-school games where everybody wins: if you play and don't cheat, you are a winner.
Phillips said the movement, which recruited demonstrators via Facebook, hopes to build student participation in upcoming weeks by passing out flyers and speaking in lectures....You might not even win at protesting. Even if you follow the rules of organizing: Facebook page, check... build momentum...
Once participation is higher, Phillips said the movement can take larger actions such as "occupying a building" or forming a teach in.Occupying a building... that really does sound like 1968.