|If Only The King Knew: British Protesters Egg Charles and Camilla’s Limo|
I continue to be impressed with the capacity of what George W. Bush used to refer to as “Old Europe” to fight for a vision of the world where all of us are not being used to generate profit for someone. Like Hannah Arendt, I continue to be suspicious of violence as a political tactic: all movements that choose violence, she argued at the height of United States antiwar protest, are fascist, whether they originate on the right or the left. I did not appreciate that at the time I first considered this idea in the 1970s, and I do now.
And yet, I wonder: what is wrong with us in the United States that we just sit around and wait for the newest attack on our rights as citizens? Why do we continue to insist on improvements in education, while politicians cut the $hit our of education budgets in the name of “middle class tax cuts” (by which, what they really mean is fighting wars on behalf of the oil and gas industry?) Why do we continue to believe, as a society, that at some point the medical, pharmaceutical and insurance industries are going to realize that they have enough money and suddenly they will treat us right? And why do we continue to entrust everything that matters — education, health care, politics itself — to the rich?
Most particularly, what is wrong with students that they are so suckered by the debt industrial complex that they will continue to take out massive loans for education that we, as a society, ought to be giving them for free? Only in California have there been system-wide protests of privatization, while public school parents and their children — who are most dramatically affected by privatization — go from charter school to charter school to see which corporate executive can best prepare their kid for a standardized test?
Go Brits; go French.