Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Occupy Harvard Failed | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson

H/T John Ruberry who does yeoman work covering Occupy.
Why Occupy Harvard Failed | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson
Perhaps Occupy’s inability to convert students was due to its own ignorance and consequent lack of credibility. Occupy walked out of an Economics 10 lecture on—wait for it—inequality. Occupy’s open letter to Professor Mankiw blasted him for neglecting John Maynard Keynes. Had they looked at the spring syllabus, they would have discovered that it covers Keynes heavily.
Or maybe Occupiers couldn’t persuade students because they were too sure of themselves to communicate effectively. I asked an Occupy leader to articulate the philosophy behind her belief that it was wrong for a Harvard employee to be making 180 times the salary of another employee. I asked what a better ratio would be and whether different skills merit different compensation at all. In response, she simply expressed her disbelief that I didn’t agree with her.
Maybe Occupy never actually wanted student support. One Occupier referred to “the majority at Harvard” as “the enemy.”
Now, Occupy has devolved into adopting semi-Marxist rhetoric and fringe positions, denouncing “profit motives” and seemingly opposing any and all layoffs, ever. And people are still wondering why students don’t support Occupy?
Occupy likes to imagine that the administration or the student body martyred it. The truth, however, is that Occupy had the chance to spark a rational and important campus discussion of inequality in America, but it shot itself in the foot.
A more than a few UU Preachers helped with the poor aim here.  This outfit isn’t gone though.  Chicago’s getting ready for them with the G8/Nato summit.  But it is a greatly devolved group now.  The UU’s recycling their agendas through this mess had better explain their fall back line.  The Spring return’s going to be ugly and their thoroughly hitched now despite their silence.

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