Friday, 12 November 2010

Negotiation by riot [updated]

I’m sure you’ve seen the scenes of destruction in London as thousands of British students rampages through buildings in central London protesting their Government’s  announcement that it’s time for  the UK Government to stop living beyond taxpayers’ means.

As Peter McCaffrey quips, you have to love the irony of self-described Anarchists rioting because the STATE won't give them a free education!

And you have to admire the double irony of those who have spent most years in the state’s classrooms using violence, vandalism and destruction to make their case.

Perhaps there’s something about what they’re being taught inside those classrooms that leaves students prone to seeing nihilism as their metier, and reason as their enemy?

Because after years of being immersed in the nihilistic philosophies oozing out of university’s philosophy, psychology and sociology departments (to pick just three), the pictures of those nihilists down at Millbank make evident that Britain’s “intellectual elite” have taken one look at the economic reality in the world outside their ivory towers and can only stamp their feet like children and chant, “I want it. Now.”   [Hat tip Marcus Bachler]

As eloquent an argument as you’d need that what is being taught in their classrooms leaves students unable to cope with reality—and partial to the idea of violence as an end in itself.

Because instead of reasoned arguments, sound thinking and eloquent addresses, all they can offer is broken glass and destruction. Negotiation by riot.

Which is as good a reason as any not to just cut taxpayer funding to universities, but to end it.

UPDATE:  As a brief semi-serious demonstration of the point made above, Gus Van Horn links to this graphic illustration of  the decline of the “queen of the sciences” in terms of the kinds of questions being asked around philosophy departments…


And around some of the other departments…



  1. The UK police had a rare opportunity to deal with actual crime - as opposed to persecuting innocents - and didn't take it.

    The irony of the student riots at Millbank Tower

  2. If you want to know who was behind the attacks, look here:

    One of them has been arrested for throwing a fire extinguisher off the roof.

  3. Here in Africa, one of the unwritten 'rules' of dealing with wildlife in reserves is that you should never feed wild animals. The reason is that they become more dangerous and unpredictable - when the next guy comes along and doesn't feed them, they become demanding and violent and aggressive.

    I am often reminded of this when I look at human behaviour, and this is just such a case. Give people free stuff for a while, and they tend to get pretty antsy when you try take their free stuff away.

    Witness the protests against austerity measures in Europe. Even Western Europeans, that most civilized lot, is not immune to this deeply animal behaviour, apparently.

    It's just a phase though, as they come to terms with not getting their free stuff anymore. They've lost something they had (though it never rightfully belonged to them), and you know the four or five classic stages of grief; this is "anger".

    You expect people to actually understand the system, or why they're angry? That's expecting a lot. They don't think about what they're doing, they're just acting on animal impulses.

    - David


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