Occupy Wall Street

Instapundit's Syllabus for the Occupy Movement


Glenn Reynolds, the wizard behind Instapundit, is also a law prof at University of Tennessee. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Reynolds suggests a syllabus for courses that are starting to be taught about the Occupy Movement. Among the class sessions he recommends:

1) The Higher Education Bubble and Debt Slavery Throughout History. Since ancient times, debt has been a tool used by rulers to enslave the ruled, which is why the Bible explains that the borrower is the slave to the lender. One complaint of many Occupy protesters involves their pursuit of expensive degrees that has left them burdened by student loans but unable to find suitable employment. This unit would compare the marketing of higher education and student debt to today's students with the techniques used to lure sharecroppers and coal miners into irredeemable indebtedness. Music to be provided by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

2) Bourgeois vs. Non-Bourgeois Revolutions: A Comparison and Contrast. The Occupy movement left its major sites—McPherson Square in D.C., Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, Dewey Square in Boston—filthy and disheveled. By contrast, the tea party protests famously left the Washington Mall and other locations cleaner than they found them, with members proudly performing cleanup duties.

This unit would note that social-protest movements are sometimes orderly and sometimes disorderly as a matter of approach, and it would compare the effectiveness and ultimate success of such relentlessly bourgeois movements as the tea party, the pre-1964 Civil Rights movement, Women's Suffrage activists, and the American Revolution, against such anti-Bourgeois movements as the post-1968 Black Power and New Left movements, and the French Revolution.

Which accomplished more lasting good?…

4) Scapegoating and anti-Semitism in mass economic-protest movements. The Occupy movement began as an assault on "the 1%," a shadowy elite of bankers and financiers charged with running the world for their own benefit. Within a few months, the Anti-Defamation League was noting that anti-Semitic statements and sympathies seemed surprisingly widespread within the Occupy encampments. Compare with other such movements that led to similar results. Are such developments inevitable? If so, what strands in Western (and perhaps non-Western) culture account for this?

Read the whole thing (for free!) at the WSJ.

Speaking of anti-semitism, here's Reason.tv talking to a (now-former) L.A. Unified School District employee at Occupy LA:

For more Reason video coverage of the Occupy movement, including Peter Schiff among the protesters and Remy's protest song, go here.

For Reason.com coverage of Occupy, go here.


NEXT: Mike Riggs on Gary Johnson's Mission to Build a Libertarian-Leaning Coalition

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Seeing that picture of Friedman almost made me wish I could punch my monitor.

  2. Scapegoating and anti-Semitism

    Those Jewish boomers ruined everything.

  3. The civil rights movement was “relentlessly bourgeois”? That strikes me as a bizarre statement. Is it because segregated blacks wanted to be able to move into the middle class instead of trying to overthrow the existing social order?

    1. More or less. Compare and contrast the dress code for the 1963 March on Washington vs. Occupy Wall Street.

  4. OK wow that makes a lot of sense dude, I mean like wow. Oh yeash!


  5. Oh please, knock it off with that stupid video! Ron Paul said worse things (over many years) in his newsletter, and I don’t think you’d be too happy to see the entire libertarian movement tarred with that over and over again.

  6. The Occupy movement also needs a lesson in defining the true One Percent.

    Defining the One Percent – politician’s cronys make out the best


  7. The civil rights movement was “relentlessly bourgeois”?

    I was born in 1989 so I only know what I’ve been told, but my impression is that lower-class whites (throughout the country, NOT exclusively in the South as some like to imply) were the main drivers of segregationist policy. So the efforts of educated blacks to overthrow a regime of uneducated whites could be considered bourgeios, even though the educated blacks were part of an underclass.

  8. Almost everything I’ve learned that is wrong with the banking industry I learned from Jews! Besides, in North Carolina, where I live, the banking cartel is owned by blood drinking* Scots.

    *That is the marinade in haggis, right?

  9. my impression is that lower-class whites (throughout the country, NOT exclusively in the South as some like to imply) were the main drivers of segregationist policy.

    There is a buyable narrative of the ’60s where the fundamental “revolution” there was the wresting of what political power the working class had away from them by what some of your better commies call the state bourgeoisie (and we tend to call the “educated,” or “professionals”).

    That’s not it.

    The “impression” you’ve been given requires that prior to the victories of the civil rights/etc. movements, politicians/unions/etc. truly and transparently represented the material/moral/etc. interests of proles/crackaz/etc.

    Is that plausible? At all? We had a (representative) dictatorship of the proletariat? Under Wilson, FDR, Holmes, Brandeis, Dewey? Until “students” overthrew it?


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.