University protests by students concerned for their economic future

Universities around the globe are having buildings occupied by students unhappy about their local situations and future job prospects. Related, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Here is something trying to do a little to help prevent a possible violent disaster for all involved.

As a US Santa Cruz professor (G. William Domhoff) said years ago, in our society, only non-violent social movements have a chance of success, and non-violence is thus the only moral choice today from that and other reasons:
Social Movements and Strategic Nonviolence

With that said, here are some links to things about the origins of this crisis and possible non-violent solution in the context of education, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

A more direct rebuttal to some of the student rhetoric is here.

Other key writings:
* “The Kept University”
* “What Makes the Mainstream Media Mainstream
* “The Big Crunch
* “University Secrets

And here is a general link to an earlier post here on the economics of what is going on, posted here:
Why limited demand means joblessness (and what to do about it)

One key thing to think about is getting past the irony of people using the tools of abundance instead to create artificial scarcity — so, many people think about how to use biotech, computers, robots, new materials, atomic science, nanotech, and even bureaucracy or other social organizational forms to hurt people instead of help them. So, any students should please be careful that you don’t become part of that irony. :-( What could be more ironic that a military robot, to fight over scarcity when robots could produce abundance? What could be more ironic than a nuclear missile, when all that engineering expertise could have built space habitats and wind farms so we would not need to fight over land or oil?

There are many non-violent creative things one can do to get those messages out about how our society is changing. Starting with these sorts of ideas to make films not war.

But even simple things, like exploring why Vitamin D research (or on other nutritional issues) has so long not been prioritized by our medical establishment would provide an entry into thinking about what is wrong with our society and how to fix it.

As people have pointed out in other comments on that blog about the occupation, these are global issues, not local ones, even if we are seeing the problems locally. Here’s a question for any student, if you can’t peacefully win over most of your peers at the university to the cause, what hope is there to effect the larger society? And likewise, if you can win over most of your peers to thinking about a new vision of society, then you will bring hope both locally and globally. We need both an understanding of what went wrong as well as some ideas about how to fix it all, as well as people acting in productive ways to make those fixes. Just stopping things doesn’t get very far, because, as Iraq shows, it’s much easier to break a society than to rebuild it. Why not consider, as a first challenge, if you can peacefully get most people at your university aware of these sorts of specific historical issues as well as all the options (like a basic income, peer production, 3D printing, local agriculture, renewable energy, and so on, even abstract ideas like mutual security and intrinsic security) that are ways to envision moving forward positively in dealing with the phase change our society is going through?

One hopeful sci-fi book from 1982 on many of these themes is “Voyage From Yesteryear” by James P. Hogan. It may have even helped bring down the Berlin wall. :-)

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