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Students do need educating you know

As is proved by these two:

The building used to be a students\’ union but was closed last year due to financial problems and a lack of support from university management – an early victim of the age of austerity in higher education. It lay empty and unused until on 1 February students re-opened it as a base of anti-cuts activism in Glasgow. Now, having been in operation for more than seven weeks, we believe it may be the most enduring of the current wave of student occupations.

OK, lovely.

Booze, chicks, and tellin\’ it to the Man. Good teenage activities, to be applauded.

The Free Hetherington has now moved beyond a protest against cuts to a living example of the alternative. Students have democratically organised the space as a resource for the local community without any support or funding from the university. An incredible range of social and cultural events has been staged – film screenings, film screenings, art and cooking classes, and free performances from artists, including Billy Bragg, and Scotland\’s new poet laureate Liz Lochhead. After protesting for free education for all, we have made it a reality: staff have donated their time to give guest public lectures. An incredible atmosphere of interdisciplinary debate has been fostered. This is all on top of the nightly free meals and tea and coffee, supplied by donations and by recovering food that would have been wasted from supermarkets. It has brought together a huge number of students who did not previously know each other, and given a physical space to students determined to fight back against cuts.

Truly excellent. I applaud your ingenuity.

We also demanded that the Hetherington be re-opened with funding, and that staff made redundant be given their jobs back.

Ah, no, this is why you\’re at university you see. You may well be ingenious, I\’ve no doubt you\’re bright, but you are still ignorant. And that\’s what the university is for you see, to feed you knowledge so that you become less ignorant.

For your argument is \”Now we\’ve shown that this can be done for no money we demand money\”.

To which the correct response is \”Now you\’ve shown this can be done with no money you don\’t need money. Very well done by the way, have a gold star\”.

Adam Smith, who you may know was a Professor at your institution, would have been proud of your gumption and self-reliance. But, given that he was a professor of logic, less proud of your knowledge of that subject.

18 thoughts on “Students do need educating you know”

  1. “Jack Ferguson is 27 and a final year student of sociology and anthropology at Glasgow University.”

    That pretty much says it all…

  2. I learnt more about sociology and anthropology in one week on a company board than I would have learnt in three years in university.

  3. Lest anyone think they may be onto something here:

    “Not everyone on campus is a supporter of the Free Hetherington. We don’t follow a model of representative democracy, preferring participatory processes instead. And as such, we don’t claim to represent students who are not part of the occupation. “

    Translation: ‘You’re either with us, or against us!’

    Seems I’ve heard that one before…

  4. This is Pish. The Hetherington was a cheap bar to get pissed in at the ‘research club’ at Glasgow Uni.

    It smelt but the beer was cheap…….ahh the memories!

  5. JuliaM, no I don’t see that. It’s just that they’re being careful about not claiming to speak for every student.
    Which is a nice change, given the number of leftwing nitwits who make sweeping statements about what society thinks, or about what women think, or what not.

  6. Julia has the right way of it.

    It’s also a classic example of utopian communists using their ability to enact a pantomime version of their ideology within a productive(ish) capitalist economy as “proof” it would work without all those externalities from which it is benefitting.

    If the whole world goes this way… where do the tea and coffee come from that are currently being donated? Etc. People only have the freedom to volunteer when there is income from another source. They can only do this because they are imbedded in the very type of society they despise.

  7. Julia M, Ian B, so if you were a student protesting and you honestly wanted to make it clear that you weren’t representing all views, how would you say this?

    I agree that they haven’t proved what they think they have, but that’s hardly the same as translating a simple statement about them not speaking for everyone as ” ‘You’re either with us, or against us!’”

    That sort of strained reading is a favourite tactic of left-wing commentators (eg once, when I was arguing that there’s no evidence that increased education spending results in better educational outcomes, and presenting OECD statistics to support my assertion, some left-wing American nitwit called me a racist). And I’ll tell you, being called racist didn’t exactly make me see the error of my ways, instead it made me think that the name-caller was probably in the pay of an education department.

    Plus strained translations are hardly something those of us on the more free-market end need to resort to, particularly as a bit of patience generally turns up plenty of straightforwardly stupid statements and more obvious dictatorial interpretations.

  8. “how would you say this?”

    I wouldn’t use the word “democracy” for a start.

    Perhaps instead say that it’s an anarcho-syndicalist commune, where students take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting, by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major affairs.

  9. IanB, you just don’t get it, do you.

    Once the money-free anti-capitalist global society is established, the tea and coffee will continue to be donated, but on a much larger scale. It’s just that the tea and coffee workers will no longer be being exploited by the capitalist classes, and everyone will be able to get all the free tea and coffee that they want. What the tea and coffee pickers get from being freed of their shackles is also quite clear: the contribution of british students and former students to the general upkeep of society will be to continue to voluntarily provide accurate and lengthy pronouncements of what society wants and what women want. And provided the beer, coffee, buildings from which to make pronouncements and so on continue to flow freely, then there will be proof indeed that capitalist oppressors, er aren’t needed.

  10. “The building ….. was closed last year..”

    But that doesn’t mean there aren’t upkeep costs, insurance, heating to keep the pipes from freezing, security issues, rates(?)….all the expenses of having a building empty or used & which are part of the mentioned “financial problems”. Are our student occupiers paying for all of that? Or is it more a case of “We’ll use dad’s garage to practice for the gig rather than hire a rehearsal room because the garage’s free.”

    Maybe some useful education could be derived from them renting an appropriate premises & applying for licences, paying for electricity, water, insurance etc etc themselves. Like normal people.

  11. I’ve seen this done many times before. They are quite likely to win the desired funding by proving that there is a demand for the services. Universities don’t exist to make a profit.

  12. “Once the money-free anti-capitalist global society is established”

    I’m just putting some things in my appointments calendar, so I need to know when this will be because I can then tell my boss to get lost and escape some really tedious business trips.

  13. Andy, my experience was the same as yours. Good times. Also it was far less crowded than the nearby QMU.

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