OWS and the Public School System
Protester learns this is not like back-talking Mr. Kotter.
I am not one of those to think that the young people at OWS events are some sort of nefarious enemy (though some of the people setting this up might be). They are mostly confused young people who are angry about some of the same things I am angry about, but do not understand what to do about it. Some will be conservatives after ten years working a steady job and having two kids anyway, so maybe talking to them now would speed up the process.
As a former public school teacher though, one aspect of this does seem familiar. Public schools have lost all sense of moral principle. Whoever makes the most noise, whoever complains the loudest and shows themselves able to cause the administration the most hassle, is "right" under our current system. They are the ones that are appeased. They are the ones that the system accommodates. I believe that the young people out making noise and trying to hassle the government have picked up on the feckless nature of our current public school system and are simply trying to stir up a stink in order to be the ones that are appeased.
The unwritten rules of the current government school model are that there is no fixed moral principle, little accountability for defiance and disrespect (and why should a young person respect such a system?), and accommodation of the trouble-makers at the expense of the rule-abiding. But they have been mislead by their public school experience. The youth of OWS are currently learning the hard way that those rules do not apply to citizens who make trouble for the real source of power in this country. That would be the multinational banks and the global corporations that have grown up around them. The jack-boot of government force is truly reserved for citizens who challenge that power.
Whilst the government may coddle and accommodate ordinary criminals who only victimize ordinary citizens, they will use all means at their disposal to prevent ordinary citizens from taking action against the super-criminals who have set up our fraudulent financial system. As Cecily Barber has said, we are working harder and harder, when we can still find work, yet we are being systematically stripped of our wealth by a financial system which has been designed for that purpose. The young protesters will find that while challenging your teachers brought no real consequences, challenging the real authorities will result in a night-stick in the face.