Last week a group of “student-empowering, social-justice-minded” students and assorted ragamuffins and rabblerousers from neighboring colleges (many affiliated with TakeBackNYU) had the stunningly-brilliant idea of barricading themselves in a food court in New York University’s Kimmell Center, “in a historic effort to bring pressure on NYU for its administrative and ethical failings regarding transparency, democracy and protection of human rights.”
The Great NYU Kimmel Food Court Occupation comes to a bloodless end. (Or “how NOT to spend your college tuition”)Thursday, February 26, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.
While I’m on the topic of narratives, Matthew Boudway at dotCommonweal has a post up entitled “They Cannot Fathom Their Failure”.* The post is based on a George Packer column, which basically makes the argument that conservatives “cannot fathom the failure of their philosophy” after the recent financial crisis, and that to deny they have been discredited is a form of self-delusion. This is a charge, I suppose, to be approached with trepidation; false consciousness is notoriously difficult to disprove. That said, it may be worthwhile to offer some thoughts in response. Here is an excerpt from the post:
…“[T]hey cannot fathom the failure of their philosophy.” Not “they will not fathom” it. They cannot. Sure, the response of many conservatives to the bailout and the stimulus package has been opportunistic and cynical. Many of them, though, simply cannot imagine what it would mean — what it now does mean — for the premises of their policy agenda, and indeed of their entire political philosophy, to have failed. Not even the most spectacular failure can force anyone to learn a lesson he desperately wishes not to learn. Historical events are always complicated and contingent enough to admit of more than one interpretation, and the most plausible interpretation is often not the most attractive.
Pope Saint Leo the Great on Lent:
I. The Benefits of Abstinence Shown by the Example of the Hebrews.
II. Use Lent to Vanquish the Enemy, and Be Thus Preparing for Eastertide.
III. Fights are Necessary to Prove Our Faith.
IV. The Christian’s Armour is Both for Defence and for Attack.
V. Abstinence Not Only from Food But from Other Evil Desires, Especially from Wrath, is Required in Lent.
VI. The Right Use of Lent Will Lead to a Happy Participation in Easter.