Unified Patriots by Vassarbushmills
The Return of the Primitives
In 1964 a group of students calling themselves the Free Speech Movement “demanded” much more than free speech after the University of California at Berkeley had forbidden them to use school property to organize off-campus political activities. They stormed the administration building and took over university offices. FSM made a list of demands; more professors, academic departments, and more weird course studies (does any of this sound familiar?) to which the university president, named Kerr, promptly accepted in front of a throng of cheering students…only his terms of capitulation stipulated that none of the student leaders would be able to climb the podium and speak to the crowd as well. So when the student leader, Mario Savio, did just that, taking the mic away from President Kerr to deliver his version of the standard “workers of the world unite” harangue, campus police pulled Savio off the stage….thus…you guessed it…interfering with his free speech.
So, naturally, the occupation continued. And grew, which as one activist recalled, was their purpose all along.
(For background, Savio was a trained organizer, having spent the summer of ’64, called Freedom Summer, in Mississippi, training how to work a leftist agenda into the civil rights movement, using young blacks.)
The politics of the ’64 Berkeley campus revolt you can recognize today for it illuminated the classic confrontation of world views. Ayn Rand in her celebrated series of essays, The Return of the Primitive, described this confrontation this way; no matter how petty and petulant, no matter how childish, no matter how infantile the students beliefs were, the administration believed in nothing at all, other than protecting their own status. Thus it was a cake-walk. When some thing of even the slightest substance, no matter how puerile, runs head long into nothingness, nothing disintegrates.
Note that at no time did these students represent more than 2% of the campus population, but also representing, the upper 2% of affluence in the state of California; spoiled rich kids….
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