A syllabus for the ‘Occupy’ movement

As universities rush to offer courses on the “Occupy” movement, Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds, a law professor, proposes a syllabus. One of his possible lessons:

1) The Higher Education Bubble and Debt Slavery Throughout History. Since ancient times, debt has been a tool used by rulers to enslave the ruled, which is why the Bible explains that the borrower is the slave to the lender. One complaint of many Occupy protesters involves their pursuit of expensive degrees that has left them burdened by student loans but unable to find suitable employment. This unit would compare the marketing of higher education and student debt to today’s students with the techniques used to lure sharecroppers and coal miners into irredeemable indebtedness. Music to be provided by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

For younger readers, Reynolds is referencing “Sixteen Tons” a song we used to belt out at my elementary school in an upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago.

You load sixteen tons an’ what do you get?
Another day older deeper and debt.
St Peter don’t you call me I cause can’t go:
I owe my soul to the company store.

There also was Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill, in which we worked all day for the sugar in our tea (pronounced tay) down behind the railway.

About Joanne


  1. I got a kick out of that syllabus. 🙂 And now I’m humming Sixteen Tons…

  2. There was a real appetite for historical knowledge among the young Occupy protesters I met. How great it would be if our high schools taught a really rich three year American history curriculum that included a detailed economic history of the US with left-wing and right-wing perspectives. I had an excellent Marxist history professor in college who regaled us with the nitty-gritty details of the birth of the labor movement in the US. It’s rare to find a fellow citizen who knows these details.

    • Too bad there wasn’t a concomitant appetite for respect for their fellow citizens but that follows from the barely-ignorable source of the “Occupy” movement – self-involvement.

      The “Occupy” movement’s an embarrassment with lefties stuck with the unenviable task of trying to spin it is something other then a long, loud temper tantrum. But I wonder how enthusiastic even lefties are, being faced with that task? Certainly the support I’ve seen for the “Occupy” movement has had a distinctly “pro-forma” tinge to it.

      Of course that could be due to the realization that the “Occupy” movement wasn’t going to ignite widespread support and no one abandons a loser quicker then the left.