Kant, in his “What is Enlightenment?” will give you two roles. In your private role you are a cog in some machine. In this case I a cog in the Go Project machine. Every Saturday I help a teacher teach a class of first-graders. This is frontline duty, as I think of it. The teacher directs, we the volunteers implement. Most of the time I find myself working with individual students. The goal is to help the students, both academically and socially. They have been selected for this by social workers at different local schools. In the private role I am bound to do as the machine tells me to do – if I disagree on a fundamental it is only right that I resign.
This is a report on and some thoughts inspired by “American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation with Michael Kazin,”a panel discussion hosted by Demos. I have described them before as broadly wanting a New Deal. I will add to that – they are progressives, or Left Democrats, or “Obama-pushers.” This constitutes one of the Lefts represented at the event. The other is Occupy Wall Street, which was represented by one of their organizers.
I am a student lucky enough to not have to work. I study economics at Baruch College. I began my education in economics by reading Marx and every day surrounded by the people who hope to operate the financial machinery of the world, or to not be very far from it. I am lucky to have the time to read, develop my thoughts, and attend various intellectual events. I want to share some of my thoughts about the occupation, some of which will be critical, but in a good way.
Note: This was really meant for my personal blog, but there is some political economy in here, so I can put it up here too. I will be finishing the thing about China, no matter how terrible it will be, soon.
In many ways I have been writing this document for at least many months, if not years. It has at its heart really only one question – what is to be done with life? I will be more direct here than I have been before. I seek not only to state my view but also to give support to the wavering and unsure, to those that have these thoughts in their infancy but have not yet been able to state them clearly. Continue reading