The recent “Ven’debt’a” protest failed to attract popular support from the majority of students at the University of Lincoln. It was well publicised, it concerned an issue that most students should be interested in, and it took place here in Lincoln.
A connected political debate failed to attract more than a handful of students. So why the lack of interest? Whatever happened to the student activists of yesteryear? Where have the screaming protesters gone, with their bellies full of fire and their mouths dripping revolutionary slogans?
Just like the dodo, they’re extinct.
Modern students are far more concerned with their own pleasures than the political and social issues of today. Witness the popularity of the recent Carnage event. Compare it to the pitiful turnout at a protest that was in their own best interests. The Facebook page for Lincoln Carnage managed to attract 2475 members. A clear measure of its popularity.
The message here is quite simple. Students are turned off by political activism and protest. They have become lotus gatherers for whom the gritty realities of the real world are unwelcome intruders into their lives.
In “1984”, George Orwell wrote about the “proles” and how they were manipulated through their enthusiasm for a lottery. Orwell wrote: “It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant.”
Substitute “students” for “proles” and substitute “sex, booze and fun” for “lottery” and you have modern student life.
Our political masters would be very happy to hear of this lack of concern exhibited by those, supposedly, making up the smartest component of our society. If we, the future professional and managerial class, cannot be asked to take an interest in the governance of our lives then what hope is there that the political classes will be held accountable for their actions? Are we ready to let politicians do what they want as long as it doesn’t disrupt our pleasure centred lifestyles?
One final note. The most surprising thing for me was not that so few students turned out to protest against the debts they are forced to incur, but that any of them turned up at all.Tweet