Sascha D. Freudenheim on Mon, 21 Nov 2011 19:45:46 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Debt Campaign Launch

The funny (?) thing is I don't disagree with much of this. Or, to put
that in the positive, I agree with a lot of this. At least as far as
rhetoric goes.

You may see education as a consumer good for which one must pay - I
don't agree - but the current system of nearly enforced higher
education, huge tuition fees and cost of living expenses and
predatory loans is completely unsustainable and something that
earlier generations did not have to abide. It must be changed, and
this campaign is the first step towards changing it.

So it's that last sentence that I find not quite right. For me, it doesn't change the fundamental problem: walking away from a current commitment people have made, namely: to pay their student loans. If everyone walked away from every obligation they've made every time
they feel like the future doesn't actually look like what they thought
it would or should, we would have social collapse in a very different
and even more troubling sense.

We can see that in the places where it does occur: I think I'm ready to
be a parent. Ooops, just kidding, children are expensive and, frankly,
frustrating, plus they demand attention all the time. Let's hand them to
someone else!

Or, I think I'm ready to be a homeowner. Ooops, just kidding!
Houses/apartments are expensive and demand attention, plus, actually,
it's not really the kind of space I wanted after all, so I'm just not gonna pay that loan back!

If current college students wanted to drop out next semester en masse in
protest: I'd say f**k yeah! That's a protest. Make a statement by not incurring more tuition debt. Bring NYU and every other place to a halt by making a statement about how you think education is a public good, shouldn't be a commercial commodity, etc., great.

My problem is calling a strike for something that people willingly
agreed to--taking on loans. Agreed to. By choice. Maybe not the best choice in the freest of universes, but still, a choice. Not like, say, Selective Service or the draft of the 1960s--not a choice at all.

So this feels less like a protest of and for the 99% and more like "entitlement" under another name.


Sascha D. Freudenheim
Doubt is humanity's best friend.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact: