LSE Students: Proto-Commies or -Capitalists?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 11/26/2009 03:45:00 PM
Whenever you log into your computer here at the London School of Economics, there pops up this message board thingamajig with current goings-on: announcements, seminars, conferences, events, job know, the regular stuff of school life. As most people know, LSE was founded by Fabians, folks with a socialist disposition. Among the notables who have worked at this august institution is no less than William Beveridge, the man commonly known as the founder of the modern welfare state. If you want to debate states and markets, you know where to go.

As with many big name institutions, however, ideals often give way to the lure of dreaded wonga [British slang for money]. Given the institutions reputation and the generally high calibre of its graduates, many denizens of high finance have come a-callin' to the LSE for recruitment. In past years, LSE has been a big lure for financial firms seeking investment bankers. You know, "God's work." However, I was glad to note in the pop-up message that our students may not have yet lost every ounce of idealism. We have to honour the Fabians, dammit. Have a look at the header and note what our kids regard as an appropriate university for twinning:

Yes, the Islamic University of Gaza. I wonder what the [politically incorrect Z-word]-loving Yankcrusaders would make of that. There's even a Facebook webpage looking for supporters that it's an "Israel hating" action. Even if I'm zero percent inclined to join a union at this point in time, I find it heartening that ours is the only institution that still retains a weekly Union General Meeting. After all, a university is about diversity. Here is the text of the motion if you're interested:
Union believes:

1. Any government that gives one group of people it governs rights over another based on race, religion, ethnicity, or nationality is morally wrong and anti-democratic;
2. Israel is an Apartheid state;
3. Apartheid is racism and we should oppose it;
4. Equality and human rights should be upheld;
5. Israel should be a state for all its citizens and stop discriminating against the indigenous Palestinian population;
6. The Palestinians have the right to return to their homeland and receive just compensation and Israel should implement all international law that it is currently violating;
7. The Occupation is illegal and it should end immediately;
8. Palestinians should have free access to their holy sites including the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Union resolves:

1. Establish an LSE SU campaign to lobby the school and NUS to divest from Apartheid Israel and companies that a) provide military support for or weaponry to support the occupation b) facilitate the building or maintenance of the illegal “annexation” wall or the demolition of Palestinian homes or c) operate on illegally occupied land and within Jewish-only settlements, with the goal of maintaining the divestment, in the case of said companies, until they cease such practices, and, in the case of Israel, until Israel stops its regime of apartheid and the oppression and colonization of Palestinians;
2. Actively support and work with Palestine solidarity organisations such as “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” (JfJfP) , BRICUP , Zochrot , ICAHD , and PSC that campaign to stop Apartheid and racism in Israel;
3. Affiliate our Union to the “the international campaign to end the siege on Gaza” and engage in education campaigns to publicize the injustice of Israeli apartheid.
Whew, that's pretty racy stuff from our kiddos. Shouldn't they be learning about IS-LM models or something? I guess I'm somewhat relieved that further down the message board we have more normal fare largely devoid of activism and idealism:

Office slaving for a law firm may not quite be as exciting, but hey, it still lands food on the table. And that's not something to be taken lightly in this day and age. It's too bad the former Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University in Moscow has set an even worse example for the comrades. Business courses? For shame. Still, it may be worth proposing to the LGU for twinning for old time's sake. Dreams die hard around here.

UPDATE: Comrades, we are now twinned with the Islamic University of Gaza.