Phi Beta Cons

Is the “Occupy” Movement a Subject for College Courses?

In today’s Wall Street Journal, University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds argues that it’s a mistake to automatically criticize the new course offerings on the “Occupy Movement” at various colleges. He suggests that there are quite a few serious academic questions that the movement raises, such as “The Higher Education Bubble and Debt Slavery Throughout History.”

Reynolds is right — there could be serious study of the Occupy Movement. To his suggested syllabus, I would add as a reading Andrew Dickson White’s book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

But Reynolds recognizes that it’s probable that the courses that are taught won’t have much serious content, but will just rehash the statist drivel that inspired the protesters. The courses won’t really aim at understanding the ramifications of the movement so much as recruiting a new cohort of Occupiers.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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