I found the graffiti and posters portion of the assignment to be very interesting to look at. As I was scrolling through, I thought of the difficulty that comes with trying to make such a large impact with such little explanation/images. I keep close-reading each of them as though they are poems or something and I think it is helpful. One that I really have been considering it on Page 100 and notice more each time. The first statement of “No Exams” seems like a shallow statement enough, but how can it make one think deeper about the impact of the higher education system when paired with the rest of the text. Is the writer suggesting that having exams is a form of interfering with someone else’s freedom? Is participating in the education system of this time really contributing the deeper issues of capitalism? And can revolution not truly happen while participating in them? Furthermore, how does this all get complicated by the last line of “people who talk about revolution and class struggle without reference to every day reality talk with a corpse in their mouth.”? Is it contradictory? or does it make sense. Wondering what everyone thinks. I know this is some pretty deep thought for one of these posters, but I think that’s the intent of making them.
3 Replies to “Unpacking Graffiti and Posters”
In the document you are referencing on page 100 I believe that there is a lot of contradiction. One of the most contradictory statements that sticks out to me is “No freedom for the enemies of freedom.” This is a contradictory statement to me because as the saying goes if some are not free then no one is free. Not only is this a contradictory statement but I also believe it to be a dangerous one. If it was easy to tell who enemies of freedom were then maybe this statement would be a good idea, but how can we tell who is the enemy of freedom and who is not. I believe that this all too easily could just be an excuse to take away the freedom for people you do not agree with. This is only one of the contradictions that I saw in this document the other major one that stuck out to me was “socialism without freedom is like a barracks.” I say this is a contradiction because it is impossible to implement a fully socialist society and still maintain any freedom at all. In my opinion all of these documents are filled with multiple contradictions.
I was thinking about that first one too with the “No freedom for enemies of freedom” a lot too. However, I see it as a necessary one. Similar to the paradox of tolerance (in order to be a tolerant society, we must not tolerate intolerance yadda yadda). I think enemies of freedom are easier to point out than we think, and that students understand this too. I think that the deeper issue is that enemies of freedom often have more power by nature of government. I think the same goes for socialism. To them, they mean freedom from class struggle, oppression, exploitation. Of course, this would take away the freedom from people who are interested in benefiting from these systems. I think equality is the freedom they are speaking of.
Also if anyone has Netflix, I recently watched Trial of the Chicago 7. It is a great movie about the student movements of the 60’s.