Riot Boys and Girls

But the Tiananmen Square example also reminds us of the class-specific response of the medieval monarchs. Boren tends to underestimate the persistence of class interests shared by rulers and protesters. In our own system of mass higher education, the most active students ("the best and the brightest") are often those who see themselves as presumptive heirs to power, whether moral or political. This helps to explain why students have always been most impressive when taking on their own national elites. With Seattle and Genoa under their belts, it remains to be seen if anti-globalization activists can lead as effectively against transnational powers, as the student anti-sweatshop movement has done, or whether they will continue to serve as foot soldiers for the anti-capitalist road show. Which would still be more than welcome, if you ask me.

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