Last night my school’s server was hacked and as a result my first class of the day, Politics and Government (which is my favorite class), was cancelled. Of course I didn’t find that out until I got there, since the server is down and none of the teachers can send emails out to their students. So I got there, the professor apologized for having to cancel class because her lecture for today was stored on the server instead of on her own personal jump drive.
So it was a disappointing beginning to my day…a very long day since I am not leaving campus until 10pm..I have an astronomy lab in about 3 hours. A lab that is over 2 hours long. Ugh. So tired! I’m ingesting large amounts of sugar and caffeine over the next few hours so that I can stay awake in class.
Anyway, my next class was not cancelled and here are a few highlights from today’s lecture.
First the class started out with the teacher making fun of the Tea Party. (Not the historical one in Boston, the current Tea Party…just to clarify.) Making fun of their tri-corn hats (I want one of those!), their revolutionary war era outfits (these also look fun), and the fact that, according to him, they only have legitimacy as a political movement because they “romanticize the history of democracy”.
I find that a bit insulting really.
I also wanted to ask him if he believed that Occupy Wall Street had political legitimacy by stomping all over the constitution and what he thought about them defecating on cars and destroying private property.
I didn’t though.
We discussed the history of Democratization in the world, including Samuel Huntington’s description of Democratization as coming in waves. It’s an interesting concept that I think could apply to any number of civil rights movements over the decades as well. In everything from African American, to gay rights. Everything comes in waves that advance and recede over the years, but the tide keeps getting higher and the waves recede a little less each time.
These things take time. I fully believe, in my romantic view of democracy, that eventually democracies will be in every country in the world. We see it happening every day, even if some of the attempts in the last decade or so have gone a bit pear shaped. (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc.)
He compared Jim Crow laws to Apartheid. Tiny bit of a stretch there I think.
In the last part of class we discussed the Weimar Republic of Germany, which lasted from 1919 to 1933 before failing completely.
The words from the powerpoint were “from the outset it was beset with problems which led to the eventually collapse of a democratic nation”. Then he asked “if it happened there, could it happen here?”
Maybe it’s my bias, but I think he sounded a bit gleeful at the prospect.
However, I was considering this over lunch and came to the conclusion that the situation in the Weimar Republic was a bit different than ours here in America.
After all they were a fairly new democracy, we are not, which was on shaky legs because of a bad economy caused by exorbitant war reparations, that was in a state of national despair and looking for a leader to find someone to blame for the horrible situation they were in and promise a quick fix to the problem and give them someone to blame.
Bad economy, check, charismatic leader, check (at least he thinks so), quick fix to the economic situation (bailouts), and a boogeyman to blame for all our problems (the rich)….