Pepper Spray Nation

Pepper Spray Nation
Paul Rosenberg
suggests that the incident at University of California (Davis) in which peaceful protesters had their faces pepper-sprayed at point blank range by a police officer exemplifies the “raw brutality” that underpins “a decades-long story” of the neoliberal state:  the suppression of free speech and political demonstration; the growth of a massive prison system and police repression, especially among communities of colour; and the substitution of no-strings-attached student tuition fees for state-guided funding of universities. While California’s tax rates are lower for the richest 1% than for the state’s poorest 20%, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who ordered the police to suppress the campus protests, represents one of many college administrators who have become, according to Rosenberg, “overpaid operatives of the 1%, whose orientations are utterly divorced from the spirit of public service.” Exposing the difference between real-world markets (oligopoly capitalism) and the myth of the competitive free market, Rosenberg’s economic argument in support of public subsidies for higher education is undeniable.   Read the article…

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