That is exactly why I find the recent wave of occupations at universities and student events across Britain to be unproductive and divisive. No agreement had yet been reached, but teaching was meant to continue as normal, at least until the next strike action.
Why, then, occupy the venue which lecturers use to do their job and prevent them from doing just that? If the occupation really wants to make a difference, why not occupy the Principal’s office or organise daily protests in front of it?
The occupation emphasises one side at the expense of all others.Why occupy the lecture theatre and criticise the university if you are going to continue complying with the learning practices against which you stand? Whilst the occupation does invite everyone to come in and explore its aims (which is commendable), it is no wonder that the majority of students have not stepped into the lecture theatre since the occupation began: the whole event is clearly biased towards the far-left.Many, therefore, do not feel comfortable enough to enter the venue, myself included.As a political scientist, Richard Crossman naturally took a keen interest in deciphering the ideology and political structures which governed Britain.During the 1960s and early 1970s he developed and promulgated the idea that Britain had lost sight of democracy and had instead moved towards an alternating dictatorship under a two-party system.This kind of meaningful occupation is desired and brave.The only upside in our occupation, though, is that some lectures are being held in the beautiful Mc Ewan Hall.For example, students in Sussex recently occupied a student accommodation construction site to protest, among others, the labour practices of the construction company.Their actions were successful as the company will meet trade union representatives.Mulgan similarly draws on the Hegelian tradition to understand our current global geopolitical moment: “Now, following the political convulsions of 2016, we’re at a very different turning point, which many are trying to make sense of.I want to suggest that we can again usefully turn to Hegel, but this time to his idea that history evolves in dialectical ways, with successive phases of thesis, antithesis and synthesis.