Edited By Alexander Cockburn and Robin Blackburn
American students paralyse the world's largest university, italian students put their professors on public trial in Britain the LSE is occupied, free universities operate within our oldest academic institutions and the art colleges make a pattern of creative revolt; and in France students lead a dramatic national revolution which is still to find fulfilment. All industrial societies are now facing a pattern of increasingly effective student revolt, directed in the Communist bloc against authoritarian bureaucracy and in the West against the bland illusions of the liberal academic establishment Students are today's news. But could they be the revolutionary vanguard of tomorrow's social order?
This Penguin Special, published in cooperationi with New Left Review, examines the real nature and international implications of student activism in Britain. Students have piecemeal grievances over discipline, examinations and grants - but do they amount to a coherent structural critique of modern society? What is wrong with established student organizations? How does the student situation differ in the established universities in art colleges and in teacher training colleges? And most important (since students are often accused of fomenting anarchy) what is the strategy for the future?