Social Scientist. v 2, no. 20 (March 1974) p. 46.


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Report

The Alienated White Student in the United States

A P Balachandran

THE bake sale is a rare and gentle method for raising money among the American students. With an investment of fifteen or twenty dollars, a group of students prepare apple sauce cake and baked banana bread and similar delicacies and sell it on the campus at an improvised counter. A day's business can fetch as much as $ 120.00. The profits are often donated to radical causes like the legal defence of the Attica prisoners indicted for murder. One such group was recently approached for setting up a bake sale for famine relief in India. The response was discouraging. After a momentary initial interest, the students did not care to pursue the matter.

As reflected in the incident, the campus rebel in the U S today is inclined to be limited in his sympathies. He is aware of a futility in his existence, but his struggles at personal liberation arc likely to be narrow in scope. There is activity on the campus for helping the American poor. But there is at best a vague and indifferent interest in the misery of the Bolivian miners or the starvation of the Indian masses. The youth movement in the U S increasingly looks inwards for an escape from the sordid reality. Consistent with such a trend, there is a growing fascination with emancipation through mysticism and religion. The typical rebel in an American university is no revolutionary, he is a liberal reformer with a touch of defiance and on occasion with dreams of mystic liberation.

The discontent of the white American student is rooted in the want of meaningful economic functions for a significant number of educated youth. It is also fostered by the capitalization and urbanization of the economic life which have eroded the integrity of the rural community and the family and caused the decay of transparent and direct relationships of the student to the society at large. Economic Opportunities

Capitalist growth spawns a myriad of activities which arc objectively worthless and which derive their legitimacy from the needs of the system. Such for example are much of the service sector, and the production sectors engaged in tasks like making a new brand of mouth wash every



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