Community at SMC? There is none!!!!!

Exactly 753 students, out of a student body approximating 30,000, voted in the recent campus elections. That's 2.51 percent.

Impressive, eh?

Oh, sorry to bother you from your slumber. Go back to sleep. That "critical thinking" so many SMC professors intone as a mantra is going to be required here.

Your continued reading imperils certain illusions you may hold.

Your indoctrination, brainwashing, education was constructed to create in you a willing and compliant participant in a system unsustainably exploiting people and resources for the avaricious few who now control more planetary wealth than ever before.

Oh, you thought the good people who brought you this wanted everyone to prosper? Heh, heh, heh.

That's a good one. Your value, IF you climb higher, is to serve as a buffer between the obscenely well-to-do and the burgeoning masses clamoring merely to survive.

Look I don't want to torture you. But if you insist on continuing further you will be following Neo down the rabbit-hole into a forbidden perspective of the "Matrix."

(Oh, you thought that was just a movie. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. That is funny.) OK, here it is: SMC is composed largely of individuals with little or no sense of community - local, national, and global - or a willingness to fight for the rights of those communities. You think that your classmates are willing to step up and fight for your cause or you for theirs if it doesn't fit some narrow scope of understanding? Think again.

The recently announced alliance established between the A.S. presidents at SMC and West L.A. College? Nothing of import will come of it.

The efforts against parking meters on Pearl Street? It is so missing the forest for the trees. And besides, the local government will drag its feet until the semester is over and finish the installation anyway. Christmas baskets for the poor? A soothing palliative used by students to reassure themselves that they really care.

Few here stand together for anything. And there are big things to stand together for, and against - mounting social injustices, the evaporation of democracy, the criminal looting of our national, and so on. But everyone is in it for themselves, scrambling over one another to realize the "American Dream."

Most of you miss the big picture: The middle class is being squeezed out of existence as people work harder, for less, and the ranks of the impoverished grows.

And in the American love of individualism without a reciprocal appreciation that we are all in this together will we hurdle towards the 21st century version of slavery, serfdom, or indentured servitude. Daily life for more and more is primarily an issue of survival with no time to think about the bigger problems.

The results produced by the minority of well-intentioned students who step up to leadership is too often singular, transitory, uncoordinated, and fails to encompass the bigger battlefield.

Their efforts are ad hoc moments of illusory accomplishment which will be erased from student memory next semester.

Wait, you cry! The students recently marched during the "Week of Resistance" to rid SMC of army recruiters. (When, by the way, there was a Campus Resource Fair already planned, thus forcing students to choose between conflicting events instead of consolidating them into a singular force.)

What, a hundred- plus participants you say? Out of 30,000? A moment please to let me gather myself.

And by the way, the recruiters are back on the library walkway.

I spoke to a progressive SMC professor, Dr. Amber L. Katherine, who suggested that "a 100-student turnout is good for Santa Monica." Huh? Even teachers you'd hope would know otherwise don't. What about 500 students? Or 1,000? Or 10,000 for a march that could alter the landscape? No, you say? Not possible?

If you don't dream it, it will never happen. But it must happen.

And I say let it happen here. SMC could become, with vision and a planned long-term collaboration between students and faculty - many of whom are battle-seasoned from life's painful lessons of fighting the fight - a fervent breeding ground, a nucleus, if you will, of an awakening political force.

We could make a difference - A REAL ONE - now and into the future.