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Editorial: Occupy protests should avoid misguided attacks on capitalism

The Occupy movement that began as a protest against Wall Street has been showing some worrying signs of devolving into a protest against capitalism. We have previously praised the attention drawn by these protests to critical issues of economic inequality and unrestrained financial sector risk-taking, among other things, but we believe this change of course threatens to detract from the group’s original purpose.

Op-Ed: Occupy the Future: It takes a village to do just about everything

When we think about upward mobility and achieving economic success, we tend to think in terms of meritocratic ideals and individual success. Is a system that takes so much input to get a single positive output the best we can do? More importantly, what does it say about our notions of success when some of the people who helped me climb the social ladder remain trapped at the bottom?

Op-Ed: Occupy the Future

The Occupy protests have accomplished a great deal. They have galvanized many forms of public response to the glaring inequalities of wealth and income that now characterize American society. We are in sympathy with those protests. But it isn’t parks or public spaces we aspire to occupy. It is the future of our country that is at stake and that we hope to help shape — to occupy — through our actions. For this broader Occupy movement to grow, it will require other groups outside encampments to mobilize other constituencies, by other means, around other issues.

Op-Ed: Occupy the Future: Beyond the honor roll

Stanford students, and Americans generally, are inculcated with a strong attachment to the notion of meritocracy: that success in some area is distributed based upon merit. Nowhere does this seem more prevalent than in education. We are submitted to examination from our earliest years, and our performance may ultimately decide our class standing, both in school and in society. If our education system is meritocratic, then how do we define merit, and in what context is it expressed? Importantly, how do inequalities define this context?