Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 14. 1970
The phenomenon of student activism is as much a barometer of global crises as it is a manifestation of personal frustration and organized disruption. The celebrated generation gap is little more than the naturally holistic consciousness of young people facing a way of life that is not only ugly, irrelevant, and neurotic but that threatens to destroy us all. The natural environment, on the other hand, presents to the sensually connected but culturally shocked young person the clear light of moral value and societal obligation. Earth: Love it or leave it.
The ecological crisis has already precipitated student activism into one of the world's most potentially constructive forces.
In the meantime society is asking its young people to be satisfied with what they have, believe in the American Dream, and accept the heritage of genocide and pollution with pride, patriotism, and purpose. In short, we are asked to volunteer our suicides, and to do so quietly without disturbing the peace of our retiring benefactors, the over-40 generation.
We do not look upon industries, churches, developers, businessmen, and politicians as being necessarily bad; we simply see them as our executioners. Ultimately, activism wants a big answer to a big question. We don't want merely to survive; we want to live. There is only one place to live and that is on this planet and we must live here together. Student involvement with the issues stemming from environmental awareness is emphasized in the demands of the following manifesto composed by the youth delegates to a recent conference.
• The mobilization of the national effort to attain stability of numbers, and equilibrium between man and nature, by a specified date with the attainment of this goal to be the guide for local and national policy in the intervening years:
• The immediate assumption of a massive study to determine the optimum carrying capacity of our country, on the community, city, and national levels, with this carrying capacity to be predicated on the quality of life, the impact upon world resources, and the tolerance of natural system:
• The adoption of new measures of national well-being, incorporating indices other than the rate of growth of the gross national product, the consumption of energy resources, and international credit ratings:
• The immediate rejection of international economic' competition as valid grounds for the creation of national policy.