In the annals of student revolts in post-World War II Western societies, 1968 stands out as a sort of watershed year. Student groups in the U.S., in France, Germany, and other nations took to the street in staged strikes or occupations that sometimes lasted for months. They led to a siege-mentality at the affected colleges. One revolt occured at San Francisco State College and lasted from November, 1968, until March, 1969.

Joan Didion was there. In her book The White Album, she offers an interesting insider-view of the curiously adversarial relationships between student-rebels on one side, and college administrators and political leaders on the other. Two groups carried out the occupation—Black radicals and White radicals; but let Didion herself to tell the story of the revolt:


   The very architecture of California state colleges tends to deny radical notions, to reflect
   instead a modest and hopeful vision of progressive welfare bureaucracy. . . . The gradual
   politicization, the obligatory "Fifteen Demands," the continual arousal of the police and
   the outraged citizenry. . . .
   Striking black militants dropped in to chat with the deans, striking white radicals exchanged
   gossip in the corridors. "No interviews, no press," announced a strudent strike leader who
   happened into a dean's office where I was sitting. . . . Everyone seemed joined in a rather
   festive camaraderie, a shared jargon, a shared sense of moment.
   (O)nly the black militants could be construed as serious: there were, at any rate, picking
   the games, dictating the rules, and taking what they could from what seemed for everyone
   else just an amiable evasion of routine. . . .
   . . . I sat in on a meeting of fifty or sixty SDS members. They had called a press conference
   for later that day, and now they were discussing "What the format of the press conference
   should be.. . ."
   "This has to be on our terms," someone warned, "Because they'll ask questions."
   "Make them submit any questions in writing," someone else suggested. "The Black Student
   Union does that very successfully. They just don't answer anything they don't want to
   "That's it. Don't fall into their trap."

John le Carré explains the psychology of interrrogations, of asking and answering questions, in his novel Smiley's People. In the psychology of interrogations, "The general was talking Villem into a corner, making him answer questions as a prelude to making him obey."
Responding like restive young people anywhere, the student-rebels sense the older person's deeper knowledge and presumptive authority. The more questions the older person asks, the more he puts the younger person in a subordinate role. The student-rebels have to consciously fight that slide into subordination.

Surely I don't need to mention that the student-rebels' presumptions, as regards negotiating with the administration, amount to asserting a dictatorial leadership—principally because the rebels reject negotiations as a ground-rule.
Then the student-rebels explain their refusal to cooperate with the media:

   "Something we should stress at this press conference is who owns the media?"
   "You don't think it's common knowledge that the newspapers represent corporate interests?"
   "I don't think it's understood."

The spirit of the student-revolt remains the same over the generations. For confirmation of this, look over the variety of left-wing bloggers. They don't want questions or negotiations. They want action. Their mistrust of corporations reaches across the board to media organizations.