I would answer 'yes" to this: "You can say MOOCs are failing because they lack sufficient 'student motivation,' but what if it was actually the case that society has been failing for decades and MOOCs are just exposing this?" Why do you have to motivate students at all? Because you are forcing them to do something they don't want to do. And that to me his the historic problem. "What if relying on too much extrinsic motivation is a failure? What if we are failing to embrace all of the current and historical research in motivation? What if we know a lot about motivation, but fail to real utilize any of that knowledge?" Matt Crosslin nails it in this post. MOOCs are getting past the idea that motivation is the big problem, and moving on to something else.