Re: 60's radicals

Stu Shiffman and Andi Shechter (
Fri, 26 Apr 1996 10:59:51 -0400

>[snip] it suddenly dawned on me, 'revolutionaries
>who are committed to their beliefs do exactly what the SLA has done.
>That is, rob banks, kidnap, kill people, shoot it out w/police and so
>forth. Stalin, in fact, was an excellent bank robber whose success
>brought him to the attention of Lenin.
> These paper tigers reliving the '60's' are simply staving
>off the ravages of approaching retirement in their soft jobs at
>the university. In fact, if you look objectively at that time
>what was occuring on campus was only a fragment of activity.

Maybe I'm really missing something here, but I take exception to this - all
of us who were active were a) not revolutionaries, but were activists
and/or pacifists and b) oh, come on "staving off the ravages of
retirement"? I've never had a soft job - my commitment and beliefs that
come from those times in the 60s caused me to think that things mattered
and I've spent my working life in non-profit social service jobs and
volunteer work for social justice. Are you saying we all are trying to
pretend the 60s were something they weren't or what? Saying that we're
"living in the 60s" to avoid reality, which is what you seem to say, is
about as realistic as saying all students were or weren't in the movement.
Such generalizations mean nothing.

> Soon after the Jonestown tragedy (another precursor of the fate
>of extremists) I was living w/ a good Berkeley woman who knew Angela
>Davis among others. She was manic-depressive and decided to stop
>taking her Lithium. She went nuts and for one day and one night
>I had to bring my full rational powers to try and convince her that
>(a) China had not fallen into the ocean to the very bottom, (b) that
>space beings were not coming down to earth and (c) that nuclear
>weapons were not blowing off all over the place. I used all my
>rational ability to try and convince her but I couldn't fight madness.

I don't underestand at all what this has to do with the discussion. (Not to
mention that Lithium has _major_ negative side effects.) I can't believe
you're implying that those of us with passion for the times were manic, are
you? Maybe I'm just confused.