Mon, 17 Jun 1996 12:55:31 -0400

Several very brief responses to Ted Morgan:

Ever since the tax revolt in late 70's you have had a
massive grass roots movement akin to the 60's that favors the
conservative agenda. I'm not for it that is simply the case.
The 'grass roots' in this country turned against the welfare
state big time, turned against tax system big time, turned
against quotas/social engineering big time, turned against the
legal system big time, turned against the belt-way big time.
That is the '60's' revolt of this era. That revolt will have
a much greater impact on the younger generation than the
60's. That is how one era supplants another. I prefer the
60's but that is that. And looking at this new revolt you
can see many similarities- the militias are the weathermen-
I'm quite frankly shocked they don't spell America w/a K.
They do fly the flag upside down! You have a slew of commentators
who rationalize this revolt ala the 60's. You have Newt taking
the role of Fulbright. The welfare system became the left's
Vietnam. They just got bogged down w/contradictions in trying
to support it. Well, the list could go on and on.
The left is still where the major critiques have to come
from but for those critiques to be grounded in the 60's is
ridiculous. The left has to take seriously what is happening
today and not go off in these old, stale arguments about
everything being a 'capitalist conspiracy'.
When I say the 'people' I don't mean 20 year old students
who are 'changed' and 'moved' by every book they read. I mean
working class to upper middle class property holders. If you
can not MOVE them you have nothing, since they determine what
policy is implemented and what is rejected. In the 60's there
was wide-spread support in those classes for the reform movements.
Today there is none. If your arguments do not move these groups
of people then you lose. Now it's true that ideologies
can be slowly absorbed into the body politic if the ideology
has allies. And the more absurd aspects are husked off as
they make their way, as ideas, up the chain of command. That
is certainly within the grasp of the left if they can make
allies and convice the chain of command. They were able to do
so in 60's and 70's. They have been turned away in the last
several decades and really have to build all over again, from
scratch. And the kicker is the collapse of communism as a world
movement and with it any belief that Marx/isms can survive in the
real world.
I don't exhalt in the decay of the left. It just has to
break away from old thought patterns that Ted exemplifies in his
Inequality existed long before capitalism. Communism did
not solve the dilemna. If the people are 'ahead of the
elites' then why not respect their choice of systems? The vast
majority of people would rather have lots of capital in the hands
of lots of people than they would have the 'elites' controlling
that capital. Why doesn't the left respect this choice?
One final note: during the 60's the left absolutely scorned
the environmental movement. The marxist, academic new left did.
'Oh, look at the silver spoon boys and girls save cans to be
recycled.' That movement was led by the poets, hippies, researchers,
society ladies, etc. Only later, when the left calculated that
it had a large following did they jump in w/tired old arguments
about 'capitalist conspiracies' and so forth. And that set of
problems will be solved because you have research scientists
coming in w/data and facts that give those set of problems
urgency and the American people are not idiots. And how clean
is Poland, old East Germany, former Soviet Union, and the rest
of eastern europe? They are ecological nightmares.
Good luck