Re: "Pro democracy" movement
Thu, 20 Jun 1996 17:46:16 -0400

Replying to Julie Stein's post, I don't understand how your reply supports
your position that the sixties were part of a "pro democracy" movement. You
make no effort to support your version of history except to state that you'll
"deal with the American Revolution in a separate post." Yet, you originally
stated that this "pro democracy" movement, which I questioned, involved three
interconnected movements that started after the American Revolution.

Likewise one hardly needs to reread the Barb to know that the sixties were
"political." But being "political" does not mean the same thing as being
"pro democratic." The English language is like that, different words are
used for different concepts. If all "pro democratic" meant was to be
political, then that would necessarily include everything political,
including the Unabomber, Pat Buchanan, the American Nazi party, the Klu Klux
Klan, the list is endless. I don't think you want to claim that the sixties
is connected to all that, do you?

The reality is that the sixties weren't all that pro democratic, as many
conservatives pointed out at the time. When you occupied Sproul Hall in 64,
that was certainly political, but it would be hard to argue it was "pro
democratic." You were right, you knew you were right and you were going to
change the University's response even if your position didn't have broad
political support. Likewise, those who opposed the Vietnam War certainly
didn't limit their opposition to "pro democratic" measures. They fought a
moral battle and refused to quit simply because pro war cantidates kept
getting elected. Many protests were not designed to gain votes, but to
express the moral revulsion felt towards the war.

The problem with the "pro democratic" tag is that it is not accurate. The
sixties were a moral struggle, an attempt to force America to adhere to the
standards they had taught to their young. The movement was "pro democratic"
when it seemed useful to be so, but this describes neither the impetus, nor
the limitations, of the movement.

Incidentally, you misquoted me, I never once used the term "personal
expression," I stated that your examples referred to "personal freedom." I
think basic courtesy requires that if one quotes another person, they do so
accurately and not change it so as to make their position seem more
favorable. I do acknowledge, however, that accusing you of being "loose with
the underlying facts" was unnecessarily inflammatory. While I continue to
disagree, there was no justification for being so provacative and I apologize
for it. Martin