Re: "Pro democracy" movement

Fri, 21 Jun 1996 13:21:12 -0400

Following up on my prior note re. Martin's claim that the 60s were not about
"democracy".... Martin says in a subsequent posting...

>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....
>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.

Martin, you seem to be using the term "democratic" in a conventional sense,
focusing only on the tactics & behavior of 60s movements. Of course not every
action was "democratic" or "pro-democratic" --conventionally defined or not.
No one claims that. But to point to actions that were not "democratic" and
say, see the 60s weren't about democracy is fallacious. On the other hand, if
you look internally at these movements, at what people were saying, what kinds
of political visions they expressed (when they did), and what kind of morality
the "moral struggle" was grounded on, etc. I think it's undeniable that there
was a democratic foundation to them all; they envisioned a better society that
was better in the sense that it was far more fully democratic. Or do you argue
that Port Huron was just a document that was produced by a few score young
people, unconnected to anything else (like early SNCC organizing, the felt
concerns of thousands of college students, etc.)?

Ted Morgan