Sat, 22 Jun 1996 22:36:20 -0400

I think Julie Stein says some provocative/excellent things
about the 60's. I think she captures some of the spirit and
rightly identifies the roots of the 60's as digging down into
the foundation of American culture. The founding fathers were
opportunists par excellance and saw the ability to create a whole
new society. They adapted the Jeans-Jacque 'noble savage' as
the prototype 'unbounded democratic citizen' who could venture
in any direction, mind/spirit/skill/talent wise. This sense was
blocked to my forefathers in europe who were all dirtfamers. When
a dirtfamer has a reaonable chance of aspiring and becoming a
shipping merchant, representative, novelist, etc. ENORMOUS
vitality is released. That is one side of the equation at the
foundation of American. The other side is what the founders
got from Montisque and Blackstone etal. You have to run a stable
society for the unbounded democratic citizen to find his/her
way/niche and develop. The closer to perfection this occurs
the more chance you have to ameliorate the citizen and society/obligations.
The 60's were involved to an extraordinary extent in this
'unbounded state'--nothing like it since Romanticsm, late 18th-
mid 19th C. And in many ways it went beyond romanticsm since
there are many more variables and complexity and enrichment
today. One example of how this worked comes to mind immediately.
That is, the computer. Someone mentioned the Port Huron statement
and Savio. Both articulated the feeling of being captured in a
dehumanized world and the mainframe computer run by FBI/CIA/military
nuclear/intelligence/credit card companies etc became vile objects.
'Do not fold, spindle, mutilate' etc. And in this unbounded state
of the 60's a few people got the balls to take on the computer
monstrosity and deliver, just a few years after Viet/Watergate,
the pc- now the techology was available at NASA/Intel but not
the will to do so. The 60's provided that willfulness and the
rest is history. You could say the same thing about the unboundedness
that captured the 'globe' as a physical state and developed, then,
consciousness about environment. You could say the same thing
about the necessity to fulfill the promise of American spirit
by giving to blacks and women the ability to be 'unbounded' and
seek their potential. All of that is very much linked to the
founding myth.
But the other side of that equation is important as well.
That is, the maintenance of stability. The evolution of the
'unbounded' citizen into a citizen of a republic that is run
through represenation and pluralities. And here again, the citizen
is free to join any plurality they want and hire any representative
they want. The academic left belongs to a plurality, the middle-
class property belongs to one, the welfare poor belong to one, etc.
The 60's generation has obviously evolved to that state so their
role has changed considerably. It is up for the X'ers to find their
unboundedness and dream/aspire and look into the actual complexity
that looms ahead of them and figure out what they want to bring
into being as a generation. The boomers have had it. Our role
now is that of stabilizing the culture so it does not collapse and
crush the life out of uprising generations. Those in my
generation who are in deep cynicism or deep alienation are in
deep trouble (like the middle/aged militias who are caught in
the unbounded state thinking they can forge checks/bomb buildings
because no legitimate authority exists to stop them.) And
cynicism/alienation is a curse that goes w/ a pov that does
not connect with the vital livliness of the real shitter. Therfore,
everything dumped back into the individual who can not carry
the burden- therefore, demoralization, decacy, and death.
Good luck

ps. Marx can not be understood w/o Hegel- his teacher. And Marx
not only admired Hegel he admired Balzac who was a conservative
Republican. And his admiration came partly from the fact that
truth-seekers recognize each other since they are not afraid of
looking at the real complexity of the world and articulating that
fully and completely. Electrical power is generated by moving
a conductor through polarities. The academic left represses
approx. 90% of the on-going reality today and so have lost
their credibility.