SDS (Multiple responses)

Wed, 12 Mar 1997 00:37:43 -0500


From: "Lani S. Kraus" <>
Subject: Re: SDS

At 11:18 AM 2/25/97 GMT, you wrote:
>Anybody have any comments on whether the SDS action against Vietnam
>was just a reaction to a leftie, hippy movement by people who believed
>it was the "hip" thing to do? Or was it a serious outcry by a
>generation tired of being sent to a war they cared little about?


Okay, okay. That was an over-simplification. But then, who could possibly
generalize the movtives of all the members of the SDS? Some joined because
they wanted to be cool. Some joined because college students tend toward
idealism. Some joined because they had already lost brothers in Vietnam.
Some joined in order to have an excuse to ditch classes. There were as many
reasons for protesting Vietnam with the SDS as there were protesters.

Lani Kraus
Writing Workshop Administrator,
Seize the day. Then go back to bed.


From: "DAVIDSON CA" <>
Subject: Re: SDS

Can it be that the view of lefties or communism that seems to be
expressed in this email is typical of ther american view of teh
socialist movement? Maybe it is because I am writing from Europe, a
much less individualistic and self interested continent that my views
on the new left movement seem not to be as jaded as
Marc's. Marc, are you rubbishing the student movement, the hippy
movement and their contribution to the ending of what was seen asa pointless war?

>What is scary about this post is that anyone would conceive that any
>social movement can be made up of "either or" elements or reduced to
>such simple dichotomies. Not a flame. Just an observation that we
>have to be better teachers to those who follow lest they teach their
>students such reductionism, and false reductionism at that (lefties,
>hip?--Claire apprently never met any real lefties. They are often as
>hip as Stalin was.
>Marc Gilbert


Subject: Re: SDS

Yes, Claire's post was scary (SDS action against Vietnam reduced to
either "hip lefties" or a "generation tired of going to a war they
cared little about." What better evidence could we have that the
post-60s bashing of the Right and the 60s-trivializing of the
market-driven media have succeeded with large numbers of young
people!? The whole question reads as if someone were struggling to
"piece together" diverse images she had of the 60s so she could
understand them --but that's all there is: images. And it's really
not Claire's fault; that's about all that's out there in the fabric of
mainstream public culture. SDS? Basically bowed out of antiwar
organizing after the 65 Wash. D.C. march. I'd recommend reading
something like Tom Wells' The War Within, for starters.

But I'm also not sure about Marc's comment in responding to Claire:
>hip?--Claire apprently never met any real lefties. They are often as
>hip as Stalin was.

It almost seems to derive from the same external reductionism (Stalin???!!).
Perhaps it's more to the point to say that lefties organizing against the war
(Dellinger, Sid Peck, the Mobe, Hayden, etc.) were VERY SERIOUS & COMMITTED
about the war and rather unconcerned about being "hip." I'd say that was
rather in their favor myself.

Ted Morgan

Department of Political Science
Maginnes Hall #9
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA 18015
phone: (610) 758-3345
fax: (610) 758-6554