RE: Re[2]: Query: Go Ask Alice (multiple posts), (,)
Thu, 5 Jun 1997 08:09:10 -0400

Fr m: "Mike Bennett" <>

I was involved in almost all aspects of the movement in the sixties. Both
above and below ground. Minority and women bomber pilots or corporate
executives or drug barons or informers is not progress. Working class women
are worse off than ever due to lack of support. The solidarity movements with
struggles in other countries served to distract participants from the need to
struggle in this country by the physical confrontation necessary to make any
change. Welfare is being replaced by drugs. We had no need for federal health
care thirty years ago. We had a county hospital to go to for medical care and
federal public health hospitals. We failed to establish any institutions that
were not self serving. The working class doesn't view the left as its friend
because the left has not helped the working class in its day to day struggles
to feed its kids. There is no such thing as a non-profit. Most social
agencies are ineffective. Political correctness (making nice) is no
substitute for self-realization through struggle, and valuing truth over
opportunism. Opposing capitalism means we do not do anything that helps or
endorses capitalism. Sixties people became part of the commissar class when
they became bored with political activity or afraid of the consequences. We
need to accept political leadership from those outside the country since we
are unable to generate any movement on our own and do what is good for the
international working class without regard to nationalism.



You said in part:

"Let's be clear about this: For those concerned with human freedom,
social justice, and human potentiality generally, it is a better
country today *because* of 60's culture -- not *in spite of* 60's

A clear assessment. On margin I would agree with it. My only point
was/is that in retrospect the sixties were more of a mixed bag than I
thought at the time. For example:

I was an enthusiastic supporter of the "drug culture" then, but now I
think long and hard before even taking an aspirin!

I didn't believe in monogamy in the sixties. I do now, and believe it
to be the cornerstone of a life well lived.

I'm 53 now and I remember seriously believing the slogan not to trust
anyone over 30!

In the sixties, I believed that I already knew most of what I needed
to know--the basics, the big conceptions--and what was left was to
fill in the blanks and the cracks. Now I realize that Bob Dylan was
correct in that "...he not busy being born is busy dying." Thinking
one already knows is the first step on that downward spiral. Don't
you remember how bloody arrogant we were?

The big sixties' conception was that society could be rebuilt,
probably within a generation. Whether we were talking of culture or
politics, that was the one major underlying assumption. Does anyone
really believe that culture or political systems are that malleable

When I think of the sixties, I think of young love! It was fresh,
exciting, thrilling even. But it was also based on a great deal of
illusion and self-delusion. Every so often a group or a society seems
to "step out of time." The lose the sense of quotidian continuity and
believe that all can be made fresh and new again.

The sixties freed us from much that was stale and stilted, especially
in the 50s. It gave us a chance to experiment and try so much while
seeming to cushion us from real danger in so doing. It was a breath
of fresh air. But we ignore the darkside of our hippie nirvana at our

Karl Slinkard