Re: Activism (multiple posts)
Sun, 19 Apr 1998 12:47:42 -0400

From: Joe McDonald <>

it is so hard to relate the experiences to people who were not
personally there to experience it themselves. And so we get nostallgic
in describing and comparing. young people in the 60's were very
un-informed, and the realization that they had breen lied to made them
angry as a group. today people are so much more aware and we live such
better lives that it is taken for granted.
back in the 60's only a tiny fraction of the 50 million people in the
generation became activists. and many of those were forced to make hard
decisions by events out of their control. today we do not live in
serbia or rowanda or places where organized mass death and violence is
perpetrated in your name every day.
each generation must be the best it can acording to its own reality.
what i find distressing is the lack unity within the "60's" generation
today. what good to fight the good battles and win if only to loose the
war later down the line for lack of solidarity.
country joe mcdonald

MobyMeg wrote:
> Just wondered what people's thoughts are on why the level of student activism
> is so low-key nowadays. Obviously, we don't have a huge issue like Vietnam to
> wrap our attention around, but there are still opportunities for legitimate
> protest these days. What do you think stops people from doing it?

"Perseverance furthers. The eldest daughter spoils the soup. The wind
blows from the east.  The wise person bends like the bamboo in the wind"
I Ching
country joe Home  Pg <> 
country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial <>

(2) From: PNFPNF <>

Just a few off-the-top possible responses to MobyMeg's interesting query on the comparative levels of student activism during the Vietnam War and now: 1) Students now are more desperate economically, more tied into their p/t and "workstudy" jobs and loans, anxious for a diploma, since the economy was (a bit) less hourglass then (had more middle class). Or so we hear. Yet students then were pretty desperate to stay out of the draft. 2) The media control got better after the '60s. No longer do students (or the rest of us) get to see what we're doing to the peasants (or the poor here---seen any homeless people dying on our cold streets, on television or in the papers in the past 3-4 years?). 3) The general level of education has been even worse for the now 18-22 year olds than in the '50s/early '60s. Less money for schools, but--most of all--more pressure on more parents to be at work (both, if 2 parents in the home) 9-5, so the kids are in a rush-to-school (which teaches nothing except not to believe in one's abilities or to be curious except within the universe of allowed concepts)-to-daycare (lie on the floor for a nap and learn you are liars and cheats and not to be trusted)-to-home/chores-to-television (no energy for family chats/reading/study) etc.-----so there's no background from which to question, no questioning allowed in the kids' out-of-home contextual background, etc. 4) When there's a war, it's done fast, to prevent protest build up. THEY learned from the '60s. We musta scared them. ...Let's remember, before 1960 there was zilch student movement (oh a few of us in Campus SANE, and some nibbles in the South/East, but...). How did it happen it developed so fast? This is possibly the most fruitful question MobyMeg is raising. Paula Friedman