Re: [sixties-l] "Generation" as the wrong focus

Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 23:53:06 CUT

  • Next message: William Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Brewing hatred of the baby boomer generation"

    Wonderful points by Marty, Jeremy, Ted. Great having this list back.
    Well, THIS ancient "pre-babyboomer" (born 1939) remembers the leadership of
    the antiwar movement in the 1960s being nearly entirely pre-1945ers; I think
    the change may have have come with the Weatherpeople? Or with us wwII-grown
    pulling back ("a year later [after People's Park] we had all gone somewhere
    else," as whatshername says in B. in the Sixties).
    I also remember going from anti-Axis/pro-U.S. childhood sentiments through
    TERROR OF THE BOMB, beginning around 1948 or so--in conjunction, too, with
    the obvious points about McCarthy and the like--viz. "Taking the 5th
    amendment doesn't mean they're Communists"--and "How can there be national
    security" [the '50s excuse, n.b., for everything not ascribed conveniently
    instead to "normal" or "togetherness" behavior] when the Bombs'll kill all of
    us"--rather thoroughly turned off any nationalism/ patriotism. Remember that
    the bombs were, for those of us raised in "comfortable circumstances,"
    usually the most easily recognizable "point of oppression". And a sense of
    fairness--an American value instilled not only by WWII us-vs.-Axis (and Cold
    War us-vs.-bad-bad-Commies) stuff but by watching good ol' American cowboy
    movies, as we did, made McCarthyism immediately suspect. By the late
    '50s, I think few of us were "patriotic" in the least, though--especially if
    we were in the intellectual crowd at "good" universities; civil rights issues
    and, soon, the rights of lives of people in Viet Nam--seemed more a universal
    ethical issue.
       More than that, from--for me, anyway--1965 on, the issue was one of
    empathy with these persons, of connection with one's feelings, really a form
    of anarchism.
    This for some led easily to environmentalism, sisterhood, other forms of
    connection--and I'm glad someone else has noted there were 1939 etc. born
    women's in the leadership. It did not go too easily, however--if one hadn't
    oneself experienced economic or ethnic oppression much, yet, anyway--into the
    more violent forms of protest, thus one reason for the isolation of those
       Generally, there seemed, in Berkeley anyway, lots of '30s activists
    involved, often as leaders. And I remember marching around Glen Echo in 1961
    or so, where there were many young--but not necessarily THAT young--ministers
    and theology students from Howard leading. And indeed there were the Beats,
    the NY intellectuals of the Paul Goodman variety, the folk singers--the
    "generation" born as early as the late 1920s. Generationally, there seems to
    have been a sort of wave motion; yet also my memory backs Bill Mandel's point
    that there was a sharp break to the COFO/NSM/SDS groups.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jun 10 2000 - 01:29:15 CUT