Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 16:43:15 -0800
From: monkerud <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam Memorial and flags
I've always felt that the "New Left" or the "movement" or what you want
to call it, added a different dimension to the politics of the time. We
brought the idea that politics were personal into the mix.
Intellectuals and politicians often appeared to say one thing and do
another (much like Southern Baptist preachers where I came from). My
view of the 60s was that we couldn't just "believe" something, but had
to put "our life on the line." Manifest our political ideas and ideals,
rather than abstract them.
While moving to a commune wasn't engaging in the same street
demonstrations, handing out leaflets, etc. that I'd done in the city,
we engaged each other in different ways: out of the communes came
natural child birth, returning music to the people rather than as a
spectator entertainment, organic gardening, ecological consciousness
that resulted in action such as stopping logging, the save the wildlife
movement, which included the salmon, alternative and herbal medicine, a
woman's movement that fostered women doing what had always been "men's"
work and a spiritual movement that returned to nature rather the books
of Jewish or Roman Catholic history.
Today many of these things are our legacy, but meanwhile, the political
scene appears to have gone to hell in a hand basket. The Republicans
showed brilliance in convincing average Americans that "the government"
was "the problem" while they laugh all the way to the bank; racism is
worse than ever; the military budget, even with the end to the cold
war, remains astronomical; our school systems suffer from lack of
funding; developers continue to pave over the land; and corporations
are making government less relevant as they control ordinary people's
At times, I wonder whether it will take a totally non-political, from
the bottom up, spiritual movement (like where political change comes
from in China), to shake up the old system and cure some of our ills.
And yet, the old religious systems appear to be placing people in new
bondage around the world.
best, Don Monkerud
>> > You don't like loyalty tests, but that's exactly what you are
>> >requiring of anyone who believes they are/were a radical activist
>> >member of the Left, or whatever. The only homogeneity that existed
>> >the time was that the members were born in the same relative time
>> >period(s) and that they were into rebellion (and rarely the same
>> >rebellion as everyone else).
>Whoa! There must be some others from my age cohort who followed a
>political curve like mine: born well before the baby boomers (1930)
>radicalized at the same time. I served in the Air Force during the
>War (that was the mode of draft dodging then -- they even called us
>that at Lackland) and was attached to the National Security Agency
>(deciphering Czech Border Guard Traffic). And I never "rebelled" --
>I went into political resistance, first on a small scale, and then to
>capitalism. The idea of personal "rebellion" always seemed silly to
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