Re: [sixties-l] Fwd: Calif: Reflections on SLATE and Lessons Learned

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 14:41:33 CUT

  • Next message: William Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Fwd: Calif: Reflections on SLATE and Lessons Learned"

    A fascinating post by radman --Mike Miller's comments about SLATE. I
    find that it corroborates so much of my own take on 1960s activism, with
    a basic point not discussed. Namely, Mike doesn't bring out (1)the ways
    in which elites were significantly threatened by 60s activism, including
    the turmoil in the later years but particularly by the ideological
    "break" embodied in much of what he describes; (2) THUS they organized
    in a very concerted manner a well-funded propaganda campaign (which is
    really how it must be described) to "roll back" this "democratic
    distemper" --via foundation support, corporate funding, etc. for
    neoconservative tracts in the 70s, and a campaign to restore the polish
    on the "free market" while denigrating "government" in the 80s, 90s,
    etc.; and (3) the role the media culture has played in reinforcing this
    campaign, partly 'in concert' (echoing the prevailing "frame" for
    interpreting 60s history) and partly by playing to market forces &
    consumerism (therefore co-opting oppositional agitation).

    Regarding the 'play to the media' point, I think it's also crucial to
    bring out the degree to which feelings of alienation grew during the
    middle-60s --especially as the War escalated, but also as the urban
    insurrection mounted and the Johnson administration pulled back a few of
    its 'excesses' in helping the poor organize (e.g, CAP). These feelings
    are so crucial to the rage, angst, escapism, and desperate behavior of
    later years (augemented, of course, by the experience of govt.
    repression). In effect, the movements became (partly because of new
    participants, partly because of these events) more 'cognitively radical'
    at the same time that they became more 'emotionally alienated.'

    A great article --can you pass along the source you got it from,
    radman? Among other things, I'd like to use it in my 60s class this
    fall, and would also like to contact Miller.


    Ted Morgan

    > >Opinionated Ruminations Prompted by the SLATE Reunion.
    > >Mike Miller. May, 2000

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