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