[sixties-l] An Incorrect Political Memoir

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 09/28/00

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    radman says:
    Quite an interesting read...
    An Incorrect Political Memoir
    by Daniel Brandt
    Anyone who joined the U.S. New Left in 1967 and continued to define this 
    event as a point of departure over the next 25 years is going to have some 
    stories to tell. But only in the last couple years has it become necessary 
    to tell them. Something strange has happened to "progressive" politics, and 
    what's Left bears little resemblance to the issues that consumed us then. 
    I'm doing pretty much the same thing with the same convictions, but someone 
    seems to have moved the goalpost on me.
    The Big One for me was 1967. In 1964 I licked stamps for Goldwater, but in 
    1967 I joined the tiny chapter of Students for a Democratic Society on 
    campus. I walked in cold to one of their meetings after reading a book on 
    U.S. involvement in Vietnam and walking out of my fraternity. They must 
    have thought I was a spy,
    with my short hair and button-down clothes; it didn't matter because at the 
    time SDS accepted everyone and I was wearing a strong suit of moral 
    indignation over U.S. foreign policy. And I was eager to learn and ready to 
    turn on. A year later we uncovered a spy, and were too naive and democratic 
    to ask him
    to leave. We hated the war mongers, yet everyone was redeemable if 
    presented with a little common sense. That was the New Left I remember; the 
    positive energy and confidence were absolutely compelling. The grass and 
    acid were just frosting on the cake.
    Much has changed, but not everything. After driving up to San Francisco for 
    the 1967 Stop the Draft week, my friends invited me along as they met with 
    a JFK assassination researcher. Garrison's investigation was big news, and 
    I recall the hushed, paranoid atmosphere in a crowded restaurant. Today we 
    know more about the assassination than we did in 1967, and much more about 
    CIA covert operations. The lowered voices still seem reasonable to me, and 
    the questions they raised seem as vital now as they did then. This hasn't 
    Other scenes have changed dramatically. David Horowitz was an editor of 
    Ramparts in 1966, the only magazine that dared give issues like the CIA and 
    the JFK assassination the coverage they deserved. In 1974 he persuaded the 
    Ramparts bookkeeper to help the Black Panther Party get its books in order. 
    Apparently she stumbled onto evidence that the Panthers were involved in 
    drugs and protection rackets in Oakland, and was soon found murdered, 
    floating in the San Francisco Bay.
    Today Horowitz has defected to the hard Right, along with his longtime 
    colleague Peter Collier. And if you want to keep up with anti-CIA and 
    conspiracy journalism these days, it's helpful to have a subscription to 
    The Spotlight, published by the right-wing Liberty Lobby. But first you had 
    better be prepared to defend your choice of reading material to 
    politically-correct leftists who are checking up on your associates.
    What's going on here? In the first place, Horowitz isn't completely mad. 
    Yes, the Panthers were riddled with FBI agents and other dirty tricksters, 
    but Huey Newton was living in a luxury Oakland penthouse in 1971, 
    overlooking Lake Merritt, and I doubt that "security" was the only reason. 
    By 1978 I was living on the other side of the lake, and Newton was still 
    considered politically correct as he returned from Cuba to stand trial for 
    the shooting death of a prostitute and something about pistol-whipping his 
    tailor. "Wait a minute," I hesitated from my one-room dump, "I've never 
    even met any tailors. Are we in the same movement?"
    <snip> The rest of the story is here ----><http://www.pir.org/ppost01.html> 

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