Re: [sixties-l] Re: new ground: The Sixties and the Right

From: William M Mandel (
Date: 10/04/00

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    This is a very interesting discussion. I have a different take. The '60s activists
    opposed the state and its violence, but didn't have the vaguest notion of the level
    of force it would resort to. When the Kent State massacre occurred (I omit Jackson
    State because to Blacks extreme violence against them was the norm not the
    exception; they simply shifted their focus of activity primarily to the electoral
    sphere after having won the right to vote), the white activists suddenly realized
    that parading back and forth and smashing some windows and overthrowing a few cars
    was no match for firepower. We had won political freedom on campus, made
    continuation of the Vietnam War impossible and compelled the emergence of the new
    Pentagon culture of war without American casualties thus significantly hindering
    American imperialism, created the foundation for the new feminism (even though it
    arose partly as a rebellion against the male chauvinism of movement heavies),
    opened the path for gays, gained widespread abolition of the death penalty, and had
    been of significant assistance to African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans
    in their struggles. Not bad at all.
        We had not been successful (most white activists weren't interested in) either
    in building a viable third party or using the progressive stirrings in the
    Democratic Party in a serious attempt to take it over (impossible? think of the
    Freedom Democratic Party in Mississippi and its impact upon some prominent
    mainstream leaders at the presidential convention).
        So when the new, "moral" Right, well-described by Monkerud and others, arose in
    place of the violent White Citizens' Councils and KKK Right and the frankly
    anti-democratic (small "d") protofascism of Joe McCarthy, Sixties people, looking
    for Utopias in Cuba, China, and even North Korea (not the USSR, which its own
    faults and increasingly skilled and informed anti-communism had eliminated as a
    model), had their backs turned on American reality and were marginalized.
    monkerud wrote:
    > Well put posting Ted! Much more detailed than my simplistic emotional
    > description.

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