[sixties-l] Re: student organizing...

From: Ted Morgan (epm2@lehigh.edu)
Date: 10/10/00

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    Paula asked (a LONG time ago, message-wise):
    >  In spite of the--very, very hopeful--activities the past year re WTO and re
    > various ecological issues, in fact other than an occasional expressions of "Oh
    > those dot.coms!" or "Hey, cool," very LITTLE political expression has come out
    > of campuses, at least
    > from what I've heard, recently.   But I'm not in the academic world.  What is
    > the sense of you on this list who are, on student political consciousness or
    > activity now?
    Overall, based on local campuses (about 6 in the Lehigh Valley, including my own
    conservative Lehigh University), there's the usual smattering of activist folks
    trying like hell to raise a little consciousness with relatively little impact on
    the campuses.  The difference from the prior two decades (with a few exceptions
    --e.g. Gulf War), it seems, is that there are, in fact, some visible issues &
    mobilizations OUT THERE going on which local student organizing can link with in
    their audience's minds.  It's just that there is a huge, and I do mean huge, set
    of institutionalized, long-socialized attitudes & perceptions that undermine
    this.  Things like: (a) economic anxiety, fed for about 25 years; (b) the spread
    of consumerism which has socialized people into an increasingly self-focused
    perspective -i.e. liberation means I'll dress how I please; (c) the spread of a
    market/sprawl society which has over 55 years reduced more and more the "places"
    where people can bump into each other, talk about politics &local concerns as a
    matter of conversation, etc. --i.e., the sense of place and community that can
    give rise to imagining collective empowerment of the sort that existed in the
    civil rights, black power, student, antiwar, womens' & ecology movements (etc.);
    and (d) the particular media-culture 'mythologies' about the 60s --namely that
    they were about a generation's experiences & attitudes and, by the way, they
    Good question, and a tough nut to crack.
    Ted Morgan

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