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

From: robert (
Date: 10/09/00

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    At 11:22 AM 10/6/00 -0700, you wrote:
    >Although I see Marty's point, and held a youthful contempt for those whom I
    >considered conformist, I think Marty sees things too narrowly from his
    >experience. People were attracted by what we were doing and joined us, we
    >made allies in many places. We cannot be blamed for alienating those who
    >disagreed with us; they were bound to hate us for what we represented
    	My "narrow" view of community organizing efforts of the late 60s
    corroborates Marty's in the main. We didn't go out of our way to antagonize
    the "straights" -- what happened in brief was that we grew increasingly out
    of touch with reality, particularily intractable political power realities
    -- especially in the center cities, and offended some the people we should
    have trusted or at least  tolerated. As our organizing strategies failed
    (in terms of our own expectations), we evolved more ideological ones along
    with defensive attitudes which inadvertently rubbed a lot of people the
    wrong way -- unnecessarily leading to the realization of the greater rather
    than to the lesser of the "evils" options available. 
    	The "Right" (whatever that means) had a life of its own, as others have
    pointed out. But there was a reciprocity and a tit for tat going on as well
    - which explains the quickening pace of polaraization towards the end of
    the 60s. Sorry to be so abstract. True, as Bill has pointed out with the
    HUAC hearings, there was a reaction to the underlying conservatism of the
    50s; and at the same time, there was a backlash to the faster, sexier and
    larger movement of the radical movement on campuses. Some of the  frat and
    club guys who were in the minority on campus  during the late 50s and early
    60s took their revenge typically as federal prosecutors of hippie drug
    dealers in the 80s. (not only by revamping the Republican party). 
    	In any case, it's important for us as the vets to evaluate those aspects
    of our work that did lead to polarization and those that didn't. The
    discrimination of responsibility might be useful to the kids who seem to me
    to be making too uncritical an application of 60s organizing styles to a
    much different power structure and media context. (e.g. "How many kids did
    the World Bank kill today?").    
    robert houriet
    >One strong point would be to examine the GI movement. At first we degrade
    >the GIs but that quickly changed as we turned to supporting them with a
    >Bring the Troops Home focus. I recall talking to many GIs at Fort Hood
    >Texas back then and feeling that we had much in common, and they displayed
    >no hostility to us and what we were about. We were all in the same boat.
    >best, Don
    >At 10:04 AM -0700 10/6/00, William M Mandel wrote:
    >>  Marty:
    >>Your initial post did not leave the impression that our net impact was
    >>positive. That's why I responded as I did. I'm not even sure that your
    >>examples of negative activities would stand up to careful examination.
    >>Males doing physical labor today often wear beards. They most definitely
    >>did not before the Sixties. They smoke pot, which they did not previously.
    >>They largely turned to the music which the activists liked. They sure as
    >>hell ate up Country Joe's, "Gimme an F--".
    >>                                                            Bill Mandel
    >>Marty Jezer wrote:
    >> I don't quite understand the arugment here, Bill.  I agree with you that
    >>things are better today, at least in this country, in the areas of civil
    >>rights, human rights, and issues of personal freedom (which is not to say
    >>that they're great).  But we, in the sixties, did do stuff that fueled the
    >>backlash and, IMHO, made it a lot more severe than it needed to be.
    >>Marty Jezer
    >>At 07:30 PM 10/4/2000 -0700, you wrote:
    >>The fact remains that nothing won in the field of civil rights has been
    >>lost, that gay rights are at this moment in better shape than ever before,
    >>and that, considering all the multifarious criteria for measuring the
    >>status of women, the same probably obtains there as well. Consider the
    >>latest: the legalization of the at-home abortion pill.
    >>    This does not mean that cops don't engage in racial profiling. T
    >> Marty Jezer  * 22 Prospect Street * Brattleboro, Vermont 05301Check out
    >>my web page:  <>
    >>subscribe to my Friday commentary, simply request to be put on my mailing
    >>list. It's free!
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