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

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

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    I don't think the young rebels of today even know what the organizing styles of the
    60s were. They are simply doing what makes sense to them at this point. I don't have
    any reason to believe they'll be inferior to the kids of the 60s in developing their
    own new styles as the need arises.
                                                        Bill Mandel
    robert wrote:
    > 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
    > >anyway.
    > >
    >         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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