Tag: 60s

Method of activism pt. 2 — practicum

continued from part 1

No, these affairs did not grip all of American society.  Most people tried to go about their daily lives.  But these matters gripped the activists, and the activists were in motion, and the activists set the tone.  Not that we were better people.  Social motion allowed us to try different tactics and see what worked.  Decisions were thrust upon us whether we wanted them or not.

We HAD to address:

What kind of society should America be?

participatory democracy


social democracy




humane capitalism

back to the farm?

Stupid arguments.  Loud arguments.  Smart arguments.  Old wheels dragged out and re-invented, new wheels imagined.

Toward a method of activism pt. 1

the following is part 1 of a 2-part diary pulling together some thoughts I’ve gathered from dialoguing on DocuDharma.  I plan to publish part 2 tomorrow (Saturday).

If you wish to read it in its entirety now, it can be found on the Antemedius site.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” — Shakespeare

The overall state of dialogue on the left is incredibly banal.  It is narrow.  It is ahistorical.

Our current condition comes at the tail-end of a long deterioration.  At its best, left politics at the beginning of the 60s was alive and dynamic and creative.  At its worst, left politics by the end of the 60s had the character of the war of all against all.  The life of organizations was nasty, brutish and short.  While the tide of the movement had been rising, everyone had new blood to proselytize, recruit, mobilize, even as they excoriated each other as sellouts, petit-bourgeois deviationists and running dog lackeys.  Advocates of more radical action were successful, an active movement validated them — or bailed them out as the case might be.

What a long, strange trip it’s been

A few words on how I got here, old, tired and sick, but truckin’ on.  About my focus on tactics, not just tactics in-themselves, but how they are developed.

I was a 60’s kid, brought up white lower-middle-class, believing in the American dream, freedom of speech, civil rights, truth and beauty.  In 1964, I supported both Barry Goldwater and Martin Luther King.  How’s that?  Got to college, and along with millions of others, found out that the American dream was a lie.  War in Vietnam was an obscenity.  Michigan State University had nothing to do with either truth or beauty.  Got active.

Sitting in to support three groovy professors who had been fired at the behest of the Mothers Against Degeneracy.  The Akers Hall Kiss-in (hundreds of people kissing in the lounge because they were told they couldn’t.  The war.  Always the war.  Marched, did wild in the streets.  Saw it crushed.  Friends with broken bones, in jail.  Dead.  The George McGovern campaign in 1972 picked up the pieces and sold them cheap.  I was shattered, broken.  Emotionally and political numb.

How did I get through it?

Music for an Empire in Decline

NOTE:  All but the last two videos in this diary are YouTube finds.  The final two are compilations of my own (please forgive the poor quality – I’m still learning), and the last one features some prominent kossacks from last year’s Yearly Kos in Chicago.

It is all too easy to idealize an age, especially if sufficient time has passed to blunt the pain and obscure the harsh realities of the day.  It is too tempting to look back in longing for a past that never really existed.  We all seem to have a tendency to do this – ah the good old days we say.

“Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.”

Franklin Pierce Adams

“Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.”

Will Rogers

“The good old days. I was there. Where was they?”

Moms Mabley