Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Sixties

I always looked at the Sixties as kind of a romantic time. I love the music for one thing. But just the idea that people could organize and change the world, like they did in the civil rights movement or in the protests against the war, is very romantic to me. I know there's a dark side to the sixties, of course. But I'd rather have hope than people explaining to me that we can't really make things better for all of us.

So I'm not the target audience for Sandy Rois's latest article. She sees the sixties as a very dark time indeed.
But it’s the underlying, dark vision for America that they share that concerns me most. While Ayers and Dohrn hate capitalism, Barack chooses careful terms like “fairness” to hint at evening the score on the “wealthy.” In the ’70s, the Weather Underground wanted “smash monogamy.” Group orgies were their attempt to break down all sexual taboos. Today William Ayers is a powerful advocate for “Queering Elementary Education” and advancing the cause of gay, straight, transgender and lesbian rights. The gay journalist Andrew Sullivan has declared Barack Obama the dream candidate of the homosexual movement.

“Revolution” versus “change.” “Capitalist pigs” versus “the wealthy.” “Smash monogamy” versus “other definitions of family.” The revolution of the ’60s and ’70s was bolder in language and action, but today’s manifestation is in some ways more threatening because terms are hidden, intentions blurred and the “opiate of the masses”—at least right now—is not religion, but Barack Obama.
I remember the fifties myself. The late 40s and the 50s when men like McCarther and Nixon roamed the land tarring every progressive and every liberal with the same brush - communist. And they used language very similar to this, as I recall. Moscow might talk about smashing the state, while American leftists might talk about economic justice but it's the same thing. You see if all progressive impulses lead inexorably to the darkest aspects of the 1960s, to bombed ROTCs and "group orgies" well, any liberalism, any progressivism must be stamped out.

Which I guess is Ms. Rios's point.

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