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Table of contents
  1. Kennedy and the Promise of the Sixties, Rorabaugh
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 1: Kennedy
  2. Document Collection #1
    1. “A Frightening Message for a Thanksgiving Issue”
    2. Incoming Telegram, Kennan
    3. Kitchen Debates, 1959
    4. Montgomery Bus Boycott Threat, 1954
    5. Brown v. Board of Education, 1954
    6. Birmingham Public Accommodation Segregation Laws
    7. Southern Manifesto, 1956
  3. Document Collection #2
    1. The Dependence Effect, from The Affluent Society (Galbraith)
    2. The Sharon Statement (1960), YAF
    3. VP Nixon on Foreign Policy, 1960
    4. Eisenhower Farewell Address, 1961
    5. John F. Kennedy Inaugural Speech, 1961
    6. Kennedy’s Consumer Bill of Rights, 1962
    7. Kennedy at American University, 1963
  4. Document Collection #3
    1. “Developing Community Leadership”, Ella Baker
    2. Ecology and Revolutionary Thought, Murray Bookchin (1964)
    3. “Homophile Groups Argue Civil Liberties”, The Washington Post (1964)
    4. Letter from Birmingham City Jail, MLK Jr. (1963)
    5. “The Sexual Sell”, Friedan
    6. Port Huron Statement, SDS (1962)
    7. Letter from Birmingham Jail, MLK Jr. (1963)
    8. Chapters 1 – 3 from Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  5. Document Collection #4
    1. “A Time for Choosing” (Reagan), 1964
    2. Speech at the University of Michigan, LBJ (1964)
    3. Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, Goldwater (1964)
    4. Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
  6. Document Collection #5
    1. The Black Panther Party Platform (1966)
    2. Stokley Carmichael, Black Power Speech (1966)
    3. James Baldwin vs William Buckley, 1965 Debate at Cambridge
  7. Document Collection #6
    1. “Fine American Boys” to Antidemonstrate
    2. Report of the National Advisory Council on Civil Disorders, 1968
    3. The National Organization of Women, 1966 Statement of Purpose
    4. Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion, 1967
  8. “Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”, 1967
  9. Document Collection #8
    1. “Trip Without a Ticket”
    2. Woodall Letter, 1968
    3. No More Miss America!
    4. “We are Living in a State of Anarchy”: Radical Assessments and Agendas in the Year 1968
    5. “The Iron Butterfly”
    6. Co-ed Disciplined by College Becomes a Dropout at Barnard
    7. Father Despairs of Barnard Daughter
    8. Richard J. Ford III Recounts the War and Racism
  10. Document Collection #9
    1. “Gay is Good”, Martha Shelley (1970)
    2. “You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows”, SDS Meeting (1969)
    3. Occpation of Alcatraz, Indians of All Tribes (1969)
    4. “What’s Wrong with Equal Rights for Women?”, Phyllis Schlafly (1972)
    5. Soy Chicana Primero!, Enriqueta Longeaux Vasquez
    6. “In Retrospect”, Robert McNamara
    7. Westmoreland, the US Could Have Won (1976)
    8. “Vietnam Veterans against the War”, John Kerry (1971)
    9. Roe v. Wade (1973)
    10. “The Forgotten American”, Peter Schrag (1969)
    11. Clinton, “Letter to the Draftboard” (1969)

Kennedy and the Promise of the Sixties, Rorabaugh


  • The early 60s were a time of promise and optimism: science, wealth, technology, improving life
  • A society balancing between fulfilling and making promises: getting hooked on promises
  • When hope gets too far ahead of experience, this difference kills hope
  • Desire and reason: did desire govern more?
  • Dark undercurrents: eroding tradition, difficulties in gender and sexuality – an insistence on promising. Let’s ride on the surface!
    • Contradiction between phenomena and noumean explored in music
    • Tension between public and private
    • Collapse of censorship and rising counterculture; coarsening of discourse
    • Postmodernity
  • Why should we look at the 60s?
    • Complex interactions between the political, social, and culture
    • These interactions became in excess of themselves: liberation of the self from social constraints
    • The 60s are a crucial formative period in American politics
  • 60s as a change in tone from the conservatism of the 50s – a move from the complacent and comformist to the radical
  • Kennedy: mastery of the television but failure to do much as president; cautious but bold; a president of spectacle.

Chapter 1: Kennedy

  • The 1960s and John Kennedy have a very close relationship with each other
  • Americans already sensed they were entering a promising time leading up to the start of the 60s
  • The 50s as the Great Barbecue
    • Criticism of Eisenhower as lethargic, a do-nothing.
    • Vapidity of consumerism
    • Not everyone can enjoy the great barbecue
  • McCarthy’s anti-communist smears of the 50s form an intellectual vacuum
  • Eisenhower as a master of deception; ruthless government across the world.
  • Nixon becomes Eisenhower’s VP, but not a good candidate: widely hated. A ‘middle class uneducated swindler’ without moral compass
  • Kennedy declares for presidency in January 2, 1960 – opening oft the decade. Projected forwards unrelenting optimism
  • Turned youth into an advantage
  • Kennedy’s family was very important
  • Jack was a war hero; stranded on island and survived by sending a coconut message
  • Suspicious relationship with McCarthy
  • Question of being Catholic: can a Catholic be allected?
  • Remaking of American politics, almost populist: appealing directly to voters, grassroots campaigning
  • Rise of data-driven, strategic, careerized politicking
  • Kennedy suffered from chronic poor health, which he hid
  • Kennedy’s personal relationship was scandalous and tenuous
  • Kennedy grew coalitional support in very complex and tense ways, almost surpassing logic
  • Strategic action with Civil Rights leaders to get a larger share of the Black vote
  • Wins very narrowly
  • Inaugural address: ignores domestic affairs, very global and international – reframes the role of the citizen and the government
  • Reshaping of the aides: smart and intellectual (a source of criticism, detached from common sense); egalitarian and chaotic; creative but poor coordination.
  • A liberal fantasy paradise for three months, interrupted by the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Document Collection #1

“A Frightening Message for a Thanksgiving Issue”

  • Increasing fear of the possibility of mutual nuclear war after the US was no longer the sole possessor of atomic reapons
  • Preparing the public for a nuclear attack – Americans, you can survive without protective clothing or special training!
  • An immanent contradiction here: fear the bomb, but also you will be fine.

Very likely you won’t finish this article, because it’s about death.

  • Civil defense
  • Ultimate death and destruction resulting from the bomb
  • The eternal proliferation of the cloud: radioactivity, the ‘undead’ coming to drag you towards death.
  • Individualization – you must save yourself, death confronts us all as individuals.
  • But where to go with your family? You need a thick cellar to store and save yourself.
  • Tensions between the individual and the collective
  • Shelter – what ideological, philosophical, political significance can we read in this?

Incoming Telegram, Kennan

1: Basic Features of the Post-War Soviet Outlook

  • USSR lives in “antagonistic ‘capitalist encirclement’”
  • Stalin: a socialist and capitalist center in the word order
  • The capitalist word is beset with inherent antagonisms which cannot be resolved peacefully, esp. between England and the US
  • War is endemic to capitalism
  • Intervention against the USSR would delay Soviet socialism
  • Capitalism is not unilaterally bad – qua Marx, it produces conditions of enlightenment
  • Moderate-socialist, socialist-democratic leaders – Lenin’s false friends of the people: these are the most dangerous elements of bourgeois-capitalist society.
  • The above premises imply therefore that capitalism must be weakened, Soviet efforts should be directed at maximizing tensions between capitalist nations, and socialism abroad should be put down.
  • To clarify, here Kennan is observing the Soviet point of view.

2: Background of Outlook

  • Part 1 does not represent the “natural outlook of the Russian people” – Russians are generally eager to reap the fruits of bourgeois-capitalist society.
  • Premises in part 1 are not true: socialism as backwardsness; war is not endemic to capitalism; ‘insanity’ of doubting the good naturedness of moderate socialism. Falseness demonstrated – how? empirically perhaps?
  • Soviet propaganda is not “objective”, but comes from a “neurotic view of the world” – linked with the “traditional” Russian “insecurity”. The West as more competent and powerful. Russians as motivated by a stupid defense of backwardsness and archaicity.
  • Marxist dogma: becomes the theoretical vehicle for insecurity, a ‘sacrifice of ethics’ (Zizek: behind every genocide there is a poet).
  • Russian nationalism smuggled under international Marxism: ignorance, mental dependence to the point of castration. Lack of access to “unbiased” information. Oriental secretiveness.
  • Is there a certain kind of racialization going on here?
  • Disrespect for objective truth

3: Projection of Soviet Outlook in Practical Policy on Official Level

  • Soviet policy has a ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ (subterranean) dimension
  • Participation in international organizations (Jewry? Is there a connection here – conspiracy? Semitism – Zizek, the figure of the Jew who embodies the ultimate contradiction needed to maintain the appearance of the ontological consistency of a theory)
  • Strategic alliances and conquering to embolden the Soviet state
  • Participation in colonization of conquered people – this is interesting.
  • Base and superstructure, qua Marx: economic reform and the ideological, legal, militaristic components

4: The Unconscious Subterranean Plane

  • Underground operating of world communism
  • Many associations in the US such as women’s organizations, labor unions, racial societies, etc. can be “dominated or influenced by such penetration”
  • Is there a Freudian perspective we can think about?
  • Religion and pan-Slavic movements – this is an interesting complicating factor. Precisely the ability to overcome differences is what endows the Soviet spirit with its omniscient power?
  • Encouragement of violence, and a violent synthesis of a dialectical contradiction – black and white (!!!), poro and rich, young and old, etc. This is the critical mediating (disrupting?) element which completes the triad, which moves from two to three
  • Manipulate influence on colonized peoples, weaken colonial policy.
  • Communists will destroy personal liberty and freedom
  • Setting Western Powers against each other – more dialectical enforcement
  • Soviet regime as a ‘police regime’

5: Practical Deductions for US Policy

  • Fanatical commitment to destroying the US and the American way of life.
  • Borne from a deep Russian nationalism
  • Soviet power is a logic of force – almost physical, brunt.
  • Soviets are still weaker!
  • Soviet system still may not work! After Stalin’s death.
  • Soviet propaganda can be easily beaten!
  • Placement of the US nto a position of universality via commimtent to objectivity and detachment – movement outside of a fanatic particularity
  • ‘Educate’ the public on the Russian situation. In fact the obejctive is not to breed rampant anti-Sovietism but to do so rationally, to claim the appearance of rationality. This is interesting now. What kind of engendering is being done upon the Soviets here?
  • The courage to cling to ‘our conceptions’ of human society – do not cope, do not allow the parasite to take over.
  • Interesting ideological analysis which can be done on this work – contradictions and tensions abound.

Kitchen Debates, 1959

  • Nixon and Khrushchev – at the US Embassy in Moscow
  • Nixon showing kitchen to Khrushchev.
  • The kitchen is equipped with appliances to make women’s lives easier – Khrushchev says that this ‘capitalist attitude’ towards women does not occur under Communism.
  • Universalization of the domestication of women – making life easier
  • Differences of temporality – what goes out of date and what doesn’t?
  • What is the Soviet man? Not quite so backwards as in the American imagination…
  • Who is the slave? who has freedom?
  • Free exchange and free ideas – but what is the critical particular edge to universalizing free exchange?
  • Battle of progresion – who will go further?
  • The question of translation and mutual understanding

Montgomery Bus Boycott Threat, 1954

  • Women’s political council
  • Mediocre reform: black people sit from back to front, and white people from front to back
  • Patronization of buses by black people

Brown v. Board of Education, 1954

  • 14th amendment invoked – separation of white and black children in public schools on the basis of race
  • Segregation deprives minority children of equal opportunity even if ‘tangible’ factors are equal
  • Separate but equal in Plessy v. Ferguson cannot continue
  • Segregated public schools can never be equal; they are deprived of equal protection
    • Beyond differential outcomes: what would be wrong about separate but equal but truly equal, assuming this is hypothetically possible? Or is this a false question?
  • Removal of legal distinctions?
  • Equalization of ‘tangible’ factors – the decision cannot turn on a comparison of the material consequential outcomes, but rather the effect of segregation itself (yes! my previous question)
  • Education is an important governmental function, and it is important for a democratic society. Education is a right.
  • Does segregation of children on race deprive minority children of equal educational opportunities? SC opinion: it does.
    • Generation of feelings of inferiority, which impedes learning
    • Appeal to psychological finding
    • Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal (can this be applied to other dimensions which we feel are more acceptable?)

Birmingham Public Accommodation Segregation Laws

  • Unlawful for control of any area in which both black and white people are allowed with equal geophysical relation
  • White and nonwhite people must be separated in different rooms or by a partition in restaurant
  • A black and white person cannot play together
  • Equal but separate accomodation for black and white people
  • Take the seat to which you belong
  • Interesting geopolitical divide of space: and why? Maybe it is a naive question: but why this doctrine of separate but equal? Why spatial demarcation?

Southern Manifesto, 1956

  • Supreme Court involvement in segregation cases – “substitute naked power for established law”
  • Appeal to Founding Fathers, legal conservatism, overstepping of the Constitution, abuse of judicial power
  • “Climaxes a trend” in the judiciary branch to legislate – increasing ‘politicization’ of the court?
  • Constitution does not mention education
    • Essentially a shallow and strict textualist reading
  • Argument that the 14th amendment odes not conflict with the doctrine of separate but equal
  • Appeal to the right of parents to direct their children’s education
    • What is wrong about this?
    • Maybe we should dismantle the parental instinct.
  • The court ruling is “destroying amicable relations” – a vision of a fall from purity, now suspicion and hatred
  • “outside meddlers”
  • Some states declared resistance to forced integration
  • No appeal at all to the actual separate but equal law – instead an appeal to the protection of racial discrimination under the Constitution, or at least the lack of objection to it which can be found in the Constitution

Document Collection #2

The Dependence Effect, from The Affluent Society (Galbraith)

  • The idea that wants apply unilaterally across indiviudals’ conditions is repugnant to common sense
  • The case for the urgency of production based on the urgency of wants has no ground: one cannot defend production as satisfying wants if it creates those wants (pharmakon)
  • Production only fills a void that it has itself created
  • Consumer wants can be bizarre and frivolous. It is almost admirable if a society still desires to satisfy them. But it is like a hamster running in a wheel: satisfaction creates desire.
  • Keynes: the middle class has insatiable desires
  • People become evaluated by the types of products they have.
  • Direct link between production and wants in modern advertising and salesmanship: the central function is to create desires.
  • Advertising is a large cost – increasing growth of the modern advertising industry
  • Wants are dependent on production – the producer both makes the goods and the desires for them
  • Economists resist this concept: closed their eyes to obtrusive phenomena – the want creation.
  • Advertising has an uneasy place in economic theory
  • Notion of independently determined wants and still dominates textbooks – and the economist dedicates himsefl towards fulfilling these wants.
  • As a society becomes increasingly affluent, wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied.
  • It is no longer necessarily true that welfare is greater at a higher level of production than at a lower one – it may be the same. This is the Dependence Effect.

Like woman’s, his work is never done.

  • The squirrel wheel is not structurally faultless: there are structural weaknesses.

It is easy to see why the conventional wisdom resists so stoutly such change. It is far, far, better and much safer to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.

The Sharon Statement (1960), YAF

  • Responsibility of young (conservative) America to ‘affirm certain truths’
  • Individual’s use of God-given free will
  • Political freedom is dependent on economic freedom
  • The government exists to protect economic freedoms
  • The government becomes tyrannical past these existential requirements
  • Supremacy and omniscience of the Constitution
  • States’ rights
  • The market economy is the single best economy
  • Communism is the single greatest threat to these liberties
  • The US should stress victory over coexistence with the ‘menace’ of Communism – the US should pursue a world in alignment with its vision for it.
  • A militant and interventionist global policy

VP Nixon on Foreign Policy, 1960

  • “Name one Republican President whot ook us into war”
  • Not a question of Republican or Democrat, but of America
  • What will keep the peace?
  • Eisenhower has never acted in haste or anger, always calm and bold in the face of ‘dictators’ like Khurshchev
  • ‘Pipsqueak’ Castro – why can’t we send the Marines in? The people of Cuba will ‘take care of it’ if the US morally supports them.
  • Kennedy is a flop: sometimes here, sometimes there
  • ‘only an inexperienced and impulsive act could lead to war’
  • Not military or economic strength but rather a question of honor and moral strength.

The question is: Do you take a chance or do you go forward on the kind of policies that Dwight Eisenhower has given the United States? And I say we go forward.

  • Resting upon Eisenhower’s stability and cool-headedness
  • “Forget” – party label, family votes, etc. – vote for America and the world.

Eisenhower Farewell Address, 1961

  • Four major wars among great nations in the 20th century (which ones?)
  • American exceptionalism – depend upon judicial and virtuous use of American power
  • Purpose – to foster peace and human achievement
  • There will continue to be more crisis
  • To balance the private and the public economy
  • New threats are constantly arising
  • A strong military presence is now an integral part of America, and this necessary; but we should be wary of the military-industry complex
    • An alert and knowledgeable citizenry necessary
  • Avoid the impulse to live only for today – conserve and sustain, do not plunder
  • A confederation of equals

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Speech, 1961

  • The world is different now – man holds the power to abolish poverty and life itself.
  • We must be united to confront challenges
  • Freedom and decolonization
  • Effort to help the rest of the world – it is right, a free society must help the many who are poor
  • Hope in the UN as an international regulatory body
  • Hope for peace in the face of possible darkness; never fear to negotiate
  • To turn science for us, to explore the unexplored, and to encourage liberal heaven.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

  • Appeal to a certain Protestant work ethic – fulfill your dity

Kennedy’s Consumer Bill of Rights, 1962

  • Uneffective organization by consumers, despite their large nature.
  • Cannot afford waste in consumption; the dollar should be spent best
  • Technology increases the difficulties of the consumer; law is too old.
  • Marketing becomes impersonal
  • Right to
    • Safety
    • To be informed
    • To choose
    • To be heard

Kennedy at American University, 1963

  • Wilson: a university graduate should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time
  • Few things more beautiful than a university: a striving to know
  • What is peace? Not peace contingent on suffering – genuine peace – not only for Americans but for all mena dn women
  • New war threats – but war is irrational
  • War as the ‘necessary rational end of rational men’
  • We must examine our own attitudes – look inwards, not just outwards.
  • Too many of us think that peace is impossible – but it is defeatist. Problems are manmade.
  • Conflict does not last forever.
  • We msut persevere: peace does not need to be impracticle; and war does not need to be inevitable. We can ‘break’ history.
  • Sad to realize the gulf between the Soviets and the Americans – but it is a warning, to not distort your view
  • No government is so evil that people might be considered to lack virtue; but the Russian people should still be ‘hailed’ for their achievements.
  • Never been at war with the Soviet Union
  • Why devote money to armment when you could to combating ‘ignorance, poverty, disease’?
  • Halting the arms race
  • Let us not be blind to our differences, but also emphasize our commonalities
  • We are not engaged in a debate –the world as it is now.
  • American weapons are deterrent
  • Strengthen the United Nations
  • Keeping peace in the non-Communist world
  • Maintaining alliances
  • Blaming change on the Communist imperialist drive
  • Outlawing of nuclear tests
  • What is the domestic attitude towards peace and freedom? We have responsibilities to pursue: to respect the rights of all others and to respect law.
  • Safeguard human intersts above national interests
  • “The US, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want war.” Ironic words

Document Collection #3

“Developing Community Leadership”, Ella Baker

  • Ella Baker – works in early 1940 with the NAACP as an assistant field secretary; becomes a national director of branches eventually
  • Participant in SNCC after SCLC
  • Not making a contribution – functioning where you need to function
  • In the south, NAACP membership could get you killed
  • Routinely travel to the South to organize membership campaigns
  • Local problems necessitate organization with /in the NAACP
  • Interesting point on individuals and how to understand their own place:

My basic sense of it has always been to get people to understand that in the long run they themselves are the only protection they have against violence or injustice… People have to be made to understand that they cannot look for salvation anywhere but to themselves.

  • Problem of de facto segregation – achievement levels of black people go down instead of up when they enter public school
  • People who cntrol things – no belief that they will pay the price of itnegration
  • Not insisting on a title at the SCLC
  • SNCC born out of conference in 1960
  • SUpporting role – do it for the young people. No difficulty relating to young people.
  • No paid relationship with SNCC
  • It is a handicap for oppressed peoples to depend so much on a leader – a leader is a leader because they have been recognized as such by media institutions, etc.
  • Movement of the fifties and sixties – carried much by women from church groups; women as a supportive role; Black women carrying this role. Younger women insisting on equal footing
  • What is important is not so much people being interested in leaders as developing leadership

Ecology and Revolutionary Thought, Murray Bookchin (1964)

  • Every development of revolutionary thought grows in parallel with a branch of science
    • Copernicus and Gaileo – rationalism and naturalism
    • Mechanics and mathematics – Enlightenment
    • Biology and anthropology – overthrow of the Victorian era
    • Freudian psychology – Marx
  • Growth of psychology
  • Modern science has lost its ‘critical edge’, its ‘liberatory estate’, but there is a savior: ecology, relation between the animal and its spheres; the balance of nature

The Critical Nature of Ecology

  • Critical edge of ecology comes from man’s sovereignty over man and his activities
  • Human parasitism
  • Imperialism and the despoliation of the environment: CO2 emissions, pollution of watewrways, , etc.
  • Man as a highly destructive parasite – sure. But this reflects a disruption in the ecological situation. And this is of the ‘social ecology’
  • Organization into extreme belts and industrialized, swollen apparatuses
  • The question of the ecological ‘breaking point’
  • SImplification of the environment – encroachment of the synthetic on the natural: the cultural dimension of manipulation and ideological influence
    • Quantiative, statistical abstraction over free expression and complexity
    • A false claim, I might propose, in that the great contradiction is that these are held together
  • Reformulation and mechanization of agriculture as a machine to be optimized: flat landscapes
  • Division of labor, to an exaggerated point – natural beauty sacrificed by cold concrete – undoing of organic evolution (really?) – eliminating local difference
  • Ecology has a necessarily social dimension (I don’t know how much this applies only to ecology…)

The Reconstructive Nature of Ecology

  • Attempts to resolve contradictions of centralization and stratification – “progress”.
  • Anarchist: social outcast, false dreams for decentralization and humanism
  • History validates anarchist thought
  • Balanced community, face-to-face democracy, decentralized society, humanistic technology – not just dreams, but necessary
    • ‘Intuiting’, a feeling, of anarchism among the youth
    • A reaction against modern instituted comformity
  • Ecology redirects nihilist rejection of centralization to an affirmation of life and a humanistic society: diversity – balance and harmony, respect of the web of dependence. More room for spontaneity, biological forces
  • A deindustrialization or postindustrialization of agirculture and land: descaling
  • Nuclear fuels – not ‘ecological’ – first apply ecological principles, do not try to engage in technological determinism & progressivism. Rather a localized method of energy sources. Highlight local potentialities
  • We need a new kind of geopolitics, a new kind of relating and community
  • Decentralization: logistical problems cannot be solved top-down
    • What is the border between anarchism and laissez-faire capitalist libertarianism? Perhaps the latter still retains the state structure necessarily
    • Diminishing variety in the natural world destroys its harmony and unity
    • Man is certainly of nature: social ecology
    • Unity by differentiation
  • The anarchist seeks to elaborate and express possible social experience
  • Electronic devices should be used little to mediate relations between people – all members should have contribution for collective decisions – we must humanize humanity
  • General education
  • Rotation of responsibilities – self-development and generality

Observations on “Classical Anarchism” and Modern Ecology

  • Anarchism must apply basic libertarianism to new historical principles
  • In revolution there is concentration
  • Is anarchism ‘classical’?
  • Anarchists must grasp changing historicity in the backdrop of static libertarian principles
  • The anarchist finds themselves:
    • Post French revolution
    • Industrial proletariat
    • Now – widespread peasant discontent and undermining by modern technology
  • “astonishing social mobility and insecurity” – “virutal impossibility to predict the ovcational or professional future of most people int he Western world”
  • Technology is ripe with the promise for liberated society. Anarchism ust assimilate it in humanistic terms. Anarchism must infuse modern technology with an organic dimension.
  • SOcial disintegration under capitalism and after capitalism: can anarchism update itself?

“Homophile Groups Argue Civil Liberties”, The Washington Post (1964)

  • “second largest minority group in the US”
  • Equality of job rights for gay people
  • Government policy of dismissing creates pressure points for blackmail
  • Increasing public attention to gay people
  • Rep. John Dowdy (D) of Texas
  • The gay person is ‘the same as any other person’except for their sexual orientation
  • Removal of criminal sanctions for sexual acts in private

Letter from Birmingham City Jail, MLK Jr. (1963)

“The Sexual Sell”, Friedan

  • The image of women as housewives
  • “Why do people in books never go to the toilet?”
  • Women as housewives: to buy more things for the house. Women are chief customers of American business.
  • Not necessarily a conspiratorial, but – by materialist analysis – the outcome of economic objectives
  • “sexually joyless, uncreative, purposeless lives” of American housewives
  • American housewives can find identity in consumerism
  • Market segmentation
    • The “True Housewife” – too dedicated to housework, will not accept new consumer products
    • Career women are too critical
    • The Balanced Homework is the ideal type – readily accepts mechanical appliances but has outside interests
  • Be a modern housewife!
  • Advertisers as manipulators – social science and advertising, the sinister dimension of psychology
  • Must emphasize creative effort
  • Products aren’t just selling products – selling happiness and images, and selling personal narratives
  • MId-50s: the Career Woman is gone – finds in housework an expression of femininity and individuality
  • “Creativeness is the modern woman’s dialectical anser to the problem of her changed position in the houehold. Thesis: I’m a housewife. Antithesis: I hate drudgery. Synthesis: I’m creative!”
  • House cleaning should be fun: achievement, granting of the ego
  • Participation of women in the enterprise of science?
  • The illusion of achievement
  • Possibly an algorithamitization of women?
  • Teenagers and young wives – insecure - convince the youth that happiness through things is entirely possible
  • Market reports, surveys
  • The remaking of consumerist femininity
  • A need to advance in life – satisfied in the capitalist incorporative method
  • “If the stores are women’s school of life, ads are the textbooks”
  • Privacy and individualism: personalization
  • Where is the missing sexual spark? – consumerism sexed the sex out of sex. So how to return the libido?
  • The need to develop the need for new products (Galbraith)
  • The complexity of feminine consumerism
  • NOt the creation of the feminine mystique – but certainly perpetuation – flattering and reifiying the image of the American housewife. And all with the assistance of social science.
  • The housewife as an ‘unaware victim’
  • The attempt to ‘get them young’ – to put womanhood and wifery upon young girls immediately.
  • This is wrong, certainly. But what is wrong about it? NOt the ‘virginal purity’ of young girls.
  • “grooming”
  • “sacrifice our girls”
  • Ignorance of women’s intelligence and energy
  • A sick and/or immature society? Retreating into “that thing-ridden house”
    • “thing-ridden house” – the epotime of American consumerism

Port Huron Statement, SDS (1962)

  • ‘Bred in at least modern comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit’
  • Increasingly troubling developments of modernity; paradoxes and concerns in American society – hypocrisy and contradiction abound
  • May be the last generation of living
  • There is an alternative, a democratic alternative
  • Campus – a place of private people, going as usual. Students leave university fundametnally unchallenged in values and political orientations. Education’s real function is to impart complacency and comfortableness
  • The campus is a miniature of America – isolation of the individual, democracy without publics; a psychological conflict
  • Politics without publics: the American political system confuses individual citizens
  • We celebrate economic prosperity amid poverty and deprivation – the affluent society. Work is unfulfilling – the wastes of consumerist society, the entrepreneur of the self
  • Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex: the permanent war economy
  • Towards American democracy
    • Abolish political stalemate
    • Politicize youth and sociality
    • No institutions to sifle dissent; peaceful dissent
    • Coporations must be publicly responsible
    • Fair distribution fo resources
    • America should concentrate on ‘real’ social proprities

Letter from Birmingham Jail, MLK Jr. (1963)

  • In Birmingham city jail: clergymen have called activities ‘unwise and untimely’
  • Does not pause to answer criticism often – there is too much
  • SCLC: large organization, resources are shared. Invited to Birmingham to engage in nonviolent direct programs.
  • Interrelatedness of communities and states – there is no ‘foreign’ when it comes to justice: “justice aywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
  • Look not only at the effecs but also the causes
  • 4 steps of nonviolent campaign
    1. Collection of facts
    2. Negotiation
    3. Self purification
    4. Direct action
  • Birmingham – most thoroughly segregated US city; brutal treatmetn of black people
  • Treaties and promises don’t work.
  • Why sit ins and marches? Why not negotiation? Direct action creates the conditions and tensions to force negotiation – “dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored”
  • The nonviolent register must have the dimension of tension – not violent tension, but nonviolent tension
    • Socrates – tension in the mindof individuals to see the objective world
    • Monologue over dialogue – too long
  • ‘Untimely acts’. The administration must be prodded – a segregationist is a segregation.
  • “History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily”
  • “Wait!” the Althusserian policeman – Wait too often means Never for the Black man
  • Inspiration from African and Asian postcolonization
  • poverty in an/the affluent society
  • What is the breaking of laws? Some laws are just, some are unjust. Augustine: an unjust law is no law at all
    • A just law – ‘squares with moral law or the law of God’; a law must uplift human personality and not degrade it
    • Segregation substitutes “I-it” with “I-thou”
    • Not democratic
    • An ordinance enforced to promote segregation is unjust
    • Not breaking laws willy nilly – “that would lead to anarchy”
    • We must break unjust laws openly and novingly, and to willingly accept the penalty
    • Not unique: early Christians, academic freedom and Socrates
  • Everything Hitler did in Germany was “legal” – but here is a higher law
  • Grave dissapointment with the white moderate – the greatest stumbling block is the white moderate devoted to order over justice, preference for ‘negative peace’: paternalism
  • Tension in the South is a necessary phase of transition from obnovious negative peace towards positive peace
  • Nonviolent actors are not creators of tension, but in fact birng to the surface the tension which already exists
  • Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber
  • “The teachings of Christ take time” – time is in fact entural, there is no progressive determinism which guides things somehow: human progress never rolls on the wheels of inevitaiblity
  • Two opposing forces in the Black community: complacents and bitters (Black nationalist groups)
  • Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever: freedom will come (tension between making history and history being made): cosmic urgency towards the promised land of racial justice
  • ‘facts of history’
  • “I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist” – Jesus, Paul, Martin Luther, John Bunyan – all extrimists. What kind of extremist will we be?
  • Disappointment in the white church and its leadership
  • Law vs moral right
  • “What kind of people worship here? Who is their God?”
  • Churh as thermometer vs Churh as thermostat
  • The goal of America is freedom
  • “Your statement has troubled me profoundly”
  • Nonviolence in the favor of violent ends is violent

Chapters 1 – 3 from Silent Spring, Rachel Carson


Document Collection #4

“A Time for Choosing” (Reagan), 1964

  • Spent most of life as a Democrat, but following a new course which transcends party lines
  • Prosperity is being sucked out amuck by heavy spending
  • The Vietnam War as a noble cause to fight for – “We’re at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind”
  • If America is lost, then there is no where to ‘escape to’ – the only freedom from communism
  • Question of self-government vs. tyranny / federal overreach
  • No left or right, only up or down
  • Resent reference as ‘the masses’
  • A centralized government – cannot control the economy without controlling people
  • Farmers’ rights and the efficiency of the free market over state planning
  • ‘Taking from the needy and giving to the greedy’ – seizure and control of land and resources for distribution – doesn’t appear like it’s going anywhere. Redistribution efforts for money are limited and have overhead – not efficient
  • “War on poverty” – thinking the government is the issue and the solution, add more programs
  • ‘Simple arithmetic’
  • Opposition to welfare is declared as anti-humanitarian
  • Adding ‘voluntary features’ to help the citizen build themselves up from their disadvantaged position
  • Framing of choice and agency – choosing whether you can enroll in government programs or not
  • Interesting – silenty supporting / not objecting to allied colonies
  • Irresponsible spending internationally
  • The Democratic Party is going down the path of the socialist labor party of England
  • Socialism doesn’t need big steps – it’s “already here”. Government plays with unalienable rights.
  • Government carelessly sending people to war (why support Vietnam war still?)
  • The “soup kitchen of the welfare state”
  • Need to be noble and stand up for injustice internationally rather than cowering over the threat of retaliation (liberating East Germany)
  • “We’re spirits – not animals” – duty and obligation – “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.”

Speech at the University of Michigan, LBJ (1964)

  • The challenge for the future – enhancing the level and quality of life
  • Build not a rich & powerful society, but a Great Soceity
  • End of poverty and racial injustice
  • Every child finds opportunity; community is restored; man retores his connection with nature
  • Quality over quantity of goods
  • Great Society is a continuallyr enewed challenge
  • Erosion of values leads to loneliness, boredom, apathy, indifference
  • How to make the American city a place to live the good life
  • Great Society in the countryside
  • Beauty and the aesthetic – an ugly America
  • Improving and modernizing education
  • The Great Society as a battle

Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, Goldwater (1964)

  • Begins with a fucking long tirade about victory
  • Not to stagnate in a “swamp of collectivism”
  • Freedom and liberty, order
  • Before spreading liberty and freedom all over the place, we need to address freedom at home – Berlin, Bay of Pigs, Laos, Vietnam
  • We have become a nation utterly emasculate
  • A need to keep the streets clean – the fundamental unit of order
  • Living for yourself
  • Equality – incorrectly understood, leads to conformity, then despotism
  • Resistance to concentration of power – power remains in the hands of the people
  • Eisenhower – kept peace
  • Strength of the nation
  • Attack – the Vietnam war is purposeless, wasteful
  • Communism as the “principal disturber of peace in the world today”
  • Being united under a “mighty system”
  • Freedom was achieved through centuries; spreading of American freedom
  • Building a society which allows for both the creative and the productive – the good is a product of many contributions
  • Creativity – a nation of men adn women, of families proud of their role, jealous of their responsibilities
  • The government as a durable ally of man
  • Balance, diversity, creativity – free men, not conformists
  • “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice… moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”
  • The goodness of ‘our land’ – givenness

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

  • Bayard was a troublemaker – often in banal ways
  • Without Bayard Rustin, the Civil Rights wouldn’t have won half of the victories it had
  • Why did he remain in the background
  • “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemaker” – to make things unworkable
  • The only weapon we have is our bodies
  • 1912, born in West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Rustin’s mother – Quaker, hated injustice, advocated nonviolent resistance
  • Music major in college – travelled in a quarter across the country
  • Organized a strike to improve the food, was asked to leave
  • 1937 – lived with sister Bessie in Harlem; needed to support himself, joined a famous singer (Josh White)’s quartet
  • City college – met many radicals. Met many radical Communists – felt that blacks needed to associate with more radical movements
    • Joined the young communist league in 48; withdrew in 51
    • Communists quickly abandoned the black cause when war broke out
  • If you don’t begin with peace, you won’t end with it – A.J. Musty
  • Bayard never knew his father
  • Racial injustice is violence, and one should attack it wherever it exists
  • Traveling in Tennessee – sat in the front of the bus; the police came and dragged Byard out of the seat
  • “no fear” “did the bus thing before Rosa Park”
  • The man who believes in nonviolence is prepared to be harmed and to be crushed but he will never crush others
  • Had no shame about being gay
  • War is wrong; break the law of the state for conscription
  • 1943: Rustin acts as chairman of the pacifist movement – encouraged burning draft cards
  • A Phillip Randolph – strong influence on Rustin
  • AJ Musty put pressure on Rustin to give up his homosexuality: saw it as a weakness
  • Chain gang discontinued in North Carolina after Rustin writes about it
  • India’s independence – Gandhi, spiritual leader – passive resistance in nationalism
  • Rustin came to India to visit the first world pacifist conference (but Gandhi had been assassinated by then)
  • “creative conflict”
  • David Platt – broke up with Bayard Rustin after 4 years
  • 1953 – arrested for vagrancy as a “lewd pervert” – 60 days in the county jail in California. Turning point in Rustin’s life – Rustin was basically thrown out of the FOR (Fellowship of Reconciliation), fell into deep depression
  • “Sex must be sublimated if I am to live with myself”
  • Rustin went with MLK to Montgomery to give advice; King had limited ideas about how nonviolence should be carried out
  • Rustin like an ‘older brother’ – MLK was very young, didn’t have as much experience as Bayard had.
  • Bayard removed himself from the movement, not wanting to jeaopardize it
  • practicing Gandhism in the global struggle against nuclear weapons
  • 1959, France declared testing its own nuclear weapon and exploding it in the Algerian sahara
    • Rustin – a fairly powerful character
    • Didn’t stop the tests
    • You have to cry out against injustice even if it continues
  • Bayard – functioned as A Phillip Randolph’s eyes, legs, ears – was the energy that kept his ideas going
  • LBJ: stop Rustin. Powell – fed to the press that there were immoral elements in the Civil Rights movement.
  • Martin terrified by the threat of Rustin’s homosexuality
  • Powell produced massive Civil Rights legislation, and MLK went with Powell for tactical reasons
  • Bayard more upset by the personal betrayal than anything
  • Embarrassing the establishment
  • March of Washington
    • Originally conceived by Randolph as a march for economic issues (Randolph – black trade unionist, mainly saw progress in economic uplift)
    • Randolph concieved the first march on Washington in 1941 to give Blacks the option to work in defense industry; but it was called off. Was the first mass protest seriously threatened by Blacks.
    • Extraordinary political gesture
    • Newspapers and politicians (Thurmond, Kennedy, etc.) discouraged the march on Washington
    • Thurmond – took the senate floor, attacked Bayard as a Communist, draft-evader, homosexual
  • Rustin – complicated relationship with MLK. Came back together before the march on Washington – MLK re-integrated Bayard into his group of advisors
  • What was needed was a moderate presentation of the Civil Rights movement – orchestrated well by Rustin, King puts the icing on the cake with the I Have a Dream speech
  • Woke up America, the President and his administration…
  • Wire tap on Bayard Rustin, November 1963. No longer so invisible – but things change after this public visibility
  • Bayard saw an opportunity between an alliance with Johnson and the Civil Rights movement.
  • Turn towards political alliances, behaving like serious political people
  • In protests there must never be any compromise; in politics there is always compromise
  • Refraining from criticizing Johnson’s war in Vietnam
  • Bayard held back against criticizing the Vietnam War; MLK still opposed it more consciously, made it a matter of conscience; strictly practical, no business trying to deal with the Vietnam War; risked the Civil Rights movement
  • MLK shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee – the second return after failed sanitation strike
  • After assassination, Bayard immediately flew down to Memphis and organized a memorial march
  • H. Rap Brown – “violence is as American as cherry pie”
  • Huey Newton – a Black army
  • Bayard reinforces nonviolence after King’s death
  • Rustin vs Carmichael – choosing the lesser of two evils vs. not voting for any man, period.
  • What is ‘Black power’? – the problem is that it is “purely psychological” – Bayard criticized as the “big gun of white oppression” – “paid pervert for the racist unions”
    • Felt that Bayard was weak; Bayard always wanted to negotiate (‘sellout’)
  • Rustin as an enemy of Nixon
  • Walter Naegle – meets Bayard Rustin, partner for 10 years
    • Bayard was 65 at that point
  • Travelled to Israel, Thailand refugee camps, Soveit Jewry – merely moving to where we started – belief that we are one human family
  • Died in 1987

Document Collection #5

The Black Panther Party Platform (1966)

  • Bill of Rights + Declaration of Independence
  • Created by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale
  • Determine the destiny of the Black people
  • Strong Marxist consciousness – capitalism as robbery
  • Decent housing and quality of life, full employment
  • Freedom from imprisonment and oppression by the state; justice. Exemption from military service
  • Belief in essentially a UBI
  • Cooperatives, shared work
  • Ending police brutality by self-armment, appeal to the second amendment
  • Revolution is just if the state is oppressive.

Stokley Carmichael, Black Power Speech (1966)

  • Stokley Carmichael named chairman of SNCC, philosophy of Black Power
  • “intellectual masturbation” on tehq uestion of Black Power
  • “All criticism is an autobiography” – Bernard Shaw
  • Frantz Fanon, a “pragmatic” black existentialist philosopher – man cannot condemn himself, for he would have to inflict punishment. Condemnation is a very difficult and twisted idea, intricately intertwined with interests
  • SNCC: white Ameircan cannot condemn itself for criminal acts against black America, so black people most do it
  • The ‘drug of integration’ – never fighting for integration, but rather against white supremacy
  • A man is born free – it is not a question of white people giving black people freedom. In fact the onus is on the white man to stop denying black people their freedom. (i.e. relocating responsibility from the black man to the white man)
    • Interesting questions about natural rights
  • All bills have been written for white men: “you need a civil rights bill, not me”
  • Not only internal but also external condemnation
  • Trading the bible for land
  • The West is uncivilized
    • Coming “into our ghettos” and binding to white society
    • It’s not a question of who works or doesn’t work – but a question of power and legitimacy, legitimation of action
  • Black people must wield their collective group power
    • Integration individualizes
  • “I am black, therefore I am”
  • Suppression is rationalized
  • Democratic Party – not representing the needs of black people. White people need to build coalition sof hcange within white communities.
  • White people cannot be working on the black community for ‘psychologcial ground’ – black people must be doing and articulating for themselves – “an antiracist racist”
  • War in Vietnam is illegal and immoral – but who/what is the higher law for?
  • Peace movement hasn’t gotten off the college campuses (everyone is 2S and not scared of being drafted) – how to move into the white ghettos and articulate a position for the white youth?
  • Those that call SNCC violent are some of the most militant organizations for Vietnam
  • Camus – to come alive by saying no
  • “American students are perhaps the most politically unsophisticated students in the world.”
  • We’ve moved to morality and love while political threat reigns – you have to move politically, developing political nuance. You cannot talk morality to political beasts.
  • Black people are in the best position to question the values of society.
  • Not about being part of the American pie – this is raping every country, blood money – but about remaking America.
  • White society has killed nonviolence – nonviolence needs to be preached to the real violent people.
  • An individualized narrative of poverty – poverty is “well-calculated” – and the very calculators of poverty are administrating the programs of poverty.
  • The white activist needs to develop a program in their own ocmmunity.
  • No one would get scared if it were “Negro power”
  • A psychological battle on the right for black people to self-define and self-oranize

James Baldwin vs William Buckley, 1965 Debate at Cambridge

  • Has the American Dream been achieved at the expense of the American negro?

Speaker 1: David Heycock – For

  • “There are more negroes in prison with me than there are on the voting rolls” – MLK, the Selma, Alabama protests
  • The state of the American Dream: great unbounded liberty, but not for one of every nine men
  • American soceity uses the labor and blood of the black people but never to give them a fair deal

Speaker 2: Jeremy Burford – Against

  • Not the purpose to go against Civil Rights, but rather to deny the American Dream’s dependence on black suffering, and that this has hindered the American Dream
  • Progress in spite of the treatment of black people, not because of it
  • The American Dream and the respect for civil liberties has been the main factor in improving race relations in America

Speaker 3: James Baldwin – For

  • There are surface-level quarrels with Burford – yes, the treatment of the Negro has hindered the American dream, other hinderances, etc.
  • A deeper awkwardness – what is one’s point of view and sense of reality: the proposition “is at the expense of” etc. is already loaded and one’s reaction shows one’s position in the world; assumptions that we deeply hold
  • Systems allow people to attach their identities: whatever people’s reactions are reveals a fundamental belief in the right of civilizations to dominate others
  • Leaving aside the ‘bloody catalogue’, what does this do to the subjugated? – To destroy his sense of reality. Destroy’s his father’s authority over him (Freud?). You have not seen a mirror, and you suppose you are white too (Lacan). Psychological beginnings which accelerate – what you have been through is not just the catalogue of injustices, but that you have begun to see the psychological effects pervade your niece, daughter, son, etc.
  • “Expense” – The harbors, ports, economy especially of the Southern states could not have been what it is now if they had not had cheap labor.
  • “I built the railroads, I picked the cotton, under someone’s whip, for nothing”
    • What does this mean?
  • The Southern oligarchy
  • This ‘dream’ is at the ‘expense’ of the American Negro – but not only in the deep South.
  • What has happened to white Southerners? “I have fallen far, so far, but at least I am not black” – what is being done?
  • Why believe that the civil rights bill will be honored now?
  • White people in the South have been morally destroyed, the corruption of American sense of reality
  • The problem with America is that it has been integrated for a very long time – “put me next to another African and you’ll see”
  • Watching America from Europe
  • It is only since WWII that there is a counterimage in the world – Africa was suddenly on the stage of the world and Africans had to be dealt with in a way they had never been before, and gives the American Negro a sense of himself beyond the savage and the clown
  • What is concerning? We like to think we are civilized in this room so that we can walk out assuming that the measure of our politeness has some effect on the world. “It may not.”
  • Robert Kennedy said that it was conceivable that in 40 years in America we might have a black president. But they laughed bitterly in Harlem.
  • Betrayal by American politicians. But how to deal with people who the white world has so long ignored and who are deeply skeptical of Baldwin and King?
  • It is a terrible thing for white people to believe that 1/9 of their population is beneath them
  • Not an object of missionary charity, but one of the people that built the country. Unless this is acknowledged, there is scarcely hope for the country.
  • “The people who are denied participation in the American Dream, by their very presence, will wreck it. And that is a very grave moment for the West.”

Speaker 4: William Buckley – Against

  • Most striking criticism of America – involves the refusal of the American community to treat him other than a Negro
  • The American community treats Baldwin with a sort of fascination
  • Baldwin must be treated as a white man
  • Charges against America are not so much that civilization has failed Baldwin and his people but rather that America has no ideals – a superficial coating which justifies oppression, etc.
  • Baldwin has been treated specially because he is Black
  • What to eliminate psychic humiliation?
  • Not to eliminate statistics in a world which is closely attached to material prosperity
  • Everything comes at the expense of effort going into a system which grants greater material prosperity
  • But what is it that Americans ought to do? Is it time to abandon the American Dream?
  • In the US there is a concern for the Negro problem – the engines of concern are working, and Baldwin in part reflects this concern.
  • The situation in America is very complex: a) the effort to perpetuate discrimination by individual American citizens as a result of their lack of concern; b) the failure of the Negro community itself to make certain ‘exertions’ which other minorities (Italian, Jewish) have made. We need to ‘re-animate’ the Negro
  • Reaching out for radical solutions to obscure the two factors. Focusing on the fact of white discrimination and agitating a moral concern, but where to go now?
  • Bayard Rustin – slipping, ends up less urging the advancement of the Black man and more the regression of the white man
  • The problem in Mississippi is not that too few black people are voting but too many white people are voting
  • “Racial narcissism”
  • Possibly leading towards war and conflict

Baldwin wins

Document Collection #6

“Fine American Boys” to Antidemonstrate

  • “American” – reaffirmation of identity
  • Usage of Bible, classic philosophy, etc.
  • “Noncontroversial” stand
  • Moderatism, faith in free speech as a means of deliberating and changing
  • Possibly condescending neutrality

Report of the National Advisory Council on Civil Disorders, 1968

  • Lyndon Johnson’s 11-person commission on civil disorders to understand riots and policie sfor controlling them

  • July 1967 – chain reaction (domino theory?) in neighboring communities
  • Nation moving towards two separate societies, black and white – “separate but unequal”
  • Racial division was not inevitable; there is a choice to be made
  • Point is not to smother the cries of the oppressed, but a new commitment to the nation
  • Violence cannot build a better soceity, violence must be ended
  • Most white Americans are not aware of the black ghetto and their involvement in it: “White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it”

The National Organization of Women, 1966 Statement of Purpose

Written by Betty Friedan

  • True equality for women, full equal partnership – revolutionary language for equality
  • Movement beyond mere abstract debate towards concrete action
  • Technology has played a large part in ‘liberating’ the woman, and it is in fact now when women must participate in these fields of soceity opened up by technology
  • Working women are becoming more concentrated at the bottom of the job ladder. Few women get degrees. Women occupy few jobs of importance to society.
  • Commissions only have power to advise; they should be involved in enforcing them.
  • Black women are victims of ‘double discrimination’
  • Civil Rights movements do not speak for womens’ cause
  • Believe in the power of the American law and effective application
  • Intersectional perspective
  • Do not accept ‘token appointment’ – demonstrative positioning
  • Possibility to innovate new social institutions – America in fact lags behind the rest of the Western World in Europe (interesting play towards nationalist zeal).
  • Education as a important ground for equality
  • Man must not carry the sole burden of supporting himself, etc. – there needs to be a partnership between the sexes.
  • Independence from a political party
  • Women must speak out on behalf of their own equality and dignity, not for special priviledge but rather to dismantle the significance of sex altogether into a partnership.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion, 1967

  • “The center was not holding” – a sense of despair, absence, cold
  • US in the spring of 67 – ‘social hemorrhaging’ – missing children and hippies
  • Triumph over ‘donts’, doing don’ts
  • the fuck is a “middle-class Freudian hang-up”?
  • Runawaways – children reclaiming authorities
  • Major problems from the police’s perspective: juveniles and narcotic
  • “California is the beginning of the end”
  • Flowing in and out, the meaning of life – real metaphysical angst
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Riot in the street, unless
  • The Beat generation
  • Rape and drugs in children on Haight street – “MInds and bodies are being maimed as we watch, a scale model of Vietnam”
  • A sort of naivete
  • “God died last year”
  • No worries
  • “Woman’s trip” – the role of women in the movement of Hedonist self-love: who gets to self-love?
  • Caution and the law – a game, avoiding law enforcement
  • Symbolism, spiritualism, self-absorbment
  • Hare Krishna
  • “Ectasy” – “mundane ectasy” – the banality of ecstasy?
  • “make getting up in the morning a beautiful thing”
  • Coping, existing, living
  • “You can get high on a mantra, but I’m holy on acid”
  • “Anyone who thinks this is all about drugs has his head in a bag. It’s a social movement, quintessentially romantic, the kind fthat recurs in times of real social crisis. The themes are always the same.”
  • The Diggers, guerrilla tallent
  • “militant trip”
  • The attempt of “pathetically unequipped children” to create a community in a “social vacuum” – we can no longer overlook this vacuum. It is not some general cross-generation rebellion.
  • The rules of the game – who believes in it? What is rebellion?
  • the power of words to express ideas and to live out these expressions
    • “waiting to be given the words”
  • Reproduction of power in a language context
  • Mime Troupe in blackface
  • Racial conflicts: racial integration, legal and extralegal
  • Street demonstrations, performative art, and simulacrum
  • Bizarre performative activism (?)
  • Street theater – “maybe it’s some John Birch thing” – political incoherence / messiness
  • 5 year olds on acid

This essay reads like an acid trip.

“Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”, 1967

  • America to hear the truth about the war
  • One cannot maintain neutrality in a time of moral crisis
  • There comes a time where silence is betrayal
  • The apathy of conformism
  • Conscience and the reading of history: a moving to a higher plane of diffense
  • A difficulty: some seek to equate dissent with disloyalty
  • Connecting Vietnam and the Civil Rights war
  • An emerging hope for the black and white poor destroyed by drawing into the Vietnam War
  • $500k to kill each enemy soldier; $53 for each poor person
  • War as an enemy of the poor
  • Guaranteeing liberties in Southeast Asia which they have not been granted in America
  • Using violence to solve its problems
  • King knows that he must speak against the violence of the government before the violence of the oppressed
  • Applause of the public media – applaud on the Freedom Rides, at the sit-ins, so noble in its praise. The press is deeply wrong – be non-violent towards Bull Conner, but not the Vietnamese
  • Christianity – the best step to know the people and their cries in southeast Asia and Cuba
  • Supporting General Khahn – fought with the French against the Vietnamese and praised Hitler.
  • Shifting from thing-oriented to person-oriented
  • Racism, militariam, economic exploitation
  • True compassion is not merely charity, but a revolution of values
  • Globalist capitalism
  • Western arrogance and paternalism
  • Spiritual death
  • The Western world has become the anti-revolutionaries
  • Recapturing of the revolutionary spirit
  • Eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism
  • Ecumenical rather than sectional values
  • Loyalty to global mankind to preserve the best of individual societies
  • Dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world
  • “I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America”
  • God stands before nations with judgement

Document Collection #8

“Trip Without a Ticket”

  • “Nembutals” vs “Normal”
  • Advertising; manufacturing of attention
  • “How many TV specials would it take to establish one Guatemalan revolution?” radical equivalences of the commodity, a certain dirty air – the critical power of advertising and automated circuits – the nuclear button
  • Somnambulist – sleep walking – the living dead, the undead
  • Theater is territory – existing outside of the established boundaries of conduct and activity
  • Gueririlla theater brings audiences to liberated territory – “a cast of freed beings”

Free store / property of the possessed

  • Human beings are the means of exchange; everything is free.
  • “If someone asks to see the manager, tell him he’s the manager”
  • What would you have?
  • The radical concept of a free store

Street event – birth of haight / funeral for $ now

  • “Pop art mirrored the social skin”
  • People, cultures, mixing, events, life, an excess of reality – cofnrontation of free beings

Who paid for your trip?

  • Industrialization in 19th century ecology
  • “Wars against ecology are suicidal”
  • “The US standard of living is a bourgeois baby blanket for executives who scream in their sleep”
  • Computers incorporate the principles of wage labor – technology will free us – “turn the factors over to the androids”
  • “Give up jobs so computers can do them!”
  • Other revolutions are humanistic industrialization
  • Chaos, joy, laughter, a sort of postmodern Deleuzian body without organs going on.
  • “Theater is fact/action”
  • Defend against property

Woodall Letter, 1968

  • Letter from Sergeant Phillip Woodall
  • Memphis looks bad to the rest of the nation
  • Black platoon leader from New York was killed
  • No gain that can be seen – an exchange of lives, a war of attrituion
  • Not mourning for MLK – moruning for the “real sacrifice” like Scott
  • As the nation mourns, they mourn a bourgeois mourning.
  • “This war is all wrong”
  • A lot of complex tensions throughout here. Maybe a sent of resentment and bitterness? A sense of fragility and death? A sense of patriotism still infused here, even if it is a totally formal and empty patriotism?

No More Miss America!

  • Women from all different movements encouraged to jion the movement – protesting the image of Miss America, “an image that oppresses women in every area in which it purports to represent us”
  • Boycott of demeaning commercial products
  • Reject male authority, male policemen, male reporters
  • “We will reclaim ourselves for ourselves”
  • Ten points
    • Protest the “boob-girlie”, body-materialism
    • “Racism with Roses” – whiteness. Never a true Miss America (American Indian)
    • Miss America functions as a military death mascot, the lady back home from which the nostalgia for returning home from war brings
    • A consumer shill
    • Win or you’re worthless – beauty meritocracy, commodification of people
    • Woman as pop culture – young, juicy
    • Madonna-Whore
    • Woman as mediocrity
    • Miss America as a false dream for women
    • Miss America as Big Sister

“We are Living in a State of Anarchy”: Radical Assessments and Agendas in the Year 1968

Hayden Exhibit No. 2 at HUAC

  • American society is being destroyed by an unrepresentative government; out of touch state; democracy is in a false state
  • In 1960, Americans supported peace in Vietnam and social reform domestically
  • 1968, a virtual race war
  • Resolution of Vietnam and racism. “Our country’s future peace and honor depend on a successful resolution of these two problems” (! could be important for essay)
  • Political parties fail to peacefully address social problems. The Democratic Party is not so clean and exempt.
  • A useless structure of petty politics; rise of giant bureaucracies
  • What is the future for the Democratic Party?
  • A populist appeal / stick with the people
  • Take initiative in laying the foundation for a new radical force – the Democratic party must go with the anti-war and Black movements
  • The “mockery of democracy”
  • Events
    1. Apr 21 - 30; spring days. Expose structural contradictions of the Democratic party.
    2. Summer: period of intense organizing and demonstration
    3. End of summer: demonstrations, disruptions, marches
  • Distancing from LBJ
  • Machinery is needed to clarify demands
  • When there is no democratic machinery, young people need to resist it.
  • Legality is dubious
  • Draft board – in fact this is a state of anarchy facing the individual
  • A calculating movement, not merely romantic or existential

“The Iron Butterfly”

  • “Sex and the Single Girl”
  • What do women want (“want”)? How to give it to them?
  • Ana ggressively subjective and autobiographical approach
  • Female advertising: sexuality and liberation. To what extent did capitalism play an important role in helping to liberate woman?
  • Work and the gbirth of the girl-boss?

Co-ed Disciplined by College Becomes a Dropout at Barnard

  • Linda LeClair – lives with her boyfriend off campus
  • Lied to college about address; disciplined for doing so
  • ‘Bewilderment’ and ‘embitterment’ of control
  • Do not believe in marriage
  • Communal farms
  • “The city is a dying thing. We’re killing ourselves off slowly here with smoke, noise, anger, guns, everything.”

Father Despairs of Barnard Daughter

  • Paul LeClair – father
  • Influencing others to follow immoral paths – wrong
  • A great ‘individualist’
  • A lot of support for “strict disciplinary action”

Richard J. Ford III Recounts the War and Racism

  • The libertine attitude towards weapons
  • “When we got to Vietnam there were no athiest”
  • A sense of immortality
  • Nha Trang – like a “resort”
  • Don’t take it serious
  • Racial conflcit domestically

Document Collection #9

“Gay is Good”, Martha Shelley (1970)

  • Disruption, blaspheming – a sense of pleasure in disrupting normality (particularly institutionalizations of normality) and disgusting the mainstream morality
  • Distaste with moderatism which claims to disregard homosexuality but which does not really accept it
    • Reminiscent of MLK’s War on Vietnam Speech – disavowal of the ‘white moderate’

“We want… something more than the tolerance you never gave us”

  • Really playing into ‘personal is political’ – attacking even an internalized liberal moderate sense of superiority to the deviants of society
  • Possibly still playing into a binary system of gender (“We are women adn men who…”)
  • Possibly an essentialism of sexuality – resistance “from the time of our earliest memories”, maybe not the same sense of sexual fluidity which has been developed recently.
  • Physical violence is sparing; but the real violence is epistemic
  • What is the truth of sexuality?
  • Very confrontational and even militant tone – against liberal unease

“But the really important part about being gay is that you are froced to notice how much sex role differentiation is pure artifice, is nothing but a game”

  • A sense of breaking through the thin veils/appearances of traditional soceity
  • Strong sense of separation, attack
  • “Homosexual bodies” – we should bring Foucault in here, this is an interesting idea

“I tell you, the function of a homosexual is to make you uneasy”

“We will never go straight until you go gay”

“We are one with you”

  • A sense of conflicting messages – more than anything, a sense of bitterness but also optimistic revolt. And even while the direction of revolt is kind of confused, there is a very clear exposition of the attack.

“You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows”, SDS Meeting (1969)

International Revolution

  • Contradiction pointing towards the pathway of liberation
  • Where do you stand in relation to the US as an oppressor nation?
  • Solving contradictions
  • Reclaiming the wealth of the oppressed people who have created this very wealth
  • The US exploits the Third World
  • World communism as the goal of the destruction of US imperialism
  • Internal struggle will be necessary but the revolution must be global. Socialism is a fraud.
  • Imperialism needs brute force and authoritarianism to hold together a decaying social fabric; it is youth rebellion which will kill it off once and for good
  • Gender and race

The RYM and the Pigs

  • The pigs tie together struggle around the state as the enemy (!!!) – unified in opposition
  • “Pigs really are the issue”
  • A standard liberal understanding, or a more structural understanding?
  • Creation of a mass revolutionary movement willing to participate in violent struggle.
  • String inspiration from Mao and China – an authentic people’s revolution, against centralized revolution

Long live the victory of people’s war!

Occpation of Alcatraz, Indians of All Tribes (1969)

  • the “Great White Father” – some sort of Freudian paternity?
  • Ironic play with history – reversal of power
  • Dripping with sarcasm
  • Buildings for memorial, education, ecology

“What’s Wrong with Equal Rights for Women?”, Phyllis Schlafly (1972)

  • The American woman is more privileged – most rights and rewards yet fewest dutiees
  • Woman bears the sex act, so man must bear other responsibilities
  • Biological essentialism
  • Most important right of a woman: to be a parent
  • Tying woman to her child – an investment which provides security
  • Christianity has endowed woman with inherent respect
  • Chivalry is good for woman
  • Capitalism is good for women – it frees them from the burdens of domestic work
  • The victimization of American women is the ‘fraud of the century”
  • Women would become subject to the draft
  • Abolish woman’s right to child support and alimony
  • “Lowering themselves” to equal rights
  • Women’s liberation – dangerous radicals
  • Most women want to be wife
  • A ‘loveless’ home
  • Attack on family and motherhood
  • They do not speak for us – the mass woman

Soy Chicana Primero!, Enriqueta Longeaux Vasquez

  • The Chicana is trapped between the white women’s liberation movement and the echoes of the Chicano movement
  • If you are a radical Chicana, do you lsoe some of your feminity?
  • Femininity and radicalism are not necessarily exclusive – in fact the most feminine act might be a radical one
  • A strong spirited woman – “she comes from good clay”
  • What does it mean?
  • How to relate the Chicana to the women’s liberation movement
  • Identifying the women’s movement as particularly the white women’s movement
  • Whiteness as materialistic and competitive – incongruent with Chicana values
  • Elevation of male and female
  • A colonized people – we cannot blame men on oppression of women: it is rather the colonial structure
  • More complex interplay with race and gender

We can not allow negative attitudes in regard to our physical capacities

  • Woman can work
  • Woman must be a Chicana first (but of course Chicana is already imbured with a feminine sense) – not just the standard ‘race/colonization over gender’

“In Retrospect”, Robert McNamara

  • Communist aggression during the cold war was “real and substantial”, even if it was exaggerated – its own power
  • The South Vietnamese “were incapable of defending themselves” – dynamics of responsibility
  • Should have withdrawn from South Vietnam in late 63 after Diem’s assassination
  • Elvent causes for the disaster in Vietnam
    • Misjudged the North Vietnamese
    • Misjudged the South Vietnamese
    • Underestimated the power of nationalism
    • Ignorance of local history, cutlure, politics
    • Failed to recognize limits of modern, high-tech military equipment
    • Failed to be honest with the American people before the war
    • Failed to be honest with the American people during the war
    • Put too much power into leaders
    • Ignored the internaitonal community
    • Wanted to fix every problem which exhisted
    • Failure to organize the executive branch effectively

“We do not have the God-given write to shape every nation in our own image or as we choose.”

“These were our major failures, in their essence. Though set forth separately, they are all in some way linked: failure in one area contributed to or compounded failure in another. Each became a turn in a terrible knot.”

Westmoreland, the US Could Have Won (1976)

  • Took issue with graduated response, halts, ceasefires
  • Political considerations will never allow total independence
  • A commander must live with difficulties
  • The possibility of resigning did not seriously enter his mind except once, in 1968
  • In the end, the US abandoned South Vietnam
  • Failed to react to “gross violations” of the North Vietnamese or to match/quell/address the larger Communist powers
  • Kennedy: “Now we have a problem in making our power credible, and Vietnam looks like the place.” (1961)
  • Graduated response is no way to win, a ‘handicap’
  • War could have been ended with the Tet Offensive in 68 – but the press and television “created an aura not of victory but of defeat”, timid officials collapsed.
    • Television made the war
  • Policy of blanket educational draft deferments which created a working man’s war
  • Strong control of the conduct of War – comes out of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 61
    • “demonstrates the perils of decentralization
    • Succesful ahdnling of the Cuban missile crisis – centralized command is needed
    • Westmoreland’s wet dream is central hierarchal command with no bureaucracy
  • Paranoid fear of confronting the Soviet Union and the Chinese – tried to be too cautious, wanted to have their cake and eat it.
  • Johnson’s guns and butter
  • Contributed to a credibility gap
  • Johnson relied too much on the Gulf of Tonkin resolution for domestic political assurance
  • A long undeclared war will become a political issue
  • Johnson didn’t manage the public’s opinion well enough, and didn’t present the right image of himself

“it was perhaps a situation beyond the mastery of any man”

“Vietnam Veterans against the War”, John Kerry (1971)

  • Raping of Vietnam – the ravaging of war, the community of feeling
  • What has the country made them do? – responsibility
  • Winter Soldier Investigation
  • What threatens America is not Communism but the crimes which are committed in the name of defeating it
  • South Vietnam is insignificant
  • Most people want to work in rice paddies without war – sided with whatever military force was present
  • American taxes going to corrupt dictatorship
  • Pride and arrogance
  • Someone has to die so Nixon won’t be “the first President to lsoe a war”
  • How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?
  • Racism, hypocrisy
  • Changing with Vietnam means

Roe v. Wade (1973)

  • Deep convictions about abortion
  • Jane Roe: unmarried and pregnant, wished o terminate pregnancy by abortion; Texas statues are unconstitutionally vague; abridge right of personal privacy
  • Abortion up to recognizable movement was generally acceptable but was greatly restricted up to the fifties
  • Right to personal privacy includes aobrtion and should be considered
  • Texas cannot override the rights of the pregnant woman
  • The State can regulate abortion after the first trimester

“The Forgotten American”, Peter Schrag (1969)

  • Lower middle class, the blank, no good way to describe him – the forgotten man, the most alienated person in America. No one really fits exactly
  • Elitism
  • White employed male: a working American.
  • Heavy statistical description – the majority
  • The malaise lacks a language
  • A counter-revolt: people who aren’t compalining and consider themselves well-off even though they don’t have much
  • Stability and conservatism matters – a Roosevelt’s man
  • Wealth is invisible, and so, now is poverty.
  • Places and attitudes
  • University seminars and policyd ebates become conditions of trauma for the great middle
  • White kids can’t get a job; blacks are hired first

Somebody has to say no

  • liberal wisdom has little place for the working man – hard work, order, authority, self-reliance
  • Don’t all of us discriminate? Why eliminate discrimination – a false hope
  • You can proclaim black power but can’t protest as aw hite man without being called a bigot
  • What does it take to fight a good American?

This is a sick society, a racist soceity, we are fighting an immoral war

  • Some of the poorest people in America are white
  • What upset the police at the 68 DNC was the affront to middle-class people – people who fart around in the streets and don’t work

“the cop is the new n*****”

Can the Common Man Come Back?

  • Institutions which are supposed to assist in social amelioration are in fact staying very problematic and suspect
  • Robert Kennedy was killed, so working-class people shifted to Wallace

A man who can change from a progressive democrat into a bigot overnight deserves attention

Clinton, “Letter to the Draftboard” (1969)

  • Thank you fro savying me from the draft
  • Opposing the war due to racism in America
  • The draft system itself is illegitimate – no government rooted in democracy can force its citizens to fight and kill in a war they oppose
  • Draft justified in WWII due to collective lives at stake; but Vietnam and Korea are both not such cases
  • In sympathy with draft resisters
  • Decision to not resist to maintain political viability within the system
  • What is service and disservice?