Tom Hayden is Dead

by Harry on October 25, 2016

Tom Hayden, a leading member of SDS, and the person with most responsibility for drafting the Port Huron Statement, is dead. The Times obit, with its spectacularly wrong first sentence, is here. Despite the inaccuracies it is well worth reading. More interesting, more accurate, and passionate is Christopher Phelps’s piece in Jacobin, announcing the death and responding to the Times. For a start, the Times says that Hayden “burst out of the 1960s counterculture as a radical leader of America’s civil rights and antiwar movements” which, Phelps rightly responds, ‘gets it exactly backwards’ (and includes, amusing photographic evidence that I won’t reproduce because I want to induce you to go there and read Phelps).

Hayden’s youthful trajectory points, rather, to the early New Left that began awakening in the stiflingly conformist atmosphere of the late 1950s, one whose radicalism was focused in thought and action aiming to surmount race, bureaucracy, and war — and not on the experimentation with hair, dress, music, and psychedelic mind expansion that captivated the hippie counterculture.

The hippies were by and large apolitical; Hayden and his kind were political from start to finish.

The Times obit does, however, end well, with a quote from J. Edgar Hoover that anybody from that era would be pleased to have as their epitaph:

“One of your prime objectives,” J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime F.B.I. director, said in one memo, “should be to neutralize him in the New Left movement.”

{ 67 comments }

1

engels 10.25.16 at 1:42 pm

I think Phelps’ discussion of the Port Huron Statement really speaks to contemporary concerns:

What made the Port Huron Statement impressive was not its specific demands but its broadbrush evocation of idealism, especially in its opening section on “Values.” It called for replacing “power rooted in possession, privilege, or circumstance” by “power and uniqueness rooted in love, reflectiveness, reason, and creativity.” … The answer was participatory democracy: the principle that individuals should share in decision-making affecting their lives and that society should be structured accordingly, that politics should bring people out of isolation to shape a “common participation,” and that work life should be imbued with meaning and dignity … the Port Huron Statement might have gone into the dustbin of radical pamphlets rather than inspiring a generation, for its declaration of “Values” expressed in words what the Berkeley Free Speech Movement would manifest in action two years later…

2

RINO economist 10.25.16 at 2:18 pm

One aspect, which neither the Times nor Phelps deals with, is provided in the Washington Post obituary:

“Fonda knocked on doors for him and poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his campaign. But their united front belied increasing tensions, including his constant belittling of her fitness and movie career. Their 1990 divorce was bitter.”

It was a criticism of the 1960s US New Left that some (many?) of its male leaders had a rather old-fashioned view of women’s roles and rights. To that extent, someone like Michael Rossman (Berkeley/Free Speech Movement, Bay Area community activist and teacher, author of the memoir “Wedding within the War”) may be a more worthy figure to commemorate than Hayden.

3

Harry 10.25.16 at 2:42 pm

Thanks. I didn’t know that (about the divorce, though presumably it was well-publicized at the time).

4

William Timberman 10.25.16 at 3:45 pm

It’s kinda weird to be old enough to watch events that we witnessed or participated in being turned into history before our disbelieving eyes. Perhaps not surprisingly, the process often seems mean-spirited, or just plain wrong to us, but in all fairness, one has to concede that even cherished personal memories are hardly a more reliable guide to what happened when.

That said, while the NYT piece is typical of the condescension that the present heaps upon the past, Phelps’s piece, although more sympathetic, is just as wrong. Young hippies and politicos of the Sixties were a gestalt, a continuum, not two completely separate and distinct responses to the discontents of the time. For those who weren’t there, describing that continuum with any sensitivity to the cultural implications is probably too tedious on the one hand, or too time-consuming on the other, when faced with an obituary deadline, but it did exist, and what it made of many of us can’t be unmade, although undoubtedly that won’t prevent it being buried with us. All these moments will be lost in time….

5

ZM 10.25.16 at 3:50 pm

I saw on Facebook there’s an obit in Common Dreams as well:

“In a February 1981 essay for The Nation titled “The Future Politics of Liberalism,” which was published in the wake of Ronald Reagan’s presidential inauguration, Hayden outlined his idea of a just society, illustrating how economic, social, and environmental elements are all intertwined in that vision:

“We need more than ever a participatory society in which persons of all life styles believe that they matter, instead of the escapist culture that absorbs millions in irrelevance. We cannot contend with the coming of external limits unless we delve more into our rich inner potentials.

It comes down to moving from a wasteful, privately oriented, self-indulgent existence to a more conserving, caring and disciplined life style. The cornerstone has to be a renewal of self-reliance, not the outmoded frontier fantasy of the Republican philosophers, but the reassertion of personal responsibility in everything from conserving resources to decentralizing services to keeping ourselves well through self-care to practicing a “right livelihood” in business. It is a change from planned obsolescence to the production of useful goods that last, from consumer madness to the achievement of inner satisfactions, from the opulence of Jay Gatsby to the frugal self-assurance of Henry David Thoreau.

More important than money and technique in elections is the factor of motivation and vision. The Democrats (or someone else) will return to national leadership when they are inspired again.”

After the news of his death, many on the left took to social media to mourn the loss of a longtime progressive champion and express their gratitude for his inspiring legacy”

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/24/tom-hayden-one-great-20th-century-activist-leaders-dies-76

6

Donald A. Coffin 10.25.16 at 4:25 pm

The opening paragraphs of the Port Huron Statement:

“We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.

“When we were kids the United States was the wealthiest and strongest country in the world: the only one with the atom bomb, the least scarred by modern war, an initiator of the United Nations that we thought would distribute Western influence throughout the world. Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people — these American values we found good, principles by which we could live as ***men***. Many of us began maturing in complacency…”
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=port+huron+statement

We hadn’t managed to get past sexist language in 1962, even in our progressive manifestos.

Withall, one of my heroes. As is Michael Rossman, the creator of the Totalitarian Classroom Game (http://mrossman.org/olsc/tcg.html).

7

Kiwanda 10.25.16 at 4:50 pm

Fonda was at Hayden’s bedside the day before he died, and spoke well of him after. So the acrimony of the divorce wasn’t beyond some reconciliation.

I never actually looked at the “Port Huron Statement” whose drafting Hayden was a part of. Except for the non-inclusive language of its time, I especially like:

Men have unrealized potential for self-cultivation, self-direction, self-understanding, and creativity. It is this potential that we regard as crucial and to which we appeal, not to the human potentiality for violence, unreason, and submission to authority. The goal of man and society should be human independence: a concern not with image of popularity but with finding a meaning in life that is personally authentic: a quality of mind not compulsively driven by a sense of powerlessness, nor one which unthinkingly adopts status values, nor one which represses all threats to its habits, but one which has full, spontaneous access to present and past experiences, one which easily unites the fragmented parts of personal history, one which openly faces problems which are troubling and unresolved: one with an intuitive awareness of possibilities, an active sense of curiosity, an ability and willingness to learn.

Some things haven’t changed:

The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen, paralyzing policy discussion, and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests.

We live amidst a national celebration of economic prosperity while poverty and deprivation remain an unbreakable way of life for millions in the “affluent society”, including many of our own generation.

The awe inspired by the pervasiveness of racism in American life is only matched by the marvel of its historical span in American traditions.

8

Martin Bento 10.25.16 at 5:27 pm

I know people who regard themselves as the heirs of 60s radicalism often like to disown the hippies, but if exhibit A is a photo from 1963, that’s very weak. The Beatles were still wearing suits in 1963 and were still unknown in the States. Hippiedom basically didn’t exist yet, or if it did, it was very sparsely distributed.

9

Harry 10.25.16 at 5:53 pm

MB: That’s sort of Phelps’s point. Sds may have contributed to causing, but did not emerge from, the counterculture.

10

Martin Bento 10.25.16 at 6:17 pm

Oh, that’s not how I read it. He seemed to be saying that the sixties radicals were one group and that the hippies were another group and basically apolitical.

11

rootlesscosmo 10.25.16 at 7:44 pm

A good survey of the late-50s currents that contributed to the founding of SDS is Maurice Isserman, “If I Had a Hammer.”

12

engels 10.25.16 at 8:41 pm

Feel free not to publish this Harry if you feel that making this connection is ‘trollish’ (I won’t be offended and honestly have no desire to offend you or anyone else here) but reading the comments on this thread praising the Free Speech Movement and Hayden’s attacks on ‘submission to authority’ alongside the comments on the previous one praising pre-moderation, keeping political disagreement out of CT threads and CT owners’ prerogative to do as they think fit is genuinely making my head spin.

[OK, John Holbo here. Back on moderation duty. I am turning on Engels’ comments – once again – but I feel the need to reiterate this point: we aren’t trying to keep out political disagreement or make everyone submit to our authority. What’s not good is trollishness. I really don’t see that Tom Hayden must spinning in his grave at the very notion that Crooked Timber commenters should be nudged away from farting into the same cushion for the 1000th time. As it were.]

13

Cheryl Rofer 10.25.16 at 9:07 pm

I’ll agree with William Timberman that it is perplexing to read the history of a time when one was there, written by those who weren’t.

My (having been there) view:

The early sixties, including the Port Huron Statement and the civil rights movement, were very different from the late sixties of the hippies. I didn’t much twitch at the Times statment, having seen the counterculture go from beats to activists to hippies. Hayden came from the middle part and morphed through the last part.

The sexism of the first two was thoroughgoing and as bad as anything you’ve seen in “Mad Men.” But there was a seriousness about changing the society that the hippies lost in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Young women were caught up in it too, but found conflicts. The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963, and women began to object more strongly, although one can date some of their resistance to The Second Sex, published in 1949 but popular in the mid-fifties.

Bernie Sanders’s civil rights experience came out of the early sixties – I referred to 1961 in conversations with friends – and his campaign was tinged with that white male supremacy, which is why he had difficulties communicating politically with women and people of color. It was informative to see people who were born well after the 1960s describing similar reactions to those I had had in 1961.

As William Timberman says, a lot of nuance is being lost in the articles and in this discussion, but I suppose that’s how history is written. As I watch the process, it reminds me to read history of times before I was born and places I haven’t been with that in mind.

14

Alan White 10.25.16 at 9:09 pm

Thanks for this Harry. I was a teenager in the North Bay Area during the 60s, so this brought back a flood of memories including Reagan’s first gubernatorial run–an actor beating a seasoned incumbent?–and Black Panther handouts at my junior high school. Most interesting times!

15

Jake Gibson 10.25.16 at 9:30 pm

Hippie is now used only derogatively by anyone.
At best ironically as in “hippie punching”.

There was also the Youth Independent Party, or Yippies. Which included Abbie & Anita Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Paul Krassner et al. Yippies were more into Guerilla Theatre. Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Lee Weiner were part of the Chicago Seven.
I do give them credit for refusing to take the “very serious people” seriously.

Part of the angst the Tea Party caused me was stealing the Yippies’ schtick.

16

Kresling 10.25.16 at 10:01 pm

I can see how the Jane Fonda Workout might have been a hard thing for Hayden to process. The new Adam Curtis documentary, ‘Hypernormalization’ has a lot to say about the later careers of 60s radicals, and it isn’t positive.

17

Val 10.25.16 at 10:22 pm

Being old enough to remember some of this is relevant I guess (though I was still at school in 63) although I was living in Australia in the 60s and for a while in England in the 70s so am not familiar with the detail of the American scene (although it was very influential in those days). Anyway I think if Phelps is suggesting there was a clear distinction between the political movements and the counter-cultural movements I don’t think that’s true. Maybe some people were more one way or the other, but they overlapped.

Maybe you need a fashion historian. As I remember it, counter cultural fashions (long hair, beards, long dresses, etc) weren’t really widespread until the early 70s, although probably in some places (San Francisco?) they may have been common earlier than that, maybe late 60s? I don’t think they were common anywhere in 63.

18

JanieM 10.25.16 at 10:32 pm

Following William Timberman and Cheryl Rofer — it’s like watching a movie that tries to capture those years. I remember watching “Born on the Fourth of July” and thinking: No. Just, no. That’s not how it was.

19

Kiwanda 10.25.16 at 10:58 pm

Cheryl Rofer: “Bernie Sanders’s civil rights experience came out of the early sixties – I referred to 1961 in conversations with friends – and his campaign was tinged with that white male supremacy, which is why he had difficulties communicating politically with women and people of color. “

Can you give some examples of that tinge, or that difficulty communicating?

Alan Haber, one of the Statement authors, wrote in 2012:

The Michigan Today article talks about the Port Huron Statement as an object separate from the organization spirit that created it. it was not Tom Hayden’s work or my work that made it happen. It was a determination arising in our generation then, particularly among young women, to do something about the wrongs we saw. Women like Sharon Jeffrey and Carol Cohen and Sandra (Casey) Cason, Dorothy Dawson, Becky Adams, Betty Garman, Mary (Maria) Varela, Sarah Murphy, Barbara Jacobs (to name but a few) all in all, were more significant than the men, like Tom and me who tend to get the attention (male) writers. They brought a human directness, and love, as well as organizing skill and knowledge, that made sds different from other political organizations.

20

LFC 10.26.16 at 1:02 am

Having skimmed the Phelps piece, one guess I have (cd be wrong) as to the reason NYT got some early-SDS history details wrong is that the obit might have been written fairly quickly and the research time was very limited (which is not nec. an excuse but cd be the explanation). If it was something that had been prepared well in advance — if it was “in the can” and waiting to go as, e.g., the obits for nonagenarian public figures presumably are — then the reporter wd have had time to read e.g. James Miller, Democracy Is in the Streets, and the details wd have been closer to correct.

p.s. I’ve read the Miller book, or some of it at any rate, and Isserman, If I Had a Hammer; the latter may be buried in a box somewhere and pretty sure I no longer have the former. Both good, but not bks I need to have on the shelf, unlike, say, Phelps, who I’m sure has both of them handy.

21

Val 10.26.16 at 3:19 am

Kiwanda @ 19
I think what you have said, and that excerpt, supports what Cheryl Roger is saying rather than contradicting it (if that was your attention).

Haver is saying those young women should have got recognition, but didn’t.

22

Val 10.26.16 at 3:20 am

Your ‘intention’ I mean, not attention.

23

Patrick S. O'Donnell 10.26.16 at 3:56 am

The James Miller book is indeed indispensable for an excellent (and I believe the best) account of Hayden’s birth as an activist and his tenure with SDS. To fill out another facet of Hayden’s activism, and while it is discussed a bit by Miller, see Jennifer Frost’s treatment of the SDS’s community organizing efforts under the direction of its Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP) in her book, “An Interracial Movement of the Poor”: Community Organizing and the New Left in the 1960s (New York University Press, 2001). As Frost notes in her conclusion, ERAP, while often assessed or dismissed simply as a failed experiment, “contributed to building an interracial movement of the poor, specifically, a mass movement of poor _women_.” The ERAP experience led activists and organizers to concentrate their energies in various directions following its “many difficulties, defeats, and conflicts.” Some of these directions were novel and creative, for example, “[f]or many women organizers, feminist consciousness evolved less from awareness of sexist treatment by men in the projects than from how they benefited from their work in ERAP. [….] The considerable confidence, organizing skills, and ‘intellectual ammunition’ women gained in ERAP were also a positive legacy that underlay the formation of the women’s liberation movement.” Moreover, Frost shows us how “[r]elationships forged in ERAP connected women’s liberation to the welfare rights movement” and, in addition to motivating a preference for “coalition politics,” “former ERAP participants brought lessons about organization building into other social movements on the Left at this time, including the anti-war movement. This is just a taste of Frost’s analysis and nuanced understanding of the direct and indirect (and often unintentional) effects of ERAP. Frost documents the fact of, and reasons behind, “the enthusiasm for community organizing in SDS,” the latter owing much to “Hayden’s insistence and confidence” (which, in turn, had been inspired by his acquaintance with the direct political action strategy and tactics of SNCC).

24

engels 10.26.16 at 4:04 am

John, I’m sure you’re right and Phil Ochs could just as easily have called his song “I’ve got something to say, Sir, I’m gonna put it in the moderation queue and five hours later you can decide at your sole discretion whether you deem it too insulting or annoying for anyone else to hear…’ I’m so glad that the spirit of radical Berkeley is alive and well….

[‘Love me or leave me, I’m a liberal,’ Engels! Or, as most of my fellow CT’ers sing it: a social democrat. – JH]

25

engels 10.26.16 at 4:34 am

To be honest, as an democrat I find the policy incomprehensible and I don’t really have any energy left to criticise it. I have been getting a very strong vibe that noone is willing to discuss it and I really don’t want to get labelled a ‘troll’ more than I already have, but thank you at least for allowing me to register my disagreement. More careful arguments (which nobody seriously responded to) were already set out at length on the other thread so it’s probably best if I just leave you all to it.

26

John Holbo 10.26.16 at 5:04 am

OK, I’ll stop editing Engel’s comments, which I’m sure is annoying. This whole thing isn’t that complicated. Comments were going badly because everyone was fighting and being snarky and condescending to everyone else in a useless and unpleasant way. Seriously, it was like the internet in here. All we are doing is asking people not to be like that. The moderation thing is obviously the worst of all possible solutions with the exception of all the other ones we can think of. It’s not Plato’s Republic, ensuring you all read only the good thoughts and not the bad. It’s just asking people to turn it down a notch. And if you don’t want to, you may not get your comments turned on. Which is, I’m sure, annoying. So maybe turn it down a notch, even if you don’t want to, but you value commenting all the same. Up to you.

27

Christopher Phelps 10.26.16 at 5:29 am

Harry, thanks for the posting. The discussion is interesting (LFC, yes, I have those books!) but the article seems skimmed and point missed in some cases, largely by those who were “there.” I could claim, with a bit of a smile, that I was “there,” as the first five years of my life were in the 1960s. Putting this more soundly, I’m not that young. I’ve lived a life thinking and reading a great deal about that time – I wrote an undergraduate thesis on the sixties back in the 1980s – and talking to loads of somewhat older people over many years who are sixties veterans. I was avid about this and tended to find I thought their way more than the way of my own Reagan-voting generation in a fair deal of ways. Plus, I actually do have some very vivid early memories redolent of the sixties (some of them actually from the early seventies, albeit, esp. when my family lived in a mostly African American part of St. Louis). So this is to say that if there are complexities to the history of the 1960s, there are complexities to making assumptions about those who came after and how they relate to it too. (The NYT op ed, conversely, was written by someone who “was there” – but in the 1960s and not of the sixties, as it were, because it was possible to be professional and straight and miss out on all the action and sensibilities.)

Now, I wasn’t attempting to deal with the whole sixties or the whole of Hayden’s life. I was making two claims. The most important to me, at least, was that Hayden’s most lasting and signal contribution was in the Port Huron Statement of 1962, which is obscured in the fog of the NYT obit (which doesn’t have the excuse of haste – it was posted right away indicating it was prepared long before). I was trying to say, as Engels conveys well in his initial post above, that it is so powerful, and radical, still today.

Second, I was dealing with origins, with what Hayden “burst out of”: Was it the counterculture, or rather the Midwest, Michigan in particular, a Catholic upbringing, and the early New Left, whose impulses were distinct, yes, distinct, from the counterculture that followed. Were there overlappings and mutual influences by 1969-1970 between New Left and counterculture, so that people could talk of a “youth culture” or “revolutionary counterculture”? Of course, and I refer in my piece to Hayden’s later “shaggier” and “more revolutionary” self which is an acknowledgement of that. But in the history of the 1960s the New Left and counterculture are not the same thing. Little of the early New Left owes to the beatniks, which is why the 1963 photo is revealing, and much of the counterculture proper came later (Summer of Love, 1967, being its breakthrough in national apprehension of it, at least) and was, yes, apolitical, about self, “dropping out” and tripping and communal life and stylistic rebellion rather than organizing so as to transform the whole society. What Hayden burst out of was the stirrings of political dissent among youth in the context of the black freedom movement and fears of Cold War saber rattling, out of democratic movements making demands on power structures.

There are a lot of shades of complexity, yes, but analytically the early New Left is *not* “the counterculture.” I wrote with a bit of passion because I see in my own students the disabling and trivializing effect of the Hollywood idea of “sixties = counterculture.” It is a disservice that obscures what was most radical in the sixties, its challenges to the structures of American power. And it doesn’t frame the life of Tom Hayden well.

The sexism in the early New Left was real – as elsewhere in American society – and people are wholly right to point it out, and indeed I probably should have said something about that. Point appreciated. But ponder this: “the personal is political” was a concept present in the Port Huron Statement, which literally used those words in enjoining people to embody their politics in their lives; indeed, feminism may be seen as an extension of the logic of participatory democracy. Sara Evans’s book on the emergence of the women’s liberation movement out of the New Left is excellent on this: she charts how it was precisely because of being in the New Left and believing in its ideals, and learning how to do an analysis of oppression, that young women came to see their own oppression. In this, the early New Left was a bit like the abolitionist movement before it, which gave rise to the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, the first women’s rights convention.

Anyway, an overly long post… But thanks for the discussion!

28

Martin Bento 10.26.16 at 5:34 am

Since the other thread seems to have bled over here, as I said, maybe you should just call people out when they are nasty, delete if necessary, ban as last resort. Then everyone, not just the person called out, gets a clear idea of what is over the line.You all have really done very little of that over the years. Some commenters were nasty on thread after thread without getting criticized for it in the least. It’s easy to think people should just know, but obviously some people either don’t know or are going to continue to do whatever they can get away with. And if all you do is disappear their comments, you’re probably going to have to just keep disappearing them. Why make the work for yourselves?

29

John Holbo 10.26.16 at 5:58 am

“Since the other thread seems to have bled over here, as I said, maybe you should just call people out when they are nasty, delete if necessary, ban as last resort.”

Yes, that makes some sense. The disadvantage is that it risks being more obnoxious because you end up arguing with people – from a perch of power – about whether they are being obnoxious or not. Which never goes non-obnoxiously, sadly. I will say: I’ve been criticizing Engels. But it’s not like Engels is the only commenter around the place who gets high-handed. I myself am high-handed sometimes. And everyone likes to play the victim. We are rhetorically compensating for perceived excess on the other side, so we feel. And we are all biased about that, perceiving it more on the other side than our own. Well, it’s a problem. But we are trying to encourage de-escalation.

30

Martin Bento 10.26.16 at 6:24 am

Well, you could just refuse to argue about it, which I think is how you handle racist, sexist etc. remarks. At least if everyone saw what you were banning, people would be able to evaluate whether they thought you were being fair. If you get people other than the criticized one sticking up for that person, it could be a check on your own biases, although that is more likely to happen if the CO is expressing views that have support here.

31

William Timberman 10.26.16 at 6:29 am

It occurs to me that one good way to grasp what was happening to young people in the U.S. between 1961 and 1968, and to avoid the shallow characterizations we’re objecting to here, is to look at the arc of Bob Dylan’s artistic development from, say, North Country Blues (1964) to Visions of Johanna (1966). Mr. Jones wasn’t the only one who knew something was happening, but didn’t know what it was. Do we know any better now? Maybe, maybe not. We don’t like to admit it when we’re being all analytical, but the truth is that hindsight is at least as deceitful as memory.

32

Martin Bento 10.26.16 at 6:32 am

The only time I think I have ever been accused of rudeness on this blog was when I was in direct debate with one of the posters. After the argument wound down, that poster said that I had been sarcastic and they (I believe is using plural to ungender pronouns) had tried their best not to. I replied that, from my perspective, they had been at least as rude as I and pointed out some specific comments, although, really, by the standards of a lot of discussion around here, we were both pretty nice. After reviewing the thread, they conceded I was right. So getting pushback can also lead you to correct your own biases. That won’t happen if you just vanish comments. That is much more operating from a perch of power.

33

david 10.26.16 at 6:40 am

From the PHS:

… no one is demanding structural changes, such as the shuttling of Southern Democrats out of the Democratic Party. …

In such a setting of status quo politics, where most if not all government activity is rationalized in Cold War anti-communist terms, it is somewhat natural that discontented, super-patriotic groups would emerge through political channels and explain their ultra-conservatism as the best means of Victory over Communism… Their political views are defined generally as the opposite of the supposed views of communists: complete individual freedom in the economic sphere, non-participation by the government in the machinery of production. But actually “anticommunism” becomes an umbrella by which to protest liberalism, internationalism, welfarism, the active civil rights and labor movements. It is to the disgrace of the United States that such a movement should become a prominent kind of public participation in the modern world — but, ironically, it is somewhat to the interests of the United States that such a movement should be a public constituency pointed toward realignment of the political parties, demanding a conservative Republican Party in the South and an exclusion of the “leftist” elements of the national GOP.

Well, let no-one say that the SDS did not get exactly what they called for in this paragraph.

34

John Holbo 10.26.16 at 6:44 am

I hereby declare that there shall be no more discussing the CT comments policy in this thread. Because it’s a thread about Tom Hayden!

35

ZM 10.26.16 at 7:44 am

Cheryl Rofer,

“The early sixties, including the Port Huron Statement and the civil rights movement, were very different from the late sixties of the hippies. I didn’t much twitch at the Times statment, having seen the counterculture go from beats to activists to hippies. ….
The sexism of the first two was thoroughgoing and as bad as anything you’ve seen in “Mad Men.” But there was a seriousness about changing the society that the hippies lost in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Young women were caught up in it too, but found conflicts. The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963, and women began to object more strongly, although one can date some of their resistance to The Second Sex, published in 1949 but popular in the mid-fifties.”

The Australian writer Kate Jennings gave a powerful and controversial feminist speech at a Vietnam War moratorium in 1970 here, saying that women and women’s issues were being overlooked by the left at the time.

She later wrote that “Everything changed that day, in part because of the speech itself, in part because of the reaction of the men in the crowd. They went berserk: ‘Ugly bitch! You belong on your back!’ Et cetera. Men of the revolution in full throat. How dare you!? Many women in the left found the speech outrageous and condemned the abuse in it, although some conceded I might have a point or two. Others became lifelong feminists on the spot. But the confrontational language of the speech worked: we could no longer be ignored. Right tactic, right time. I read the speech for the first time in thirty-five years a few weeks back and sat in a state of shock for several hours. Holy shit! Blistering! I remembered the beginning of the speech and thought the content was mainly about how men on the left were concerned with the dead in Vietnam but not with women dying from backyard abortions. I’d forgotten that I gave a serve to *everyone*. There is something in my make-up that ups the ante…. My biggest sin over the years has been to question the usefulness of postmodern feminist theory, which Australian women academics adopted with gusto, setting out to prove themselves more Left Bank than the Left Bank. Difference became the watchword: gender politics split the Left asunder, and it has yet to recover.”

The actual speech and formatting is a good exampled of the language of the times (crooked timber comments are pretty mild by comparison I think):

“watch out! You may meet a real
castrating female
or
you’ll say I’m a MANDATING BRABURNING
LESBIAN MEMBER OF THE CASTRATION
PENISENVY BRIGADE which I am
i would like to speak.
i would like to give a tubthumpingtablebanging emotional rap AND be listened to, not laughed at. you don’t laugh at what your comrade brothers say, you wouldn’t laugh at the negroes, the black panthers. many women are beginning to feel the necessity to speak for themselves, for their sisters.
i feel the necessity now.
it’s the moratorium. i would say, oh yes, the war is bad a pig bosses war may the nlf win. i also say VICTORY TO THE VIETNAMESE WOMEN. now, our brothers on the left and in the peace movement will think that what i am about to say is not justified, this is a moratorium. it’s justified anywhere. we’ve heard you loud and clear before, brother shits, we know we have to work towards the Revolution and then join the ladies’ liberation auxiliary if we have any time left over. ….”

36

bad Jim 10.26.16 at 8:08 am

For some reason I tend to confuse Tom Hayden’s marrying Jane Fonda with the relationship between Jerry Brown and Linda Ronstadt. Although both guys carried some weight, they were pretty drab compared to their contemporaries, while their partners were anything but. Maybe this is just to say that Fonda and Ronstadt are pretty serious characters too.

37

John 10.26.16 at 8:55 am

Nice article by Phelps. He could have spared us the “leprechaun” reference, though :-)

38

John 10.26.16 at 9:19 am

On a lighter note, it occurs to me that younger generations may only know about the Port Huron Statement thanks to its “co-author”, The Big Lebowski:

I was, uh, one of the authors of the Port Huron Statement. The original Port Huron Statement. Not the compromised second draft. And then I, uh… Ever hear of the Seattle Seven?

39

Christopher Phelps 10.26.16 at 9:24 am

William Timberman, I’ve heard from people who were in SDS in 1962, who knew Hayden then, who really were there, and loved what I wrote. They reposted it on Facebook, even. But I suppose they are superficial, like me, and need a schooling in Dylan?

John Holbo, the problem I think CT will confront, no matter what its policy, is that a comments section without one-upsmanship, snark, sarcasm, baiting, and the like is nigh on impossible to achieve. That’s why so many sites are getting rid of the comments (NPR, the Chronicle of Higher Education, etc.). And I have to say I like them better now.

Out of here now. As a friend of mine says, the internet is a conspiracy to get us all to write for free. I gotta go write other stuff! Best of luck to all.

40

Val 10.26.16 at 10:30 am

Can I apologise for the other mistakes in my #21 -Roger for Rofer, and Haver for Haber – I was writing on my mobile, which was autocorrecting me, even after I’d corrected it.

Just after a reading group where we’d discussed whether ‘things’ have agency.

Also I’d like to express my appreciation for Christopher Phelps, thank you.

By the time I went to university, late in the 60s at a university in the Southern Hemisphere, SDS was fashionable, and I used to watch with disapproval (and covert envy) the private school kids running to the SDS demos, while I was going to Australia-Russia friendship evenings and the like. It’s all standpoint, I guess.

41

Val 10.26.16 at 10:49 am

but this
indeed, feminism may be seen as an extension of the logic of participatory democracy.

– it’s not good, since feminism preceded the ‘new left’ by many years. That’s pretty poor actually.

42

Patrick S. O'Donnell 10.26.16 at 11:56 am

Phelps @ 27 Re: “Sara Evans’s book on the emergence of the women’s liberation movement out of the New Left is excellent on this: she charts how it was precisely because of being in the New Left and believing in its ideals, and learning how to do an analysis of oppression, that young women came to see their own oppression.”

I had hoped to insinuate as much in the sharing of material from Frost’s analysis above of the effects of ERAP on the women who participated in the project, for this is precisely one of her points.

43

lemmy caution 10.26.16 at 1:24 pm

“To that extent, someone like Michael Rossman (Berkeley/Free Speech Movement, Bay Area community activist and teacher, author of the memoir “Wedding within the War”) may be a more worthy figure to commemorate than Hayden.”

Did he just die too?

44

Harry 10.26.16 at 2:04 pm

In deference to Martin Bento’s sensible comments, but violating the policy I am adopting from now on — personally, I am not going to engage in any discussion of any OP or thread except on the thread from that OP, as it were. And henceforward I am not going to approve off-topic comments, or comments that I think will drive the conversation in an uninteresting direction, unless they are extremely funny (and a high standard will be applied on that criterion!). If discussions improve I might revisit this policy, and will make exceptions if someone says something really interesting, but for now….

I was going to say some of what Phelps said but the time difference enabled him to beat me to it!

45

Kiwanda 10.26.16 at 2:10 pm

Val @21: ” Kiwanda @ 19
I think what you have said, and that excerpt, supports what Cheryl Rofer is saying rather than contradicting it (if that was your intention).

Haber is saying those young women should have got recognition, but didn’t.”

Rofer was making a broad claim about now, Haber was talking about then. Rofer’s remarks suggest that she thinks that Sanders didn’t learn anything, or at least enough, in the intervening fifty years. So, no, Haber’s remarks are not much relevant to Rofer’s unsupported broad claim about the Sanders campaign.

I thought the common understanding was that second wave feminism arose mostly as a reaction by leftist activist women to gender iniquities within the movement, see for example Marge Piercy’s The Grand Coolie Damn. (Although the main point of discussion regarding her essay today should surely be its use of the racially charged word “coolie”.)

46

William Timberman 10.26.16 at 3:18 pm

Christopher Phelps @ 39

Shallow characterizations was a sloppy choice of words on my part, especially since it can’t in all fairness be applied to your piece in Jacobin. For not making clear that I had writing like the NYT obit more in mind at that point than what you wrote, I apologize.

Still, this

The hippies were by and large apolitical; Hayden and his kind were political from start to finish.

seems to me to perpetuate a false distinction which plagued us even at the time.

In 1963, we all looked like the kids in the picture which accompanies your piece, and for good reason — our common origins in the post-war culture of the U.S. pretty much guaranteed it. In the beginning, our emergent discontents, and the politics that got grafted onto them as we went along weren’t, as you say, manifest in our appearance. After 1965, though, things got messy pretty quickly.

Will the Port Huron Statement in the end prove to be a more relevant or more lasting political document than Blonde on Blonde or the San Francisco Oracle? I doubted it at the time, and I doubt it still, which is not to say that it isn’t still part of my personal confession of faith.

47

Christopher Phelps 10.26.16 at 3:29 pm

Swore I’d not look, but just now I did.

Val, thanks, I appreciate that. And you’re right about the formulation on feminism, but geez, the last bit I said was about the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, so it’s not that I was unaware of the long history. What I should have said, to be more precise, is that the regeneration of feminism in the 1960s owed much to the Port Huron spirit, to participatory democracy. It really did. (I do recommend the Evans book, it’s quite brilliant. O’Donnell, I’ve not read Frost yet, though I did dip into it at one point, but sounds right too…)

John, the editor at Jacobin wanted leprechaun gone too, but I told him that Todd Gitlin asked me what I’d thought of Hayden and I said that and Gitlin (who knew Hayden very well from very far back, of course) chortled. I swear, it’s what he was like, a bit of mischief and play to him, more than you’d imagine. But maybe it’s a goofy line. Who knows. I wrote that thing in a flash during office hours that weren’t attended by students not yet bothered about their end of term essays. Just lucky to have gotten it out.

Off and away again. Again, thanks Harry.

48

Cheryl Rofer 10.26.16 at 3:38 pm

Kiwanda @19 :
I don’t have time to research specific Sanders comments, but my very strong impression on hearing him was that I had heard that before, and when he insisted to people of color in particular that their problems would be solved by economic means, it was 1961 all over again for me. I think there was an early confrontation with BLM protestors in which he took that position. To his credit, he seemed to learn from that confrontation and began to listen better. But for me, there was always a 1961 edge to his program and approach. It was probably more a blindness on his part than anything else, but I found the lack of change over fifty years surprising.

ZM @35:
Yes, the feminist engines were revved up by 1970. But I recall thinking/expecting early in the 1960s that civil rights for African Americans would be successful, and then it would be the women’s turn. It didn’t go that way, and what you are quoting from 1970 is anger at the explicit refusal of men in the political movements to recognize that women’s rights were an issue at all. For example, Stokeley Carmichael’s “The only position for a woman in this movement is prone.”

Almost by accident, a bad joke by a southern congressman, the 1964 Civil Rights Act included women. Otherwise, it’s likely that it would have been much later that those rights were extended to women.

Protests against the Vietnam War also intensified by the end of the 1960s and were part of the 1968 riots at the Democratic Convention. I was too dismissive in my comment upthread of the late 1960s as apolitical, but the politics were very different – much more tolerant of violence and primarily seeking to stop the war – from the politics of the SDS and civil rights movements.

49

Dr. Hilarius 10.26.16 at 6:30 pm

John @ 38: I understand your humorous intention but worry that some others might confuse the joke with reality. The Big Lebowski was in fact partly based on Jeff Dowd who was one of the Seattle Seven conspiracy defendants. But Jeff came around well after the Port Huron Statement. But the statement in the movie did reflect some truth about the character.

My own involvement with SDS started in 1969. By that time there was a co-mingling of counterculture and more staid New Left elements. Conflict between those elements was a factor in the split in SDS between Progressive Labor and Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM) factions. PL was dour, conservative in dress and given to windy dialectical analysis of everything, right up to whose turn it was to do the dishes. Getting high and having sex was more of a RYM tendency.

50

Suzanne 10.26.16 at 7:13 pm

In re: the Fonda marriage. Hayden was chronically unfaithful and he profited very nicely from his wife’s disdained fitness venture, especially in the divorce. Fonda, who had deep-rooted issues stemming from a privileged but troubled childhood, including an eating disorder that lasted for decades, tended to let her men push her around, and Hayden seems to have been happy to oblige. He harbored Presidential dreams for years and expected her to be an appendage to his aspirations. Fonda, as a relative political neophyte, deferred entirely to him as the Political Big Thinker. Her family couldn’t stand him.

They did reconcile later on and were on good terms in later years.

@36: Governor Moonbeam was considered pretty colorful in his own right back in the day.

51

Christopher Phelps 10.26.16 at 9:12 pm

Timberman, ah, yes, the barb did seem aimed at me but glad for the clarification, and so reciprocally I retract my retort. I’d still stand by my formulation. It’s true that if values are culture, as of course they are, then the Port Huron Statement with its call for new values may be said to be countercultural, and of course the kids at Port Huron were already listening to Dylan. We can blur all this if we wish. But none of that is what the phrase “the counterculture” means when it’s used somewhere like the NYT, or by my students. They mean the hippies. And yes, no one looked like a hippy in 1962 or 1963, because they didn’t exist yet, despite pockets of bohemianism. They came later. I was arguing just that: that the youth radicalization led to the youth culture, not the other way around, as Harry caught.

I just, by the way, got another email from someone loving the piece, someone who was a Columbia 1968 participant and a Weatherman sympathizer and a longhair freak in the end, bona fide. And then I got another, in the same hour, from someone who was a major voice of 1970s gay liberation and lived through the sixties as a New Left intellectual (playwright, historian, essayist). So I guess we could argue the sixties forever but I’m content there are enough who were there then who found I got it right enough.

I’m signing off for the night now. Peace.

52

rootlesscosmo 10.26.16 at 9:50 pm

Around 1960-61 there was a New Left magazine published in Berkeley called Root and Branch. One of the threads of discussion was whether or not the student Left was a “counter-community,” with a set of identifying markers (material and cultural) as well as a more or less coherent set of political views. (As I recall, the controbutors mostly decided yes, it was.)

Certainly there’s no hard and fast boundary between the early 60s New Left and the post-1965 (or so) hippie phenomenon, and some people moved from one subculture to the other. But as I recall there were a couple of marked cultural differences: the New Lefties of the early 60s didn’t smoke pot, not because they disapproved of it but because it had only just begun to become accessible to young white middle-class people. (LSD was an exciting rumor from the Stanford campus, not something handed out thousands of doses at a time in Golden Gate Park.) And they didn’t listen to rock, which was still a music of working-class Black and white teenagers, they listened to folk music. (They were among the audience members who booed Dylan’s electric debut at Newport in 1965.) Louis Menand, in a New Yorker article a few years ago, proposed a periodization of the Sixties into Early, Middle, and Late; I like to date the Middle period from the 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, when the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegates got a fast shuffle from LBJ’s operatives, but there are plenty of other signposts along that route.

53

Val 10.26.16 at 9:51 pm

Christopher Phelps @47
If you’re still reading, I understand what you’re getting at, but even the way you expressed the Seneca Falls part had the same problems to me – as if feminism rose out of broader social movements, as a secondary effect. I think we could probably agree that historically there were two separate factors:

– one is feminism per se, which never actually died, even though it became a bit quiescent or unfashionable at times,

– and the other is those social and civil rights movements in which women were involved, and at times perceived their own oppression played out in (which also heightened their awareness of it in broader society).

I think there is some confusion going on – you and Kiwanda seem to saying that new left/participatory democracy praxis made the young women more aware of their own oppression, while Cheryl Rofer, and ZM in quoting Kate Jennings, are pointing to the women’s experience of being oppressed within the movement.

Although there is some overlap in practice, the first reads as if “the movement” deserves credit for radicalising women, while the second reads as if the the men in the movement deserve censure for oppressing women directly or condoning it by not recognising it or not seeing it as important. Two different things.

I think what Cheryl is referring to (Cheryl please correct me if I’m wrong) is broadly the problem of condoning oppression by not recognising it, and that she was surprised that Bernie Sanders still seemed insensitive in this area (both on racism and sexism).

54

William Timberman 10.26.16 at 10:09 pm

Christopher Phelps @51

Yes, thanks. The counter-culture was above all an emergent phenomenon. It burst upon us before we really had a chance to fully grasp what was happening. The political types argued amongst themselves about who was in the vanguard, and who was hopelessly passé. The cultural types frantically re-invented themselves and their environment, and argued incessantly about who was pure and who was selling out — a reductio ad absurdum which eventually wound up becoming more a fashion competition than a political one. Above it all, of course, the grey eminence of the Establishment hovered, busy with it own secret and not-so-secret agendas.

If we couldn’t figure out who was the tail and who was the dog at the time, it’s unlikely at this late date that anyone could come up with an answer that satisfies every faction. Maybe it is better to leave the sorting out to succeeding generations. It was a glorious time to be alive, though, I’ll say that, even if it did last less than ten years. Maybe I’m wrong, but I smell something very like it in the wind again. For the sake of my grandchildren, I certainly hope so.

55

Kiwanda 10.26.16 at 10:20 pm

Cheryl Rofer 48: so, no evidence that Sanders was “tinged with white male supremacy, which is why he had difficulties communicating politically with women and people of color”.

To call the two black women taking the microphone from Sanders at his rally a “confrontation with BLM protestors”, if that’s what you’re referring to, seems a bit misleading. He said after that event that “We have to end institutional racism, but we have to deal with the reality that 50 percent of young black kids are unemployed, that we have massive poverty in America, that we have an unsustainable level of income and wealth inequality…we have to address both.” Was this objectionable to you?

56

engels 10.26.16 at 11:57 pm

The last sentence of Phelps’ piece is ‘don’t mourn, participate’ and John Holbo on this very thread says, in essence, ‘we make the rules here, if you don’t like them, don’t argue about them, go elsewhere’. When I try to respond, I’m deleted for going ‘off-topic’.

Applying the ‘values’ in an academic discussion of leftism to what is actually happening right now, close by in the real world is not ‘off-topic’–it is the only way of actually taking those values seriously. The discussion is already moving away from Hayden and Phelp’s piece towards Sanders and feminism with the moderator’s approval. The only possible interpreation of your moderation practice is that you permit criticism and argument except when it is directed at your own exercise of power.

That is in no way offensive, insulting, personal, off-topic, or even polemically expressed, but I can see it is inconvenient.

57

Val 10.27.16 at 2:01 am

Kiwanda @ 56
I think this discussion is going a bit off-topic when we focus on Sanders, as engels says, so I will keep this brief – also hopefully Cheryl will answer for herself – but what I find problematic in Sanders’ statement is implicit in the “but”, as if they are competing priorities (or as if economic inequality even has some kind of priority over racism and sexism) rather than being part of the same system of oppression

58

F. Foundling 10.27.16 at 2:17 am

@Val 54

>I think there is some confusion going on … the first reads as if “the movement” deserves credit for radicalising women, while the second reads as if the the men in the movement deserve censure for oppressing women directly or condoning it by not recognising it or not seeing it as important. Two different things.

Two different things that do not preclude each other; no confusion. Here’s an interesting partial parallel that would be, if anything, offensive rather than flattering to the New Left: the inhabitants of colonies were oppressed and deprived of freedom by the European colonial powers, and yet through the cultural contact with those same European powers (such as education of colonial intellectuals in the European capitals), they also adopted progressive ideologies and notions of freedom that they were then able to use to justify their own demands for national liberation from those powers.

@Christopher Phelps

>John Holbo, the problem I think CT will confront, no matter what its policy, is that a comments section without one-upsmanship, snark, sarcasm, baiting, and the like is nigh on impossible to achieve. That’s why so many sites are getting rid of the comments (NPR, the Chronicle of Higher Education, etc.). And I have to say I like them better now.

The real problem, IMO, is that communication between humans without one-upsmanship, snark, sarcasm, baiting, and the like, not to mention general wrongness, is nigh on impossible to achieve. The only principled solution to this problem has always been getting rid of the humans altogether. I have to admit that I, too, like the world better without humans on some days. Still, for the sake of the other days, I would prefer the CT comment section to exist.

59

Christopher Phelps 10.27.16 at 3:36 am

Val, I agree that feminism is a response and answer to women’s oppression, but historically there has been much women’s oppression without any organized or sustained feminist response. What produces that feminist response? Not the oppression alone. In American history (which is key globally in this instance) there is this evident pattern: that in the 1840s, and again in the 1960s, feminist movements were born out of movements that initially were about emancipation from racial oppression, those being abolitionism and the civil rights movement. In both cases, women were drawn into political action on behalf of a cause they thought of in highly moral terms, which led them into speaking, writing, arguing, in other words into the embodiment of citizenship, and then their involvement in that egalitarian cause, the powers of analysis and conviction that it gave them, led them to reflect on the lack of egalitarianism within both the movement and the society, and led them to begin making a case for women’s freedom and women’s equality. In the case we are discussing, the 1960s, it’s the contradiction between the values of Port Huron and the inability of young women to be full participants that generates a dissonance of experience and consciousness, and it’s from that which the sixties women’s liberation movement or radical band of the women’s movement emerges out of the New Left. There is a memo written early on, in 1964, by Casey Hayden, along with another women, both of whom had been in SNCC and SDS alike, that was key; it makes a direct comparison between sex and caste, or what we would call gender and race. (Friedan’s 1963 book, a parallel liberal feminist phenomenon, also had such an effect in liberal circles, as opposed to radical ones, because it performed a comparable role in regard to the civil rights movement and liberal reconsiderations of race.)

60

Val 10.27.16 at 5:41 am

@46
I don’t agree that American history is “key globally” in regard to feminism and I don’t know why you said that. There were feminist movements in many countries and their origins go back centuries. There are several reasons why we don’t always know about any “organized or sustained feminist response”, one being that feminist responses were punished, another being that history is often ‘history of the powerful’.

I have been reading Folbre ‘Greed, Lust and Gender’ (recommended to me by another CT commenter) and have just become aware of two feminists I’d never heard of before, one being the historian Alice Clark who published in 1919, the other being Mary Astell, who published in 1694. I don’t know how they would have described themselves, but I would say they were both in the feminist tradition. We can likely never know how many women protested against oppression.

For middle class women, it likely was much more acceptable to organise in favour of those who were seen as ‘less fortunate’ than it would have been to do so directly on their own behalf, for moral reasons (which I am not suggesting were unjustified – the position of slaves would have been much worse than that of middle class women, for example). It also seems likely that this also brought women together in a way that contributed to a shared understanding and response to their own oppression. I guess we can agree on that. However I think you could also agree that the position of ‘new left’ men like Tom Hayden is morally ambiguous from a feminist perspective, as demonstrated by the evidence provided by several commenters in this thread.

61

Christopher Phelps 10.27.16 at 7:31 am

Val, I feel you’re not really hearing me. I conceded straight off that New Left sexism was real. Not ambiguous, real. You’re communicating with someone here who is pro-feminist.

As for feminism’s history, was there ever any other organized women’s rights convention before Seneca Falls in 1848? Is that not key?

If you were to read the Sara Evans book (Personal Politics) she would make clear all that I am saying in regard to the 1960s, that is, the way the idealism of participatory democracy and the contradiction of working for racial equality in a movement that was gender-inegalitarian spawned a rebirth of feminism.

I’m going to leave this off now (really do need to get writing done today) and wish all well.

62

ZM 10.27.16 at 10:07 am

Christopher Phelps,

“Val, I feel you’re not really hearing me. I conceded straight off that New Left sexism was real. Not ambiguous, real. You’re communicating with someone here who is pro-feminist.”

I don’t know if you’ll read the comments again, but I am afraid you’ve walked in to a long running multi-thread argument that has been taking place in the CT comments section over this year, about left wing politics and gender and race.

63

Val 10.27.16 at 11:29 am

@62

Ok happy to concede on the organised women’s rights convention. However you might see that as someone from a country where female suffrage began in 1902, I don’t necessarily see your country as a leader in women’s rights. I think it’s fair to say America has a chequered history in that regard. As ZM points out, there’s been a lot of discussion on this. I was surprised to find out how low women’s political representation is in America, and the situation there in regard to work and family is terrible. So maybe the feminist movement started strongly there but has met ongoing opposition and not achieved as much as in many other countries.

(Not expecting a reply, happy to leave it at that.)

64

UserGoogol 10.27.16 at 1:51 pm

“The Big Lebowski” refers to David Huddleston’s character in the movie. Jeff Bridges’ character is “The Dude.”

65

T 10.27.16 at 10:30 pm

John and Harry —

Yet another great example of how CT comments actually evolve.

The original post is interesting and cites to a Jacobin article.
The author of the article shows up and comments!
A bunch of on point comments follow.
Will T makes a comment that Christopher Phelps takes as an insult.
Christopher then speaks of the merits of having no comments and it’s all the best to censor those bastards like NPR now does (all the while having told the author of the NYT article that he got it completely backwards.)
Will realizes that Chris took his comments the wrong way because Will was insulting on the NYTs author.
Chris seems fine with that (irony?) and Will and Chris are now OK.
Val continues to turn the discussion towards feminist issues (a pattern to say the least) and the discussion goes from the Port Huron Statement to the 1848 Seneca Falls convention.
Chris seems to have forgotten his objections to comments and then comments multiple more times. Which is of course a good thing.

hard to keep the crooked timber of humanity on a straight course…

66

Suzanne 10.27.16 at 10:50 pm

@ 49: I question, respectfully, the notion that a husband’s willingness to permit a beautiful and famous wife to depart the family circle for purposes of pulling in big bucks should necessarily be attributed to an adherence to feminist principles. Given what else we know, Hayden was probably more in line with Tito Arias of Panama, who was quite happy to allow his wife, Margot Fonteyn, to race around the globe dancing her feet off to help finance whatever coup he happened to be planning.

67

bobbyp 10.28.16 at 6:03 pm

Hayden’s passing brought back a lot of memories for me. We in SDS* were really only a small splinter of the “counterculture”. That culture dabbled in politics, and we dabbled in sex, drugs, and r&r. I have remained a political junkie ever since. The rest…alas, not so much.

All of piece, I guess. RIP, Tom.

*The RYM-PL nonsense drove a small group of us at WSU into the IWW. Good times.

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