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I believe Dr. Todd an I are beginning to argue apples and oranges in regard to the SDS. To clarify my original argument, I posited that anti-status quo movements become radicalized over time because they lack an authority that could set the ideological parameters, leaving the extremists in such movements free to press the majority to take a more militant stance. I am hypothesizing an organizational evolution which is not, in my view, contingent upon proving that particular individuals or all members displaying this pattern of radicalization. I would expect the contrary to be the case as earlier, more moderate, members might become dismayed and drop out even as newer kinds of members might be attracted to changes in rhetoric and platform. Movement organizations exist institutionally while having a dynamic, transient, membership. Certainly, the Russian Social Democratic Party demonstrated this tendency as Mensheviks and Jewish Bundists fell away from Bolsheviks, moderate Bolsheviks trailed behind Lenin's radical inner circle and we all know what Stalin later did with even this narrow political group. The Nazis too lost many early " moderate"( including the founder, Anton Drexler) and Left socialist members even as they attracted many former hard-core Communists and right-wing extremists from rival Nationalist-Volkische parties. Even today with the Islamists we see this phenomenon of radicalization with the ultraradical al-Zaqawri upbraiding " moderate" Islamists who have not been sufficiencly vigorous in prosecuting jihad in Iraq. I am somewhat puzzled by Dr. Todd's reluctance to attribute a similar ideological transformation to the SDS. The fact that the SDS was not a political party is not, in my view, a relevant characteristic since we are discussing movements. Neither is the shorter time frame of an "academic year" changing the process substantively, except perhaps to accelerate it Secondly, she herself argued for very much the same thing when replying in a different post to David Horowitz: "In general, very careful analysis of who "founded" student organizations in the late 50's and early 1960's makes it quite clear the founding generation were baby busters with all that entailed -- and the post 1963 student cohort with quite different life experiences, inherited their groundwork but quickly evolved cultural and organizational changes that have come to dominate perceptions about the whole 1960's generation." I agree. The generational cohort aspect described by Dr. Todd in that post is interesting as social history but what is critical is that the newer, younger, group of students "evolved cultural and organizational changes" that moved the SDS into it's radical apogee. What Dr. Todd terms an evolution is a cycle of radicalization. Mark Safranski Independent Scholar >From: "H-DIPLO [Ball]" <h-d1plo@SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU> >Reply-To: H-NET List for Diplomatic History <H-DIPLO@H-NET.MSU.EDU> >To: H-DIPLO@H-NET.MSU.EDU >Subject: Leadership in Anti-War Movements [Todd] >Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 06:56:57 -0800 > >From: Sistersara@aol.com > >Several comments [in relpy to Mr. Safranski's post below]. First of all, >Who is a student? and who is a student activist? Is a very critical >category of analysis. Most students are in college 4-5 years, and the >demographic studies of activism suggest activist careers last a little >less than two years. Those who "founded" organizations such as SDS and >SNCC in the very first years of the 1960's, were not the same people, by >and large, who are commonly termed "radicals or radicalized" in the late >1960's. The Weather Underground participants were Junior High Students >during the founding period of the late 50's and early 60's. I would >suggest their "radicalization" had a good deal more to do with the sense >they could not accomplish stated goals (end the Vietnam War -- totally >reorient American Foreign Policy), than anything else, particularly as >they compared themselves with slightly earlier generations why had >successfully ended legal Jim Crow and gotten a Voting Rights Bill passed. >But ending a war and changing Policy direction on anything is a little >outsized as a goal for a student organization. > >The American Academic Calendar is a critical limitation on any student >organization -- both now and in that distant past. It is in many >instances incapable of sustaining both leadership and program priorities >from one year to the next, because by definition leaders graduate, new >leadership is elected on frequently much different program and priority >platforms, and new external circumstances tend to drive the process. One >reason why I totally reject an analysis of "radicalization" that depends >on comparison of the CPUSSR or the NSDAP is because these were political >parties intended to have multigenerational lives, to govern, and were >quite independent of any sort of outside limitation, such as the academic >calendar. American Student Movements and Organizations are essentially >temporary, are single generational, and change their leadership, program, >and membership on a nearly annual basis. They are not designed or >envisioned as governing anything. > >In many ways, I think the charge of "radicalization" is a false one -- in >part because one would necessarily have to demonstrate that early >participants and founders were actually those who later became radicalized >-- and I don't think that has been done, but more because ever so many >founders and early participants built solid careers in fairly traditional >institutions. For instance, is Robert Moses's current Algebra and Math >project in Mississippi a function of radicalization? I think it is very >much a function of his SNCC work in voter registration in the early >1960's in Klan dominated Mississippi -- but I find nothing about >creatively teaching math particularly radical. Likewise, I find it hard >to see as "radical" John Lewis's service in the House of Representatives, >-- or even Tom Hayden's lengthy service in the California Legislature. > What I am suggesting is that the notion of the radicalization of the >founding generation is largely fiction. What actually needs to be >addressed is why, gradually through the 60's, a very different sort of >student power-center emerged producing I would agree, somewhat >dysfunctional leaders? But I also believe that is a very small sub-set of >student activists in the late 1960's. A much larger cohort moved out of >the 1960's having been part of traditional politics in the McCarthy, >Kennedy and later McGovern campaigns, and while I am fairly certain few of >them became life long radicals, many assumed leadership and followed >careers influenced by those student experiences. > >Safranski also raises the issue of the proper role of adult leaders in >student organizations. I suspect if they are admired, and influential >because of their actual work and accomplishment, in the self-limiting >environment of the Academic Calendar they actually have the tools they >need. I think direct systematic controls such as the old in "In loco >parentis" variations on control are quite counterproductive. > >Sally Todd >Minneapolis >Sistersara@aol.com