Stanley Aronowitz is still at it? AMAZING! HE IS STILL HERE ! The problem is, the ANTI WAR MOVEMENT ISN'T!!!
Back during the Vietnam War, I once went to a Stanly Aronowitz classroom, held at one of those churches with
the long name that tolerates revolutionaries, well the ONLY church that allows student group revolutionaries to use the basement. Context of his talk was, 'don't try to do too much to ameliorate the horrors of our life under
rogue capitalism. Just let it implode and let the revolution happen. The worse it GETS, the more certain REVOLUTION is and then, we'll strike and REPLACEMENT will happen. right?'
HUH? I'd driven all the way to Downtown L.A. for this? I shook my head in confusion, put up my hand & asked him 'then why are we here? What are we supposed to do until the revolution happens?" It was a free talk, I wasn't bitching or anything. But THE GUY LOST IT. THREW ME OUT onto the street in time to see the COP writing down all our license plate numbers in a little book. (Back in the 70's LA cops did that for the CIA. )
Now Aronowitz was a tubby lardo, so I figure, -- body out of equilibrium, he irritates easily. I"m not offended, I just quit going to commie groups & I don't think of him again. FORTY YEARS go by. I'm sure he's dead of fat, stroke, irritability --- terminal communism, something. So today a chum sends me an email that tells me ole STANLEY is still going huge over at City U in NY and exactly what he predicted is going down. CAPITALISM is imploding. The Banksters stand naked before us! Even Obama looks like a lackey to our now, well trained eye. The perfect Storm but what ole Stanley couldn't have predicted is... just as the Enemy is going down for the count, ACTIVISM has virtually disappeared! There isn't ANY! (Although the Mexicans had a million man march for citizenship rights in East L.A. a few yrs in a row, got clobbered by cops.) No IVY LEAGUE activism. It's a dinosaur!
This is what I got:
HEADLINE: ANTI WAR PICKETS? WHERE ARE THEY? Article starts "Legislate the draft again and you would see the protest movement explode. It is the reason that the Pentagon won't restart the draft. But without it, where have all the protests gone? US students are in limbo
When Hemnecher Amen, a student, joined a protest outside the White House recently, it was the latest visible opposition here to US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hardly anyone took any notice. Ten kids were there.
Apathy is on the rise amongst US students! There's a lot of apathy and a growing disconnectedness to what's going on in world affairs," the frustrated Howard University junior said as around 200 people, including a handful of students, gathered for the march. Students are more interested in trying to get a job and make money." That is a paradox. The worse society and the economy get, the more youngsters CLING to MAYA, to MONEY, and the less there is of it to cling to. But they seem to have no tradition of protest! No faith in the evolutionary process that activism is! Especially in the hands of noisy, energetic students! The articles goes on " With the US military several years into two faraway wars, American students like Amen are taking to the streets less often - and to less effect - than their Vietnam-era predecessors who were the vanguard of the anti-war movement in the 1960s and early 1970s.
The economic and academic pressures on today's youth, intimidation by the
authorities, online distractions and conflicted views about the "good" war
in Afghanistan, not to mention other causes such as health care and slashed
school budgets clawing for attention, have conspired to snuff out anti-war
activism on campus, experts and students say.
They acknowledge, too, that paradoxically President Barack Obama has
hampered the movement because many of the largely leftist protest groups
have not wanted to openly oppose him so early in his first term.
"There's this trust that he's going to fix it all," said Shara Esbenshade,
19, a sophomore at Stanford University and member of Stanford Says No To
She says there are no anti-war marches on her campus, only vigils,
educational events and occasional protests against Condoleezza Rice, who
has returned to Stanford after serving as George W Bush's secretary of state.
"We'd really like to start doing more about Afghanistan," she added. "But
students here rising up? I really don't see that happening."
At Kent State University, where in 1970 four unarmed students were shot
dead by the Ohio National Guard, Andrew Ruminas, 20, a member of the Kent State
Anti-War Committee, said "we're not even doing any demonstrations now".
Perhaps, according to 1960s protest icon and political activist Tom Hayden,
that is because the single most important act to silence student dissent -
the privatisation of conflict - occurred a generation ago.
"Students were the bulwark of the anti-Vietnam war movement because
students were being drafted, full stop," Hayden, a founding member of Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS) in 1962, said.
"Ending conscription radically diminished the possibilities of future
student anti-war protests."
Hayden, one of the "Chicago Seven" charged with inciting to riot at the
1968 Democratic National Convention, said students have "rechanneled" their
activism, notably into internet campaigns including the one last year that
helped sweep Obama into the White House.
Many of today's students are marching with their fingers instead of their
feet, signing online petitions, reading or writing blogs and planning
anti-war agendas on the web.
Stanley Aronowitz, a Vietnam anti-war organiser, insists online petitions
do nothing but entrench users in the "anti-reality" of Internet activism.
"I don't believe petitions do anything," he said. "They are what
middle-class people and intellectuals do to convince themselves they're
Aronowitz, now a sociology professor at City University of New York,
acknowledges that new social technologies on the web - Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube - have mass mobilisation potential.
"But they also privatise people's lives to much more of a degree than when
people had to go to meetings and act collectively."
As society has digitised, the American left has splintered, Aronowitz says,
losing the confidence to mobilise people as it did in early 2003 when
millions protested the looming Iraq invasion.
As a result, "many people have put their faith in electoral politics rather
than direct action".
Jonathan Williams, who runs Student Peace Action Network, says it is not
just a matter of apathy or a shift to campus issues like soaring student
debt; there has been what he calls a "criminalisation of dissent."
Williams said he was arrested along with other activists and journalists at
a demonstration at last year's Republican National Convention and detained
for four days.
In 2007, police used an electro-shock Taser on a student causing a
disturbance during an address by Senator John Kerry. Videos of the event
have been seen on YouTube more than seven million times.
"After seeing that, are you going to speak out?" Williams asked. Nothing
came of it. NOTHING! As US support for the Afghan mission retreats - a CNN poll
suggested that 58 per cent of Americans are now against the war - Obama is
mulling whether to approve a request to send up to 40,000 more troops.
(HE APPROVED IT since this was written.)
Todd Gitlin, famed author, chronicleer of the sixties a former SDS
president in the 1960s who teaches at Columbia University, says a
"critical mass" of youth against the war has not materialised to bring
huge numbers out in protest.
Should Obama approve the Afghan troop request, Gitlin cautions, "that
might be the trigger".
HAH! That event came and went. And it didn't provoke ANYTHING!
KIDS are out of it, blitzed, attending to other things. I'd check the
Twinkies for PROZAC, Mom!
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