[Marxism] David Dellinger and the '68 protests

Tom Cod tomcod3 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 2 17:45:46 MDT 2010

I'm sorry, these protests were historic as any high school student would
know, just like the civil rights protests that preceded and overlapped them
were.  I'm disappointed with moderator copping this attitude because it
smacks exactly of the sectarian abstentionism that he often so correctly
rails against.  What does it matter what Dellinger, a great leader of the
anti-war movement who along with Fred Halstead played a critical role in
organizing the big rallies (and whose grandson Seth, ironically, is
currently a leader of the SWP) THOUGHT?  What did Father Gapon think?  What
did KING think?  What did Cheney Goodman & Schwerner THINK? What was it
objectively?  It was a mass mobilization against the war that I had heard of
months before after the March on the Pentagon but because it looked like it
might not be monolithic and squeaky clean, certain sectarians ran scared and
came up.  with a self serving "marxist" rationale to cover for that, one
that pandered to the backwardness, or perceived backwardness of the masses
and which wittingly or unwittingly recycled reactionary stereotypes about
hippies and protesters (that these guys bought into) and sadly the lies of
Mayor Daley and the Chicago cops as well.

Moreover, this type of patronizing argument is one that could be used to
justify abstention from anything, including strikes, because after all don't
the bureaucrats want to use this to aid the Dems?.  What about Kent State?
Any progressive person was duty bound to support and build these historic
actions and defend its legacy later during the Chicago 8 trial and so on.  I
regret that the culture of the SWP and similar groups was hostile to that.
 As Marcuse might have said, it speaks volumes about the conservative nature
of "orthodox marxism".  It is to the credit of the older cadres of this same
generation (and the early 60s cohort which became so conservatized
elsewhere) in the CP,WWP and International Socialists that they truly did
appreciate the "new radicalization"  and its culture and didn't miseducate
their political progeny with this dogma.

More importantly, the protest wasn't called off, the difference with the SWP
is that they wanted it called off period.  In all seriousness as someone who
had previously been involved in the McCarthy campaign, I doubt if his
supporters or former supporters and the other masses there would have gone
along with such a call-off.  Moreover, a McCarthy victory would have
eviscerated Daley and the cops purpose: not to embarrass their political
boss Humphrey.

On Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 3:47 PM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> Go here: http://tinyurl.com/35bfhn2 for a revealing excerpt from this
> biography of a key leader of the '68 protests who says that the purpose
> of the action was to help Eugene McCarthy's chances. Dellinger and
> Rennie Davis, another key leader of the Chicago action, told a Eugene
> McCarthy campaign coordinator that if was likely to receive the
> nomination they would call off the protest. Dellinger, Davis, and Tom
> Hayden were the most visible spokesmen for the protest, not Jerry Rubin
> who was something of a media hog.
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