cj#426> Arun on The Sixties

1996-01-19

Richard Moore

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Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996
Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#424> Thoughts on the 60's and political effectiveness

That was a lovely contribution, Richard, one that I hope to see echoed on
cyberjournal. There are fortunately lots of the '60s people active on the
net, and I think we need to extract the essence from all the hype that
surrounds that era.

While I agree largely with the conclusions you draw, and must admit that
I saw the hippies mainly from afar in India, or through the eyes of the
friends I made a decade later in Germany, I would like to add to your
list of achievements of the 60s generation, which might explain why I am
perhaps a bit less pessimistic than you.

Firstly with regard to the assimilation into culture. In Germany, "Sie"
the equivalent of the polite French "Vous" was common before the sixties.
It was then that the "Du" = "tu" become commonplace, at least among the
young.

Willy Brandt, who was mayor of Berlin in those heady days, spoke of the
"March through the Institutions", i.e. suggested that the agenda of the
protesters should be pushed through the political parties the trade
unions, etc., which is what the Germans did. The Greens were the end
product, but even the agenda of the conservatives underwent a sea change.

A brilliant book that is surely hard to get is Ulrike Meinhof's "Die
Wuerde des Menschen ist antastbar". This is a play on the statement in
the universal declaration of human rights, to the effect that "The
Dignity of Man is  inviolate" Her title is,"The dignity of man is
violate". (If an English translation is available, anyone who procures me
a copy is a friend for life. I have the German original from the
publisher Klaus Wagenbach).

Anyway, these are the journalistic pieces of a mother of two who turned
terrorist. You read the stuff a few decades later, and find that so much
of what she found so frustrating as to drive her to violence is now in
the agenda of all the political parties -- the lady would have easily
made it into parliament on a Greens ticket.

In Germany, the 60s maintained a fairly unbroken tradition through the
nuclear and peace movements. The former nearly dealt a death blow to the
powerful nuclear industry, the latter made sure that no further missiles
could be stationed in Europe past the mid-80s, and dealt a severe blow to
the arms industry. I think even the communists were impressed that
youngsters in the west had succeeded where their ideology had not, and by
reducing the growth of western armaments in western Europe may have
helped reduce the fear perceived in the east, the peaceniks may have
helped moderates like Gorbachev to come to power.

What is needed today is to spread the 60s agenda into the rest of the
world, and the Internet is the way to do it. We need the sexual
revolution, we need to reduce our fascination with nuclear power, and we
need to cut down our consumption of weapons.

With your experience, Richard, and that of your list members, I'd love to
have a focussed discussion on this aspect.

Arun Mehta, B-69 Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24, India. Phone 6841172,6849103
•••@••.••• •••@••.••• •••@••.•••
        http://mahavir.doe.ernet.in/~pinaward/arun.htm

"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be
stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house
as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any."--Gandhi

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        A grain of dust, blown into a man's eye at a certain moment,
        may change the course of the world's history, still more easily
        the course of his own history; so I must be excused for recording
        similar trifles that shunted my destiney on to new lines.

                George Tyrrell (1861-1909)
                Autobiography and Life of George Tyrrell

        Aithnightshear caraid a g-cruadhtan
         -- Friends are known in distress

                Traditional Irish Proverb

-rkm

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 ~=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=~=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=~--~=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=~=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=~
 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 •••@••.•••  | Cyberlib=http://www.internet-eireann.ie/cyberlib
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