It was the “Yes We Can”of the anti-war years . . . . the inculcation of our youth; it took form, at the 1970 Left / Right Conference at USC.
How do I know? I was there. The Kent State shootings were near that time.
Carl Oglesby spoke, so did Carl Hess. (Oglesby – a famous 60’s radical who’d begun Students for a Democratic Society [ SDS ] and Hess – he’d been the speech-writer for Barry Goldwater – the first of this new age of Libertarianism.)
Many others spoke that weekend as well, (Tom Hayden?) they were all good, but these are the two that moved us to commit to carrying out this “Changing Of America”, . . . at least they were for me.
As I remember, at the end of it, when it was all pulled together, almost every attendee who’d stayed (very few, if any, had left) . . . . we each committed to bring this to fruition; we were all idealists and we’d had enough of war, corruption, bigotry / racism and injustice.
The only ones that weren’t there, it seems, were those who’d grown too angry and moved on into the Weather Underground . . . . like the Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn types.
What did we commit to? What was the conspiracy we were party to?
As stated in the first statement, we committed to setting the goals and staying in school to accomplish change! We were all going to become teachers – from elementary school to professors. We were going to change America by changing what America’s children learned!
We were convinced our motives were right; our goal was right. It was the “means-to-an-end”, that should have alerted us to how we were being manipulated!
The two Carls – Oglesby and Hess, both moved us from tears to laughter, from grieving to joy and back to outrage. They did it with the skill of great orators . . . . like those who began and led the revolution with England. It was mass hypnosis of a large crowd – – – similar to the scenes I’d seen in my youth, . . . . of Hitler. I’m not comparing them to him, just to the way they were able to manipulate the crowds. I remember reading psychological studies that talked of how it was done by Hitler – how the lights were arranged in a circle around . . . . it wasn’t the coliseum, but the films I’d seen, reminded me of it . . . . and someone had theorized the lighting had contributed to the mass hypnosis. He’d mesmerized the masses; so did the speakers at the Left / Right Conference. It was if I remember my psychology correctly, ‘group dynamics’ – aka mass hypnosis.
I’m sure many were like me, although my landlord, Professor Pete Sibbald, even offered to “sponsor me” on my long-term goal to get my Ph.D., I’d grown tired of school and dropped out when I became disabled, andthen engaged. I left school to build homes for others while providing one for my new family.
It was the new responsibilities that brought me to understanding how the real world worked – as opposed to academia and the idealism of youth; in the process I’d grown up and learned how to provide a product and service with ethics . . . . it had changed me permanently.
I’ve written this because I’ve now seen this conspiracy come to pass – except that, it’s bogged down by the roots of the left, not the right. The Socialism / Communism / Fascism is a far cry from what we’d all hoped for, envisioned – I’ve learned it’s a libertarian outcome where there is more freedom. Justice comes from freedom, not government; government has to do with centralized power and power, as we know, corrupts!
And now, with this enemy that has sincerely been attacking U.S. interests since the 1980’s, all over the world, threatening to destroy us, we have a president who believes in more government, not less. His motivation? Somehow, I just cannot believe he sees the seriousness of the threat; his actions prove to me daily that he does not side with Israel, nor does he want what I do – Freedom!
Freedom, not just for America but for the entire world . . . . an end to racism, to hate, to injustice, to intolerance of others, . . . . .
Guess I’ve not really lost that Idealism; I just understand that . . . only through the Freedom of the individual, will we be able to pursue Life, Liberty, and happiness. Only with Freedom!