May 10, 2008


The Taint of '68 (Rich Lowry, 5/10/08, Real Clear Politics)

'WHY don't we just vote to strike tonight - and we'll decide to morrow what we're striking for?"

Those were the words of a student protester thoughtfully deliberating at Yale University, as recounted by Roger Kimball in his book on the left, "The Long March." It was a question that captured much of the heedless spirit of the student demonstrations of the 1960s, for which "May 1968" is shorthand.

That spring 40 years ago saw a radical takeover of Columbia University - eventually duplicated at other elite campuses - and student protests around the world. In France, the government was rocked to its foundations; in the Eastern Bloc, a crevice was opened up in the Berlin Wall. Here at home, campus life became synonymous with a straitened leftism, and the post-World War II political consensus shattered.

Before we had our long national nightmare (Watergate), we had our long national temper tantrum. In America, student protests were an indulgence of the privileged, a wail by baby boomer kids raised in unprecedented affluence against their parents' authority.

Effect, not cause.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 10, 2008 4:32 PM
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